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Issue 03/2016

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Packaging
  • Biobased
  • Biodegradable
  • Compostable
  • Starch
  • Injection
bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1603

Application News

Application News Snickers wrapped in bioplastics At the recent ITR conference (see more at pp 12) Thijs Rodenburg, CEO of the Dutch company Rodenburg Biopolymers announced it: The family owned company has partnered with global confectionary company Mars to develop new biobased wrappers for their candy bars. And as a result the first Snickers bars with biobased wrappers were introduced to the European market last fall. Rodenburg Biopolymers from Oosterhout started about 70 years ago as one of the first pioneers in bioplastics. Being part of the potato industry they started to utilize the industrial waste derived from the French fry production. By turning this waste into cattle feed they still had a potato starch waste product, which they could not use. A few decades later Rodenburg found a way of using this waste as feedstock for a new bioplastic. Early in the 2000’s Rodenburg presented their first generation Solanyl product. Today they are offering the third generation of Solanyl. The material is available in a thermoforming, an injection molding and a film grade. A few years ago Rodenburg was approached by Dennis van Eeten, packaging innovation manager at Mars in Veghel, the Netherlands. Van Eeten was looking for a biobased packaging material for Mars’ candy bars that was just as good as the current one. The new material would have to be biobased, not necessarily biodegradable, non-polluting when disposed of, not harm the environment in any way, be based on second generation feedstock as not to compete with the food supply, be scalable and have a smaller carbon footprint than the currently used material. “We told him we could do all that,” said Thijs Rodenburg. “But then we had to do it.” An EU-funded project was performed by Rodenburg to develop the material, film specialist Taghleef Industries to produce the film and Mondi (based in Poland) to manufacture the actual packaging. “The first version, a film compound based on starch with additives, did not have a good enough performance,” said Thijs. “So we kept trying and at a certain point, by calculated trial and error came up with an acceptable film. However, when Taghleef produced the film and Mondi used it for printing, it was found to wrinkle. Modifications were able to solve that problem.” As a result the project team presented a food grade polymer film compound based on TPS Solanyl and PLA that meets the specified requirements. It is compostable, biodegradable and takes only a third of energy to produce compared to oil-based alternatives such as polypropylene. The starch is derived from an industrial waste stream, thus the raw material it is a secondgeneration biomass that in no way competes with food crops. The feedback from the market has been excellent. And even though the initiative started in Europe, Thijs said: “Of course, we’re hoping that Mars will take it to the US,” and to the World, we might want to add. KL/MT www.biopolymers.nl Biopolymer ‘mix’ bottle is a European first RPC Promens Consumer Nordics has developed a oneliter milk bottle made entirely from a non-oil based bio polymer (bio-PE) produced from sugar cane. Uniquely, an additional feature that is now being developed and which is believed to be a first in the European market, will see the polymer mixed with a special mineral filler. This reduces the amount of polymer required for each bottle without impacting on its strength and performance, which will further enhance its positive environmental profile. In its first commercial application, the new Modul bottle has been selected by leading Swedish dairy company Skånemejerier for its range of non-homogenized milk. “Sustainability is a vital consideration throughout all our operations including our packaging, where we always seek to choose a solution with minimal impact on the environment,” said Armina Nilsson, sustainability manager at Skånemejerier. ”The new bottle from RPC Promens is ideal for our milk,” confirmed Thore Bengtsson, the company’s strategic purchaser. “We have an excellent working relationship with the company and their ability to handle the tight deadlines for this project was particularly beneficial.” RPC Promens says that as consumers have taken a greater interest in the types of foods they are buying, their focus has started to switch to the packaging as well. “According to Euromonitor one of the top ten global trends in 2016 is greener food,” explained senior sales manager Jan Weier. “Certainly there has been strong growth in organic food products in recent years and this has now led to more attention being paid to how they are packed. By using this new material, we can offer our customers a renewable and sustainable solution.” The 1-liter white blow-molded Modul bottle is available with a choice of closures and features a four-sided label applied by RPC Promens. MT www.rpc-group.com 28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/16] Vol. 11

Application News Sustainable Office Products Just in time for Earth Day 2016, Solegear Bioplastic Technologies (Vancouver, Canada) announced the official launch of its newly branded, plant-based office accessory line, Good Natured, and its first B2B partnership with also Vancouver-based Mills Office Productivity to distribute the products to business customers in British Columbia. “We’re proud to team with another Vancouver-based success story, Mills Office Productivity, to be able to more effectively reach customers with an innovative plantbased product that is bound to be a conversation starter and source of pride.” Solegear’s Good Natured office product line, colours and packaging are designed to bring a lighthearted, modern spirit to a sometimes overlooked and traditional category of consumer products. Made from the company’s 85 % plant-based Polysole ® LV1250 PLAbioplastic – which contains no BPAs, phthalates or other hazardous additives, and has been certified by the USDA BioPreferred program – the office accessory line includes a paper clip dispenser, pencil/pen holder, self-stacker desk tray, stacking legal desk tray and vertical file holder available in four designer colours: raspberry, frosting, licorice and mojito. The products are injection molded by Columbia Plastics, a local Solegear manufacturing partner since 2015. “Being a B Corp, our environmental performance is very important to Mills’ overall valuesGood-Natured and mission,” said Brad Mills, CEO of Mills Office Productivity. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The B Corp movement places the focus on using business as a force for good, and is striving to redefine the meaning of success in business. “This is just the tip of the iceberg for Solegear and the innovations it plans to deliver to consumers in the coming years, all designed to lower carbon emissions, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and remove toxicity typically associated with traditional petroleum-based plastics,” said Paul Antoniadis, CEO of Solegear. “We are excited to continue to disrupt and push the market to think differently about what’s possible with bioplastics by reformulating, rebranding and re-launching everyday products for major brands and retailers. KL/MT www.mills.ca | www.solegear.ca Compostable bread bags In line with its stated commitment to environmental sustainability, U2, a large Italian supermarket chain, has fitted out its bakery points of sale with 100 % bio degradable and compostable bags made of paper and a transparent bioplastic window made from NATIVIA film. These biodegradable bags are the latest development in the U2 supermarkets’ ongoing campaign against waste. The aim is to encourage consumers to reduce waste, reuse and recycle the bag. The new bags are available in over 100 supermarkets, which are alerting customers to the use of the new bag with the help of leaflets and posters with information on how it works: customers put the fresh bread in the bag and then re-use it as a biodegradable bag for the organic waste disposal (after removing the noncompostable price tag). NATIVIA is a biobased range of films made of PLA, produced by Dubai-based Taghleef Industries (Ti). A truly sustainable biobased film, it offers various end of life options: products made from PLA are suitable for incineration, recycling and composting. The new bread bags supplied at the U2 supermarkets can be used as a container for the organic waste that ends up in the industrial composting facilities. In addition, NATIVIA can be recycled within the paper recycling stream. Environmental protection has become an integral part of the U2 supermarket chain’s policy. The chain launched its campaign in 2014 promoting sustainable solutions and initiatives that influenced consumer’s behaviours, attitudes and lifestyles. The introduction of the paper/PLA 100 % biodegradable and compostable bread bags, U2 accomplishes, is a further step towards waste reduction. As the slogan of the campaign says: “It’s stupid to waste, It’s good to discover it”. Taghleef Industries (TI) is proud to provide the marketplace with a sustainable material that is comparable to the traditional ones by its quality and feature. The company has committed to the supermarket chain’s “against waste” campaign for the period of a year. NATIVIA represents a remarkable contribution to improving sustainability of modern packaging. Ti position itself as one of the value-chain partners and the use of such packaging material supports the work of companies that take an integrated approach: economical, environmental and social. The new bread bags are made by Italian Turconi SpA and they are certified (EN 13432) for industrial composting by Vinçotte (certificate code S565). MT www.nativia.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/16] Vol. 11 29

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