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Issue 03/2019

Highlights: Toys Injection Moulding Basics: Microplastics Mind the right terms Captured CO2

Toys Relaunch of

Toys Relaunch of ocean-safe beach toys About 350 million tonnes of plastic is produced globally every year with approximately 25 % of it used in packaging, most of which is designed for single use. (The average North American throws away about 100 kg of plastic each year.) An estimated 32 % of all packaging leaks out of the system, leading to both land and ocean pollution. As a result, more than 8 million tonnes of plastic trash winds up in the oceans annually, adding to the estimated 150 million tonnes that’s currently in the marine environments. Of even greater consequence is that fact that much of this debris breaks down over time into tiny particles smaller than 5 mm. These microplastics are found in marine habitats everywhere on earth, and they don’t biodegrade. According to 5 Gyres, a non-profit fighting global plastic pollution, the 2017 United Nations Clean Seas Campaign estimated that there are 51 trillion microplastic particles in the ocean today—500 times more than the number of stars in our galaxy. Unfortunately for the ocean’s ecosystem, marine animals, and even humans who consume seafood, these marine plastics persist and have the potential to cause real harm. So how do we start turning the corner toward products that are useful without continuing to destroy our oceans? In 2011, Valerie Lecoeur, founder of Zoë b Organic (Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA), decided to tackle the problem right where she found it every summer–on the beach, in the hands of her kids (cf. bM 02/2011). As a mother of three young children, it sickened her to see the number of stray shovels and orphaned, plastic beach-bucket handles washed up on the shore. So, she decided to use the technology available at the time to make smarter beach toys that are safer for both kids and the environment. compounds are designed to meet established certification standards for biodegradation into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass–thus avoiding the generation of microplastics and providing the ideal material for beach toys that accidentally get washed out to sea. Today Valerie and Zoë b Organic are grateful to be partnering with DuPont to relaunch her Ocean-Safe Beach Toys in the U.S. this summer. While technology continues to evolve, Valerie remains steadfast in her mission: “Bioplastics may not be the solution for replacing all plastics, but those that biodegrade in marine environments are the perfect replacement for every beach toy on the planet.” MT ISSN 1862-5258 bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 9 Highlights Fibers & Textiles | 12 Toys | 36 September / October 05 | 2014 ... is read in 91 countries Beach toys by Zoë b made from PHA, p. 44 Cover-Story bioplastics MAGAZINE 05/2014 In 2011, Zoë b Organic launched the world’s first biodegradable beach toys using Mirel, a polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) bioplastic made from corn sugars which meets established standards for biodegradation in marine environments. Manufactured in the USA, the toys were sold online and also picked up by Pottery Barn Kids, among other retailers. However, disruptions and unfavorable economics in the product’s supply caused Zoë b Organic to ultimately stop selling its beach toys. In 2017, Alterra Plastics, a compounding company operating out of Seymour, Indiana (USA), focused on the emerging need for plant-based and biodegradable materials and re-initiated the development of PHA-based thermoplastic compounds. In collaboration with DuPont BioMaterials, a new family of compounds was developed. TerraBio ® is a PHA-based resin that incorporates Nuvolve Engineered PolySaccharides to enhance mechanical properties and the overall aesthetics of derived injection-molded products. With building blocks that are all plant-based and inherently biodegradable, these new 14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/19] Vol. 14

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