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Issue 03/2020

  • Text
  • Additives
  • Masterbatches
  • Carbon
  • Renewable
  • Biobased
  • Biodegradable
  • Products
  • Materials
  • Plastics
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Additives/Masterbatches Marine Littering

Opinion What’s the

Opinion What’s the matter with recycling Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We’ve been hearing this phrase and teaching it to our children for more than 40 years. It’s ingrained in our collective consciousness: if you care about the planet, then you recycle. So why hasn’t plastic recycling delivered on the promise to eliminate plastic waste? Traditional petroleum-based plastics ideal lifecycle. Source: GreenBlue Sustainable Packaging Coalition Why is plastic recycling a failure? Today we use five times more plastic than we did in 1980, so clearly “reduce” hasn’t worked. “Reuse” hasn’t worked either. Forty years later, there is still virtually no “reusable” packaging for consumer goods. So, why hasn’t the model worked in the past, and why is it unlikely to work in the future? Here are the key issues: • Plastics are not endlessly recyclable. Unlike glass and aluminum, plastics lose much of their physical strength with each heat exposure. • Plastic is not plastic. “Plastic” is a generic term for hundreds, if not thousands, of different polymers. These different polymers are produced from different chemistries and have different properties which often cannot be mixed or blended. • Less than 10% of plastic is currently recycled in the US. Capturing 100 to 200 billion pounds (~45-90 million tonnes) of plastic (still less than half of the annual plastic production) would require billions of dollars in new collection infrastructure. • Contaminated plastics are extremely difficult to recycle. Any plastic used in food service, food packaging, fast food, institutional or commercial use, or restaurant service is contaminated with food and human contact. Outdoor applications like mulch film or lawn and garden packaging are contaminated with soil. • Recycling of traditional petrochemical plastics does not address greenhouse gas emissions and associated global warming. The recycle lifecycle loop continues to pump fossil carbon into the atmosphere at every stage – extraction, manufacturing, transportation, recovery, and reprocessing. Are bioplastics a better option? At the beginning of life, bioplastics made with plant-based renewable raw materials have a reduced carbon footprint and minimize concerns about greenhouse gas emissions. Bioplastics – closing the loop BUILDING BLOCKS and biopolymers containing biogenic carbon taken from the atmosphere. CELLULO SE, STARCH, ILS O SUGAR, Biotechnology and chemistry BIO PLASTIC RESINS BIO-BASED PLASTICS are a large family of materials that are derived from renewable materials, some can be compostable. RENEWABLE RESOURCES increase resource efficiency and reduce CO 2 emissions. Extraction BIO M ASS O rganic waste biomass asinput for production Compost as input forplant growth REUSE Conversion MECHANICAL RECYCLING is the best end-of-life option for the majority of bioplastics, e.g. bio-based PET or bio-based PE . CO 2 as input for plant growth Energy recovery PRODUCTS made from bioplastics can be found in all applications in which fossil-based plastics are used. ORGANIC RECYCLING makes use of untapped biowaste potential and strengthens the secondary raw material market. O RG ANIC WASTE ENERGY RECOVERY is an additional end-of-life option for bioplastic materials where an alternative waste management infrastructure does not exist. Graph: Life cycle model of bioplastics. Source: European Bioplastics 50 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/20] Vol. 15

Opinion By: By Mark Remmert, CEO, Green Dot Bioplastics Emporia, Kansas, USA Biobased raw materials are by definition renewable since they are grown, not extracted. Compostable plastics will play a huge role in allowing better waste management alternatives for food waste, garden waste, lawn debris, and agricultural waste. Placing these organic wastes in a bag or container specifically for compostables enables a mechanism to easily collect the waste and send it to a convenient composting facility without having to separate plastic food service ware or other products from the organic waste. Of course, we all agree we should recycle all the paper, glass, aluminum, and plastics that we can. Improving the process for plastics collection and recycling is one step but the next big leap is adoption of biobased plastics with better beginning of life derivatives, as well as compostable plastics that offer organic recycling (composting) end of life to return to nature. A more comprehensive version of this opinion can be found in the blogpost at [1] References: [1] Traditional petroleum-based plastics ideal lifecycle. Source: GreenBlue Sustainable Packaging Coalition Recycling Sorting Collection Material MFRS Consumers Converters Retailers Brand Owners / Product MFRS Distribution/ Warehousing ‘Basics‘ book on bioplastics 110 pages full color, paperback ISBN 978-3- 9814981-1-0: Bioplastics ISBN 978-3- 9814981-2-7: Biokunststoffe 2. überarbeitete Auflage This book, created and published by Polymedia Publisher, maker of bioplastics MAGAZINE is available in English and German language (German now in the second, revised edition). The book is intended to offer a rapid and uncomplicated introduction into the subject of bioplastics, and is aimed at all interested readers, in particular those who have not yet had the opportunity to dig deeply into the subject, such as students or those just joining this industry, and lay readers. It gives an introduction to plastics and bioplastics, explains which renewable resources can be used to produce bioplastics, what types of bioplastic exist, and which ones are already on the market. Further aspects, such as market development, the agricultural land required, and waste disposal, are also examined. An extensive index allows the reader to find specific aspects quickly, and is complemented by a comprehensive literature list and a guide to sources of additional information on the Internet. The author Michael Thielen is editor and publisher bioplastics MAGAZINE. He is a qualified machinery design engineer with a degree in plastics technology from the RWTH University in Aachen. He has written several books on the subject of blow-moulding technology and disseminated his knowledge of plastics in numerous presentations, seminars, guest lectures and teaching assignments. Discounted price for this edition (as long as supply lasts) € 10.00 New edition scheduled for summer 2020 Order now for € 10.00 (discounted price) (+ VAT where applicable, plus shipping and handling, ask for details) order at, by phone +49 2161 6884463 or by e-mail Or subscribe and get it as a free gift (see page 69 for details bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/20] Vol. 15 51

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