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issue 03/2021

Highlights: Bottles / Blow Moulding Joining Bioplastics Basics: Carbon Capture

Blow Moulding / Bottles

Blow Moulding / Bottles Bio2Bottle Novel durable, biodegradable, and recyclable bottles made from bioplastics In the twin screw extruder, compounds can be produced from biobased components, for example (Photo: Fraunhofer UMSICHT/ Christoph Bohnenkamp) According to the German Environment Agency, around 6.28 million tonnes of plastic waste are currently generated in Germany alone (2019) [1]. Meanwhile, critical discussions in society and politics have long since led to the need to consider new targets in plastics development. The environmental awareness that has arisen among both end consumers and industrial companies is leading to an even greater demand for sustainable products in the future. In their sales strategy, companies are increasingly focusing on avoiding critical products and placing great emphasis on recyclability and biodegradability. The Bio2Bottle project, which is coordinated by Fraunhofer UMSICHT (Oberhausen, Germany), starts precisely here and has set itself the goal of developing a biobased and recyclable plastic for the production of bottles. Requirements for biodegradable bottles The focus of the Bio2Bottle project is the development of a biobased plastic that is simultaneously suitable for the storage and transport of cleaning agents and agricultural soil additives, recyclable, and biodegradable. Key requirements for these applications are high water vapour barrier, stability and melt viscosity of the material. Carbon dioxide and oxygen permeability, as well as gamma sterilization, will also be considered in the development. In addition to these stringent requirements, the materials must be recyclable and biodegradable – even outside industrial composting facilities. Some marketable products already use bottles made from biobased plastics such as polylactic acid (PLA). PLA is a biobased polyester based on lactic acid with a high mechanical resilience, similar to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). However, the material is not suitable for the intended applications due to an insufficient water vapour barrier. “In the joint project, biobased polymers are selected and their properties are modified by compounding with additional components in such a way that these high requirements are met,” explains Inna Bretz, Head of the Department of Circular and Biobased Plastics at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. “The goal of the project is to combine biobased materials and recyclability,” she continues. Future research for less plastic waste Fraunhofer UMSICHT already has many years of experience in the development of marketable plastic materials based on renewable resources. With the Bio2Bottle project, the institute ensures that the material development meets the special requirements of the customers for their application. Furthermore, the joint project aims to demonstrate that the bottle material can be reprocessed in a technically efficient recycling process, making it more competitive. The longterm use of the bottles, as well as their reuse leads to less plastic waste and a reduced consumption of fossil raw materials for short-term products. In addition to this, the biodegradability of the biobased bottles will be investigated and tuned under the coordination of Fraunhofer UMSICHT. AT [1] https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/daten/ressourcen-abfall/verwertungentsorgung-ausgewaehlter-abfallarten/kunststoffabfaelle https://www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de Bio2Bottle cooperation partners Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT, Oberhausen, Germany cleaneroo, Berlin, Germany UnaveraChemLab, Mittenwald, Germany FKuR Kunststoff (FKuR), Willich, Germany Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik (FMU), Großhelfendorf, Germany – (associated partner) Funding note: Agency for Renewable Resources e.V. (FNR) Funding program “Renewable raw materials” of the BMEL 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/21] Vol. 16

SGH Healthcaring (Saint-Marcellin, France), a preferred partner of the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries, is launching a new range of primary packaging called Greenov. The group is marking Earth Day by reaffirming its commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its activities and products, which it made over 10 years ago when it signed the United Nations Global Compact. As part of its CSR strategy, the SGH Healthcaring Group has set itself the target of replace raw materials derived from fossil fuels with recycled and/or bio-sourced materials, wherever the regulations governing the company’s activities allow it. Its teams regularly test new materials in response to environmental issues. The Greenov range is based on three product families that provide the perfect solution to these problems: - 100 % recycled rPET is made entirely from plastic bottles. Once they have been separated out from other waste, the bottles are shredded, washed, and made into pellets. Food-grade, recyclable rPET has the same technical characteristics as virgin PET. It is used to produce bottles designed for liquids (such as syrups and drinkable solutions) and pill dispensers for solid forms (such as gel capsules, soft capsules, tablets, and gummies). The range comprises 16 bottles ranging in volume from 60 ml to 1L and five pill dispensers ranging from 50 to 250 ml. - Biosourced PE is a plant-based plastic derived from sugar-cane and used to produce a range of 13 pill dispensers designed for solid forms (gel capsules, soft capsules, tablets, and gummies) ranging in volume from 30 to 250 ml. - Mass Balance PE comes from recycled materials and biomass, combining recycled and biosourced raw materials with others derived from fossil fuels. It is also used to produce a range of 13 pill dispensers designed for solid forms (gel capsules, soft capsules, tablets, and gummies) ranging in volume from 30 to 250 ml. Reducing the impact of plastic materials “As a manufacturer of medical devices and primary and secondary packaging made from polymers, we understand every decision we make may have a more or less significant impact on the environment. For many years, our production facilities have been optimised to avoid product losses, consume as little energy as possible and recycle rejects. Today, we are embarking on a new stage, by sourcing Eco-friendly bottles for food supplements recycled or biosourced materials. Consumers, and therefore our customers, are expressing a clear desire for reducing the use of plastic. While we cannot eradicate it completely, since it remains an essential product for certain applications, particularly in the health sector, with qualities that are difficult to compete with – it is light, affordable, transformable, robust, and recyclable – we can improve it. One of our members of staff has been tasked with identifying alternatives we can use in order to test them quickly. The three product families we have already selected have required a significant level of work to bring into production and we are currently running other promising trials,” comments Jérôme Empereur, CEO of SGH Healthcaring. AT https://www.sgh-healthcaring.com Blow Moulding / Bottles bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/21] Vol. 16 17

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