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issue 03/2021

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

28 bioplastics MAGAZINE

28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/21] Vol. 16

The Renewable Carbon Initiative A new movement draws worldwide attention The Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) was initiated by the nova-Institute after observing the struggles of the chemical and plastics industry in facing the enormous challenges to meet the climate goals set by the European Union and the sustainability expectations held by societies around the globe. It was clear that the industry has to go beyond using renewable energy and also consider their raw materials. Decarbonisation is not an option for organic chemistry as it is entirely based on the use of carbon – an alternative strategy was needed. Hence, nova-Institute developed the renewable carbon strategy and set up the RCI to bring theory to life. Eleven leading companies from six countries founded the RCI under the leadership of nova-Institute (23.09.20) – in May 2021 RCI had already 20 members, 5 partners and more than 200 supporters. The initiative aims to support and speed up the transition from fossil carbon to renewable carbon for all organic chemicals and materials. The RCI addresses the core problem of climate change, which is largely related to extracting and using additional fossil carbon from the ground. The vision is stated clearly: By 2050, fossil carbon shall be completely substituted by renewable carbon. Renewable carbon is carbon from To help communicate the concept of Renewable Carbon bioplastics MAGAZINE published a short comprehensive comic (made by the nova-Institute/RCI) on the following two pages. The comic is placed at the centrefold so it can be easily removed and shown to friends and colleagues within and outside the industry. AT alternative sources: biomass, direct CO 2 utilisation, and recycling. The founders are convinced that this is the only way for chemicals, plastics, and other derived products to become more sustainable, more climate-friendly, and part of the circular economy – part of the future. The RCI urges the industry to go beyond just using renewable energy and face the issue that ALL fossil carbon use has to end, as the carbon contained in the molecules of organic chemicals and materials is prone to end up in the atmosphere sooner or later as well. Only a full phaseout of fossil carbon will help to prevent a further increase in CO 2 concentrations. Consequently, companies are encouraged to focus on phasing out fossil resources and to use renewable carbon instead. Currently, RCI aims at fostering networks among its members and building new value chains to replace fossil carbon with biomass, CO 2 utilisation, and recycling. Since its launch, the initiative has been busy raising awareness and reaching out to industry, policy, and the public. Besides creating a webpage with comprehensive information and press releases on current policy issues such as the European Green Deal, the RCI regularly holds public webinars to address questions around renewable carbon. Moreover, the development of a label for products that use renewable carbon is on its way. A growing number of working partnerships with other stakeholder organisations like CO 2 Value Europe, Textile Exchange, or WWF Germany as well as participation in events such as the “Renewable Materials Conference” (see page 9) have already been established. Further joint activities are under development. The nova-Institute also published a comprehensive background paper (nova-Paper 12) 1 , covering the definition, strategy, measures, and potential of renewable carbon. It gives a full and in-depth picture of renewable carbon and related strategies – and works as a background paper of the RCI. The full paper can be downloaded for free (link below). In summary, the RCI’s activities reflect the needs of its members: awareness-raising for renewable carbon, promoting the strategy, networking, and building new value chains to replace fossil carbon with biomass, direct CO 2 utilisation and recycling. By: Michael Carus Founder and CEO Nova Institute Hürth, Germany Renewable Carbon | 1: See also pp 54-55 for an excerpt about Carbon Capture and Utilisation bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/21] Vol. 16 29

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