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Issue 04/2015

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  • Bioplastics
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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1504

Basics Gelatine |

Basics Gelatine | Translucent brittle solid substance, colorless or slightly yellow, nearly tasteless and odorless, extracted from the collagen inside animals‘ connective tissue. Genetically modified organism (GMO) | Organisms, such as plants and animals, whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered are called genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food and feed which contain or consist of such GMOs, or are produced from GMOs, are called genetically modified (GM) food or feed [1]. If GM crops are used in bioplastics production, the multiple-stage processing and the high heat used to create the polymer removes all traces of genetic material. This means that the final bioplastics product contains no genetic traces. The resulting bioplastics is therefore well suited to use in food packaging as it contains no genetically modified material and cannot interact with the contents. Global Warming | Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century and its projected continuation [8]. Global warming is said to be accelerated by → green house gases. Glucose | Monosaccharide (or simple sugar). G. is the most important carbohydrate (sugar) in biology. G. is formed by photosynthesis or hydrolyse of many carbohydrates e. g. starch. Greenhouse gas GHG | Gaseous constituent of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorbs and emits radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the earth’s surface, the atmosphere, and clouds [1, 9] Greenwashing | The act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company, or the environmental benefits of a product or service [1, 10] Granulate, granules | small plastic particles (3-4 millimetres), a form in which plastic is sold and fed into machines, easy to handle and dose. HMF (5-HMF) | 5-hydroxymethylfurfural is an organic compound derived from sugar dehydration. It is a platform chemical, a building block for 20 performance polymers and over 175 different chemical substances. The molecule consists of a furan ring which contains both aldehyde and alcohol functional groups. 5-HMF has applications in many different industries such as bioplastics, packaging, pharmaceuticals, adhesives and chemicals. One of the most promising routes is 2,5 furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), produced as an intermediate when 5-HMF is oxidised. FDCA is used to produce PEF, which can substitute terephthalic acid in polyester, especially polyethylene terephthalate (PET). [bM 03/14] Home composting | →composting [bM 06/08] Humus | In agriculture, humus is often used simply to mean mature →compost, or natural compost extracted from a forest or other spontaneous source for use to amend soil. Hydrophilic | Property: water-friendly, soluble in water or other polar solvents (e.g. used in conjunction with a plastic which is not water resistant and weather proof or that absorbs water such as Polyamide (PA). Hydrophobic | Property: water-resistant, not soluble in water (e.g. a plastic which is water resistant and weather proof, or that does not absorb any water such as Polyethylene (PE) or Polypropylene (PP). Industrial composting | is an established process with commonly agreed upon requirements (e.g. temperature, timeframe) for transforming biodegradable waste into stable, sanitised products to be used in agriculture. The criteria for industrial compostability of packaging have been defined in the EN 13432. Materials and products complying with this standard can be certified and subsequently labelled accordingly [1,7] [bM 06/08, 02/09] ISO | International Organization for Standardization JBPA | Japan Bioplastics Association Land use | The surface required to grow sufficient feedstock (land use) for today’s bioplastic production is less than 0.01 percent of the global agricultural area of 5 billion hectares. It is not yet foreseeable to what extent an increased use of food residues, non-food crops or cellulosic biomass (see also →1 st /2 nd /3 rd generation feedstock) in bioplastics production might lead to an even further reduced land use in the future [bM 04/09, 01/14] LCA | is the compilation and evaluation of the input, output and the potential environmental impact of a product system throughout its life cycle [17]. It is sometimes also referred to as life cycle analysis, ecobalance or cradle-tograve analysis. [bM 01/09] Littering | is the (illegal) act of leaving waste such as cigarette butts, paper, tins, bottles, cups, plates, cutlery or bags lying in an open or public place. Marine litter | Following the European Commission’s definition, “marine litter consists of items that have been deliberately discarded, unintentionally lost, or transported by winds and rivers, into the sea and on beaches. It mainly consists of plastics, wood, metals, glass, rubber, clothing and paper”. Marine debris originates from a variety of sources. Shipping and fishing activities are the predominant sea-based, ineffectively managed landfills as well as public littering the main land-based sources. Marine litter can pose a threat to living organisms, especially due to ingestion or entanglement. Currently, there is no international standard available, which appropriately describes the biodegradation of plastics in the marine environment. However, a number of standardisation projects are in progress at ISO and ASTM level. Furthermore, the European project OPEN BIO addresses the marine biodegradation of biobased products. Mass balance | describes the relationship between input and output of a specific substance within a system in which the output from the system cannot exceed the input into the system. First attempts were made by plastic raw material producers to claim their products renewable (plastics) based on a certain input of biomass in a huge and complex chemical plant, then mathematically allocating this biomass input to the produced plastic. These approaches are at least controversially disputed [bM 04/14, 05/14, 01/15] Microorganism | Living organisms of microscopic size, such as bacteria, funghi or yeast. Molecule | group of at least two atoms held together by covalent chemical bonds. Monomer | molecules that are linked by polymerization to form chains of molecules and then plastics Mulch film | Foil to cover bottom of farmland Organic recycling | means the treatment of separately collected organic waste by anaerobic digestion and/or composting. Oxo-degradable / Oxo-fragmentable | materials and products that do not biodegrade! The underlying technology of oxo-degradability or oxo-fragmentation is based on special additives, which, if incorporated into standard resins, are purported to accelerate the fragmentation of products made thereof. Oxodegradable or oxo-fragmentable materials do not meet accepted industry standards on compostability such as EN 13432. [bM 01/09, 05/09] PBAT | Polybutylene adipate terephthalate, is an aliphatic-aromatic copolyester that has the properties of conventional polyethylene but is fully biodegradable under industrial composting. PBAT is made from fossil petroleum with first attempts being made to produce it partly from renewable resources [bM 06/09] PBS | Polybutylene succinate, a 100% biodegradable polymer, made from (e.g. bio-BDO) and succinic acid, which can also be produced biobased [bM 03/12]. PC | Polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyester, petroleum based and not degradable, used for e.g. baby bottles or CDs. Criticized for its BPA (→ Bisphenol-A) content. PCL | Polycaprolactone, a synthetic (fossil based), biodegradable bioplastic, e.g. used as a blend component. PE | Polyethylene, thermoplastic polymerised from ethylene. Can be made from renewable resources (sugar cane via bio-ethanol) [bM 05/10] PEF | polyethylene furanoate, a polyester made from monoethylene glycol (MEG) and →FDCA (2,5-furandicarboxylic acid , an intermediate chemical produced from 5-HMF). It can be a 100% biobased alternative for PET. PEF also has improved product characteristics, such as better structural strength and improved barrier behaviour, which will allow for the use of PEF bottles in additional applications. [bM 03/11, 04/12] PET | Polyethylenterephthalate, transparent polyester used for bottles and film. The polyester is made from monoethylene glycol (MEG), that can be renewably sourced from bio-ethanol (sugar cane) and (until now fossil) terephthalic acid [bM 04/14] PGA | Polyglycolic acid or Polyglycolide is a biodegradable, thermoplastic polymer and the simplest linear, aliphatic polyester. Besides ist use in the biomedical field, PGA has been introduced as a barrier resin [bM 03/09] PHA | Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) or the polyhydroxy fatty acids, are a family of biodegradable polyesters. As in many mammals, including humans, that hold energy reserves in the form of body fat there are also bacteria that hold intracellular reserves in for of of polyhydroxy alkanoates. Here the microorganisms store a particularly high level of 44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/15] Vol. 10

Basics energy reserves (up to 80% of their own body weight) for when their sources of nutrition become scarce. By farming this type of bacteria, and feeding them on sugar or starch (mostly from maize), or at times on plant oils or other nutrients rich in carbonates, it is possible to obtain PHA‘s on an industrial scale [11]. The most common types of PHA are PHB (Polyhydroxybutyrate, PHBV and PHBH. Depending on the bacteria and their food, PHAs with different mechanical properties, from rubbery soft trough stiff and hard as ABS, can be produced. Some PHSs are even biodegradable in soil or in a marine environment PLA | Polylactide or Polylactic Acid (PLA), a biodegradable, thermoplastic, linear aliphatic polyester based on lactic acid, a natural acid, is mainly produced by fermentation of sugar or starch with the help of micro-organisms. Lactic acid comes in two isomer forms, i.e. as laevorotatory D(-)lactic acid and as dextrorotary L(+)lactic acid. Modified PLA types can be produced by the use of the right additives or by certain combinations of L- and D- lactides (stereocomplexing), which then have the required rigidity for use at higher temperatures [13] [bM 01/09, 01/12] Plastics | Materials with large molecular chains of natural or fossil raw materials, produced by chemical or biochemical reactions. PPC | Polypropylene Carbonate, a bioplastic made by copolymerizing CO 2 with propylene oxide (PO) [bM 04/12] PTT | Polytrimethylterephthalate (PTT), partially biobased polyester, is similarly to PET produced using terephthalic acid or dimethyl terephthalate and a diol. In this case it is a biobased 1,3 propanediol, also known as bio- PDO [bM 01/13] Renewable Resources | agricultural raw materials, which are not used as food or feed, but as raw material for industrial products or to generate energy. The use of renewable resources by industry saves fossil resources and reduces the amount of → greenhouse gas emissions. Biobased plastics are predominantly made of annual crops such as corn, cereals and sugar beets or perennial cultures such as cassava and sugar cane. Resource efficiency | Use of limited natural resources in a sustainable way while minimising impacts on the environment. A resource efficient economy creates more output or value with lesser input. Seedling Logo | The compostability label or logo Seedling is connected to the standard EN 13432/EN 14995 and a certification process managed by the independent institutions →DIN CERTCO and → Vinçotte. Bioplastics products carrying the Seedling fulfil the criteria laid down in the EN 13432 regarding industrial compostability. [bM 01/06, 02/10] Saccharins or carbohydrates | Saccharins or carbohydrates are name for the sugar-family. Saccharins are monomer or polymer sugar units. For example, there are known mono-, di- and polysaccharose. → glucose is a monosaccarin. They are important for the diet and produced biology in plants. Semi-finished products | plastic in form of sheet, film, rods or the like to be further processed into finshed products Sorbitol | Sugar alcohol, obtained by reduction of glucose changing the aldehyde group to an additional hydroxyl group. S. is used as a plasticiser for bioplastics based on starch. Starch | Natural polymer (carbohydrate) consisting of → amylose and → amylopectin, gained from maize, potatoes, wheat, tapioca etc. When glucose is connected to polymerchains in definite way the result (product) is called starch. Each molecule is based on 300 -12000-glucose units. Depending on the connection, there are two types → amylose and → amylopectin known. [bM 05/09] Starch derivatives | Starch derivatives are based on the chemical structure of → starch. The chemical structure can be changed by introducing new functional groups without changing the → starch polymer. The product has different chemical qualities. Mostly the hydrophilic character is not the same. Starch-ester | One characteristic of every starch-chain is a free hydroxyl group. When every hydroxyl group is connected with an acid one product is starch-ester with different chemical properties. Starch propionate and starch butyrate | Starch propionate and starch butyrate can be synthesised by treating the → starch with propane or butanic acid. The product structure is still based on → starch. Every based → glucose fragment is connected with a propionate or butyrate ester group. The product is more hydrophobic than → starch. Sustainable | An attempt to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural environments both now and into the indefinite future. One famous definition of sustainability is the one created by the Brundtland Commission, led by the former Norwegian Prime Minister G. H. Brundtland. The Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as development that ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ Sustainability relates to the continuity of economic, social, institutional and environmental aspects of human society, as well as the nonhuman environment). Sustainable sourcing | of renewable feedstock for biobased plastics is a prerequisite for more sustainable products. Impacts such as the deforestation of protected habitats or social and environmental damage arising from poor agricultural practices must be avoided. Corresponding certification schemes, such as ISCC PLUS, WLC or Bon- Sucro, are an appropriate tool to ensure the sustainable sourcing of biomass for all applications around the globe. Sustainability | as defined by European Bioplastics, has three dimensions: economic, social and environmental. This has been known as “the triple bottom line of sustainability”. This means that sustainable development involves the simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity, environmental protection and social equity. In other words, businesses have to expand their responsibility to include these environmental and social dimensions. Sustainability is about making products useful to markets and, at the same time, having societal benefits and lower environmental impact than the alternatives currently available. It also implies a commitment to continuous improvement that should result in a further reduction of the environmental footprint of today’s products, processes and raw materials used. Thermoplastics | Plastics which soften or melt when heated and solidify when cooled (solid at room temperature). Thermoplastic Starch | (TPS) → starch that was modified (cooked, complexed) to make it a plastic resin Thermoset | Plastics (resins) which do not soften or melt when heated. Examples are epoxy resins or unsaturated polyester resins. Vinçotte | independant certifying organisation for the assessment on the conformity of bioplastics WPC | Wood Plastic Composite. Composite materials made of wood fiber/flour and plastics (mostly polypropylene). Yard Waste | Grass clippings, leaves, trimmings, garden residue. References: [1] Environmental Communication Guide, European Bioplastics, Berlin, Germany, 2012 [2] ISO 14067. Carbon footprint of products - Requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication [3] CEN TR 15932, Plastics - Recommendation for terminology and characterisation of biopolymers and bioplastics, 2010 [4] CEN/TS 16137, Plastics - Determination of bio-based carbon content, 2011 [5] ASTM D6866, Standard Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis [6] SPI: Understanding Biobased Carbon Content, 2012 [7] EN 13432, Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation. Test scheme and evaluation criteria for the final acceptance of packaging, 2000 [8] Wikipedia [9] ISO 14064 Greenhouse gases -- Part 1: Specification with guidance..., 2006 [10] Terrachoice, 2010, www.terrachoice.com [11] Thielen, M.: Bioplastics: Basics. Applications. Markets, Polymedia Publisher, 2012 [12] Lörcks, J.: Biokunststoffe, Broschüre der FNR, 2005 [13] de Vos, S.: Improving heat-resistance of PLA using poly(D-lactide), bioplastics MAGAZINE, Vol. 3, Issue 02/2008 [14] de Wilde, B.: Anaerobic Digestion, bioplastics MAGAZINE, Vol 4., Issue 06/2009 [15] ISO 14067 onb Corbon Footprint of Products [16] ISO 14021 on Self-declared Environmental claims [17] ISO 14044 on Life Cycle Assessment bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/15] Vol. 10 45

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