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Issue 04/2017

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Biobased
  • Plastics
  • Products
  • Materials
  • Carbon
  • Content
  • Packaging
  • Biodegradable
  • Germany
bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1704

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Application AutomotiveNews Green credit card As the nation’s first bank, The German Triodos Bank (Frankfurt, Germany – headquartered in Zeist, The Netherlands) will use credit cards made of bioplastics for its “GrünCard Plus MasterCard”. This new generation of credit cards made from polylactic acid (PLA) is not produced from fossil fuels but from renewable raw materials. Georg Schürmann, Managing Director of Triodos Bank in Germany, explains: “With the PLA credit card we show that plastics made from finite, fossil raw materials can be replaced in many areas of our lives. Thus, we want to stimulate sustainable, resource-conserving consumer behavior. More than 130 million credit and debit cards from fossil-based plastics in Germany alone show how many resources are consumed is in this area. If we were to lay all these cards end to end, they would stretch for a distance of over 11,000 kilometers, which is about the distance from the North Cape To Cape Town.“ This does not include the numerous customer cards distributed by companies and also made of plastic. The various plastic cards comprise to an amount which indeed is worth looking at. For the introduction of the new credit card, Europe’s leading sustainability bank has deliberately chosen its “GrünCardPlus MasterCard”, which they offer in combination with the sustainable bonus system Grünkauf. The “GrünCard-Plus MasterCard” offers the advantages of conventional credit cards, but at the same time promotes sustainable and deliberate consumption. Within the bonus system, points are collected for each purchase, which can be used for further purchases or also for social and ecological projects. Purchasing at one of the more than 60 sustainable Grünkauf partners is even rewarded with double points. Use of bioplastics as a first step The biodegradable PLA cards are made from renewable raw materials, mainly corn. However, Triodos Bank did not focus on the biodegradability of the cards, but on saving fossil resources. A positive side effect is the fact that the production of the bioplastics produces around 80 % less greenhouse gases than the production of petroleum-based plastics Georg Schürmann: “We are aware of the fact that there is still room for further improvements in the development of bioplastics. For example, it would be ideal if they could be produced from biological waste streams in the future so as not to have to use any agricultural land. It is important for us to reduce the consumption of fossil resources, so the Grünkauf credit card from PLA is a first step in the right direction for us.” Andreas Buchner, Managing Director of Grünkauf System GmbH: “After having introduced our GrünCard membership card made of PLA several years ago, we are delighted to be able to contribute our experience in this area to the GrünCardPlus MasterCard. The membership cards (for which however, the technical requirements were lower than for credit cards), we have now even converted to FSC-certified thinning wood as a raw material. “MT www.triodos.de Bed slat holders A key product manufactured by Grund GmbH & Co. KG, a plastics converter based in Oberwiesenthal, Germany, is bed slat holders. The company is now expanding their traditional product offering by using Dryflex Green thermoplastic elastomers from Hexpol TPE in their new generation bed slat holders. Jan Grund, Managing Director at Grund, explained: “We see customer demand moving towards sustainable materials. They want products that give the performance they need while also being environmentally friendly and responsibly produced. Dryflex Green is a family of biobased thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). They are opening up previously unreachable design solutions to the biobased thermoplastic market by covering a wider range of hardnesses, including softer grades from 20 Shore A through to 55 Shore D, while incorporating high levels of renewable content to over 90 %. The biobased content derives from raw materials such as polymers, fillers, plasticizers or additives. HEXPOL TPE has also developed compounds using organic fillers from plants, crops or trees; these give additional organic appearance and haptics. For the bed slat holders it was important that the TPE was efficient to process, with good flowability. It needed to be easy to colour and the compression set properties also needed to be considered. www.hexpolTPE.com 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/17] Vol. 12

Application Automotive News Barefoot shoe made from algae It is well known that algal blooms threaten marine environments all over the World. Chemical wastes – notably containing phosphorous and nitrates, often found in fertilizers – are seeping into waterways and creating conditions that trigger the uncontrollable growth of Algae. Algae is said to release toxins harmful to humans and animals, as well as depleting oxygen in the water and blocking sunlight – vital components to a healthy marine ecosystem. This can lead to mass deaths of local wildlife (marine mammals, fish-stocks, birds) and the pollution of drinking water and the air we breathe. By removing the Algae from marine-systems and replacing fossil-based plastics used for so many modern products, Mississippi, USA based Bloom Foam is tackling the problem head on. Bloom uses algae biomass harvested from freshwater sources around the world (and cleaning them up in the process) to make EVA foams. To produce the flexible, pliable foam the harvested algae biomass is dewatered and dried, polymerised and finally compounded with other ingedients. The biobased content (algae-content) of the finished product is between 15 and 60 %, depending on the formulation and intended application. Just recently Bloom and London (UK) based barefoot shoe company Vivobarefoot announced their partnership. For Vivobarefoot it’s a naturally perfect material for an Amphibious shoe like the Ultra III – being highly flexible and lightweight. The first algae foam shoes will be the first full shoes to use the material and will be available for purchase this summer. By using products made using Bloom Foam technology, customers can help make the World a cleaner place. Every pair will help re-circulate more than 200 liters of filtered water back into natural habitats, and prevent the equivalent of 40 balloons full of CO 2 being released into the Earth’s atmosphere. “Our goal is to deliver the most performance-driven materials in the most environmentallyresponsible manner,” said Mike Van Drunen, CEO of Bloom. “It is a goal we constantly strive to improve upon, and we are excited to collaborate with VIVOBAREFOOT on the new Ultra line.” “This is a true revolution for the footwear industry with the first plant based alternative to the petro-foams in ubiquitous use,” said Galahad Clark, founder and Managing Director at Vivobarefoot. “We are thrilled to be the first company to use BLOOM in our shoes and further our mission to make the perfect shoe… perfect for feet and minimal impact on the planet.” MT www.vivobarefoot.com | www.bloomfoam.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/17] Vol. 12 17

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