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Issue 04/2018

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Opinion Bioplastics

Opinion Bioplastics facade mock-up, Campus University Stuttgart, Germany ReNature glue stick Punch and stapler (Novus) Questionable closeness to industry Meanwhile, Nägele und Pfitzer see themselves having reached step two which means to be combated. Here, the main challenge will not be the competition to the oil industry but even hostility out of a totally unexpected corner, from acteurs which Tecnaro thought they would give backing. However, a world-wide environmental organization has just thrown down a gauntlet. “Initially, this nonprofit environmental organization tackled with questionable theses against a near to finalization contract concerning a product being developed over months for a large customer. Afterwards, the related partners of this organization took benefit of this business opportunity based on Tecnaro’s development”, says Pfitzer. “We’ve lost our faith”, say the two Tecnaro leaders. “As a manufacturer of biobased granules from renewable resources we constantly have to answer questions from anywhere and have to keep expensive records additionally. However, this procedure would not have to be performed by manufacturers of oil-based polymers. It seems really bizarre that such environmental organizations have now discovered established bioplastics for themselves and are commercializing this technology and, against their better knowledge, create distortions of competition – and in this case even in favor of conventional oil-based plastics”, says Jürgen Pfitzer. In this context, Pfitzer cites an Italian proverb which says: “Anyone who does everything for the sake of money will soon do everything for the money.” Fiscal advantage for oil-based plastics This year, Tecnaro is focusing on other topics witch are especially its 20-years anniversary and the trend-setting market movement thus arriving even under the wide knowledge of the fact that oil-based plastics has still favorable terms of tax (at least in Germany). This special position within fiscal legislation goes back to the 60’s and has today only little public awareness. In this context, it is remarkable that at that time, their justification was that oil-based plastic waste would not be burnt, in contrast to fuel. Nägele and Pfitzer are not alone in considering the subsidy for oil-based plastics as unjustified. In this context, just recently, Robert Habeck, Chairman of the German Green party, has required to introduce an EU-wide tax on oil-based plastics for disposable items. This was published in the media accordingly. Nägele und Pfitzer consider it absurd that there is a tax allowance of several millions of euros per year for the plastic flood. “For years, we have been recommending an additional CO 2 -emission tax on products made of fossil raw materials and now, we found out that these 28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/18] Vol. 13

Opinion are even exempt from mineral oil tax“, says Jürgen Pfitzer, shaking his head. “And this has an influence on the whole biobased industry, too. Within our industry, the price is an important decision criterion“, says Helmut Nägele. Jürgen Pfitzer adds: “Especially in terms of fossil raw materials or for uranium and rare earth, for example, but also on use of pesticides and on bottling water in Africa it has shown that opportunities and profits are always privatized and risks and losses socialized! The ecological footprint of products is usually excluded from the account. Besides tax allowances, this procedure results in a further distortion of competition at the expense of environment and common public. “It is not acceptable that a few big oil companies and multi-billionaires and its shareholders take profit from generally available but globally limited resources of raw materials or to throw toxic pesticides on the market that simply kill everything except their own cereals. Equally worrying is the fact that bottlingwater in Africa with the “innovation” of simply digging deeper wells than it is possible for the villagers. Simultaneously, the general public has to carry the risks and costs for climate changes through CO 2 - emissions, oil rig- or oil tanker accidents, defective pipeline, polluted oceans, dying bees, insects, animals and plants, Destruction of arable land due to rising sea levels, devastation of entire regions or other environmental disasters with irreparable damage, global wars for oil and resulting refugee flows. However, if these costs were to be distributed according to the polluter-pays principle, as is usual everywhere else, and preferably with a share of the costs shared by the arms industry, peace in the world would be achieved tomorrow,” said Managing Director Jürgen Pfitzer. Customized for double production capacity Above all – on the 2 nd of July, 2018, Tecnaro celebrated its 20 th anniversary. A further reason to be pleased is the investment in a factory-new machine. It is a twin-screw extruder delivered by KraussMaffei Berstorff and allows, thanks to the added sophisticated plant engineering, to double production capacity at Tecnaro. With this plant, the specialists from Ilsfeld are optionally prepared for the increasing demand of custom-made organic plastic compounds. Furthermore, the machine is planned to be used for research and development purposes and to conduct extensive tests using an upscaling procedure, for example. Here, formulations can be tested for practicality with a throughput of up to one ton per hour. Once again: First be smiled at, then fought against and finally regarded as a matter of course. However, the Binabo ball is now in everyone’s court and stands for a better future without fossil plastics. MT Awards and Prizes: • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 ZDF WISO German Founders Award Euromold Award in Gold 1. Einfach Genial Preis of the MDR • 2002 Award from the Material ConneXion New York for ARBOFORM as “Best Product in Show 2002“ • 2007 VR-Innovationspreis 2007 • 2008 Werkbund Label 2008 • 2009 Deutsche Industriepreis 2009 • 2010 • 2011 European Inventor Award (handed over at a ceremony in Madrid by the European Patent Office and today’s Spanish royal couple Queen Letizia and King Felipe Diesel Medal for the most sustainable innovation of the year • 2015/16/17 Green Brand Germany Siegel Awards eceived by Tecnaro’s customers: • 2008 • 2016 • 2017 • 2017 German Design AWARD 2018 – WINNER Deutscher Verpackungspreis reddot Award 2017-best of the best GreenTEC Award 2017 (2. Place) • 2018 Green Good Design Award 20182018 German Innovation AWARD 2018 Mockmill cereal grinder bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/18] Vol. 13 29

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