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Issue 04/2020

  • Text
  • Bottles
  • Biodegradable
  • Packaging
  • Sustainable
  • Environmental
  • Renewable
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Biobased
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Bottle Applications Beauty and Healthcare Basics: bio-PDO, bio-BDO

Certification Certified

Certification Certified biobased footwear Reebok to receive third-party verification of their ingredients The plant-based trend is evident within a variety of industries such as the food and beverages and personal care sectors due to the sustainability credentials of plant-derived ingredients. As sustainability becomes a growing priority for consumers and manufacturers alike, the use of plants expands beyond conventional purposes, reaching other industries in innovative ways. Footwear manufacturers, for instance, are catering to consumer demand for plant-based fashion by incorporating biobased-derived ingredients in product formulations [1]. Due to the rise in demand for shoes formulated from plant sources, manufacturers are adding additional steps into product development to receive third-party verification of their product ingredients. For example, manufacturers are submitting product ingredients for biobased testing. Biobased testing verifies the use of biomass-sourced ingredients, thus allowing companies to increase product appeal and promote sustainable fashion to consumers through biobased certification programs. Sportswear brand Reebok International Limited demonstrates its experience using biobased testing as a tool to validate product ingredients and successfully display the use of plant-derived material to consumers. The emergence of biobased ingredients and how to verify them With a growing focus on sustainability, leaders within the footwear sector are making efforts to reduce waste in supply chains, evolve operations and production methods, and utilize renewable material to overall limit their impact on the environment and reduce their carbon footprint [2]. This includes formulating finished products with biobased ingredients, which are materials derived from biomass resources, such as plant-based sources, animal byproducts, or other organic material that is available on a renewable and recurring basis [3]. When shifting from formulating with petroleum-based material to plant-derived ingredients, manufacturers need a reliable way of verifying ingredient sources. To differentiate between the portion of a product that is coming from renewable sources versus fossil fuel sources, biobased testing plays a key role. This is performed via carbon-14 (or 14 C) analysis at radiocarbon dating laboratories [4]. Measuring the biobased content of product ingredients relies on the ASTM D6866 standard, which is an international standard that uses radiocarbon dating to determine the biobased content of solid, liquid, and gaseous samples [5] Recently living material contains a portion of 14 C content while fossil-derived material no longer contains the radioactive isotope. Therefore, when applying biobased testing to measure the amount of 14 C present in a sample, a result between 1 % and 100 % biobased carbon indicates that the sample contains plant-based ingredients. When employing 14 C testing to an item that is solely petroleum-based, this will yield a result of 0 % biobased carbon content [4] On top of submitting samples to a radiocarbon dating laboratory for biobased testing, manufacturers and distributors often take it one step further by certifying products to receive biobased certifications and eco-labels. Certification allows consumers to easily identify plantbased products in the marketplace. In addition, biobased eco-labels increase consumer confidence in a product and its ingredient claims since the product has been verified by a third-party laboratory [6] Demonstrating biobased through certification Applying for biobased certification programs enables qualified applicants to visibly display that a product is derived in full or in part from biobased sources. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred ® Certification Program includes a voluntary labeling initiative that aims to help consumers identify biobased products in the marketplace. Under this program, companies must submit product samples to a third-party ISO 9001 conformant laboratory to analyze the product’s biobased content according to the ASTM D6866 standard [7, 8]. The USDA BioPreferred Program encompasses several product categories, each of which contains a required minimum biobased content for a product to qualify [9]. For shoes specifically, which are part of the clothing category, products must contain a minimum of 25 % biobased carbon content for eligibility [10]. If a product meets the USDA criteria for certification, the item can display the USDA Certified Biobased Product label, which includes the percentage of biobased content. Case study: Reebok Reebok International exemplifies its commitment to fulfilling consumer demand for sustainable shoe wear options by formulating products with biobased ingredients. Reebok International Limited is a footwear and apparel company that was founded in England, a subsidiary of German sporting goods giant Adidas since 2005. Reebok 40 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/20] Vol. 15

Certification By: Haley Gershon Marketing Manager Beta Analytic Miami, Florida, USA Mike Andrews Director of Advanced Development Reebok International Limited Boston, Massachusetts, USA produces and distributes fitness, running, and CrossFit sportswear including clothing and footwear. The company’s global headquarters are located in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. In 2014, Reebok kickstarted an initiative to develop a sustainable line of footwear. Director of Advanced Development for Reebok Future, Mike Andrews first sought to leverage a well-established silhouette in the Newport Classic (NPC) and completely overhaul the model to replace every material in the shoe with a biobased equivalent. “I wanted to develop a shoe that when someone went into a store, the shoe would look the same as any other shoe, and have all of the same performance capabilities, aesthetics, and cost as any other shoe on the market. The only difference was that the shoe would also happen to be majority biobased.” Once the materials were selected, and development of the shoes completed, Mike enrolled in the USDA BioPreferred Program, using Beta Analytic’s radiocarbon dating laboratory to validate Cotton & Corn as 75 % biobased – becoming the first major footwear brand to do so. Later this year, Reebok will launch the first USDA certified performance running shoe in their Forever FloatRide Energy Grow collection and use the certification framework to establish [REE]Grow as an internal standard for Reebok sustainability initiatives. Reebok has also announced that every product in their range will be majority biobased by 2030. Conclusion Substituting petrochemical-derived ingredients for plant-based alternatives is a critical step for shoe wear manufacturers tending to environmental-conscious consumers. As manufacturers develop plant-based products, submitting product samples to radiocarbon laboratories allows companies to receive third-party verification of a product’s biobased carbon content. Biobased testing has provided companies like Reebok with the data required for biobased certification and eco-label eligibility. | References [1] AllThings.Bio. Good shoes take you good places – the rise of bio-based footwear. [Internet]. (2017 August 14). [2] Leand, J. Sustainability, Athleisure to Shape Athletic and Outdoor Footwear Market in 2019. Sourcing Journal. [Internet]. (31 January 2019) outdoor-footwear-2019-131118/ [3] United States Department of Agriculture. Biobased Intermediates Advance the Shoe Industry. [Internet]. Accessed May 19, 2020. https:// [4] Beta Analytic. Understanding Carbon-14 Analysis. [Internet]. Accessed May 19, 2020. dating.html [5] ASTM International. ASTM D6866 - 18, Standard Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis. [Internet]. (2018) https://www. [6] Enright, C. Certifying the Standard. ASTM International. [Internet]. (2020) [7] Maxwell, J. Driving the Biobased Economy. ASTM International. [Internet]. (2019) [8] United States Department of Agriculture. What is BioPreferred?. [Internet]. Accessed May 19, 2020. BioPreferred/faces/pages/AboutBioPreferred.xhtml [9] United States Department of Agriculture. Voluntary Labeling Initiative. [Internet]. Accessed May 19, 2020. BioPreferred/faces/pages/AboutBioPreferred.xhtml [10) United States Department of Agriculture. Product Categories. [Internet]. Accessed May 19, 2020. bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/20] Vol. 15 41

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