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issue 04/2021

  • Text
  • Toys
  • Toy
  • Carbon
  • Renewable
  • Biobased
  • Sustainable
  • Products
  • Packaging
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Toys Thermoforming Basics: Bio-Polypropylene

Toys carbonate from

Toys carbonate from industrial eggshell waste into polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) matrices. The main impact of the project was the modification and improvement of the mechanical properties and the physical appearance of the materials. Regarding the environmental impact, this use of the calcium carbonate from industrial eggshell residue allowed a waste stream that had hitherto been considered hazardous to be reduced and reused, while creating a new business line for the relevant industrial company. Research on new biomaterials changes constantly from year to year. AIJU keeps a close watch on these advancements and their relevance for the toy industry. The company has been working on new developments since 2019. A new biodegradable PHA polymer is being synthesised through a new technology that uses sludge from the wine industry in the B-PLAS Demo project funded by Climate KIC. For this project, an Italian company (B-Plas) was created, which is producing this new material. AIJU has been validating this material for injection moulding and 3D printing technologies, bearing in mind its usability for the toy sector, among others. Finally, the Becoming Green project involved the development of very interesting blends of different biodegradable materials, which allowed the properties of the materials to be tuned to the requirements of the toy, single-use products- and household products industry. This approach, using blends, made it possible to replace conventional materials with biopolymers. To evaluate the use of these new biobased blends, industrial partners have been working closely together, with the ultimate goal of designing new materials that meet the requirements to launch a new product on the market. Sustainable polymers, sustainable additives In addition to these projects, AIJU continues to collaborate on the BioMat4Future project, which is focused on the development of biobased additives for use as colourants and to enhance the performance of biodegradable and biobased materials, in order to fully implement these materials in the toy industry. The main objective is to obtain a product made from 100 % biobased raw materials; in other words, in which both the polymer and the additives used are sustainable. These bio-additives, used in the polymers, add specific properties or functionalities. The research was focused on the extraction of natural substances to be used as colourants, flame retardants, and antimicrobials. In the first scenario, which related to colourants, different extraction methods were used to obtain pigments from horticultural agri-food industrial wastes, such as carrot or lettuce leaves, broccoli, beetroot, cherries, or peaches. These pigments were subsequently incorporated into polymeric matrices of bio-PE, PLA, PBS, or a mixture of PLA/PBS, creating formulations with different colours, allowing the creation of final parts attractive for the enduser of the toys. The second line of research relates to flame retardancy. Here, lignin-based materials were tested on their flame retardant properties in bioplastics, for use as flame retardant additives in the toy industry. Lignin is an organic polymer component that comes from the woody part of the plants and is obtained from wood, shells of different nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or peanuts, and different seeds or cereals. It is the second most abundant polymer in nature, after cellulose [4-7] and it is often obtained from non-profitable parts of different products used in the food processing industry, such as the shells or peel of these nuts or seeds. Furthermore, lignin is a residue from the pulp and paper industry. Considerable research has already been carried out, focused on producing different lignin sources for use in plastics, resin, or the construction sector [8, 9]. One of the properties that lignin provides is its good behaviour against fire [5, 6], which led the researchers in this project to study the effect of its addition to different biomaterials in different quantities. On the other hand, lignin also provides a brown appearance to the material that can vary from a wood-like aspect to an attractive copper tone. For these two reasons, the new formulations are being tested in toy demonstrators. The final line of research is targeted at obtaining natural additives with an antimicrobial effect, using essential oils from citrus peels [8–10] from the juice industry in the Valencia region of Spain. These agri-food companies obtain the oils from the discarded peels of the fruit, a residue of the juice production process itself. In this case, it is a byproduct with a high value, useful in different industries such as cosmetics or perfume preparation. The research to date has addressed the characterization of the extracted oils, in order to learn about the properties of these oils and how to process them and at what temperature, to avoid their degradation and to retain their properties after obtaining the different formulations. The antimicrobial ability of these developed biomaterials was evaluated. The outputs of this project for toy manufacturers will include the creation of new functional biobased additives that can be used in combination with biopolymers for the production of new sustainable toys. Figure 3: Toy demonstrators achieved within the Biomat4future Scientific innovation, innovation in business Finally, the BioFCase project is also being developed. The main objective is to bring the different advances in the field of biomaterials closer to companies from different sectors, including toy companies. AIJU is collaborating with the companies to develop different products from the biopolymers and formulations studied in the projects described above, with the aim of transferring the advances 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

and knowledge generated in these lines of research about biomaterials to the toy industry. Companies will be able to implement these materials through a complete study about how to process, apply, and expand the business by fulfilling the environmental expectations of the end consumers. In addition to the work on biopolymers, AIJU works on the recycling of multilayer PET packaging of pre- and post-consumer origin, which can be recycled without the need for delamination. As it is mechanical recycling, it is feasible to give a second life to the material using existing polymer processing technologies without making additional investments. This novel procedure has been patented together with researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. This article summarizes some of the solutions that AIJU provides to companies in the big challenge of sustainability. References [1] Oliver Smith, Avi Brisman, Plastic Waste and the Environmental Crisis Industry, Critical Criminology 29 (2021)289-309 [2] [3] AIJU, “Development and Improvement of Biomaterials for single-use and continuous use consumer products [Toy, packaging and Homeware sector]”, June 2020, [4] R. Cerdcená, M. Mariano, and V. Soldi, “Flame retardant property and Thermal Degradation of EPDM-AM/Lignin,” no. January, 2011. [5] G. Jiang, D. J. Nowakowski, and A. V. Bridgwater, “A systematic study of the kinetics of lignin pyrolysis,” Thermochim. Acta, vol. 498, no. 1–2, pp. 61–66, 2010, doi: 10.1016/j.tca.2009.10.003. [6] S. Sen, S. Patil, and D. S. Argyropoulos, “Thermal properties of lignin in copolymers, blends, and composites: a review,” Green Chem., vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 4862–4887, 2015, doi: 10.1039/c5gc01066g. [7] M. Chávez Sifontes and M. E. Domine, “Lignin, Structure and Applications: Depolymerization Methods for Obtaining Aromatic Derivatives of Industrial Interest / Lignina, Estructura Y Aplicaciones: Métodos De Despolimerización Para La Obtención De Derivados Aromáticos De Interés Industrial,” Av. en Ciencias e Ing. ISSN-e 0718- 8706, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2013, págs. 15-46, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 15–46, 2010. [8] “Lignin is a Valuable Renewable Resource for Europe’s Bio-based Industries”, []. [9] Ligning Industries, “RenCom Announces Company Name Change to Lignin Industries AB” []. [10] M. Cerutti and F. Neumayer, “ACEITE ESENCIAL DE LIMÓN Mariano Cerutti y Fernando Neumayer *,” Invenio, pp. 149–155, 2004. [11] D. Moposita, “Obtención De Aceites Esenciales a Partir De Corteza De Naranja “ Citrus Sinensis “ Variedad Valenciana,” no. July, 2019. [12] P. P. D. Y. Yáñez Rueda X, Lugo Mancilla L. L and Facultad, “Estudio del aceite esencial de la cascara de la naranja dulce (Citrus sinensis,variedad Valenciana) cultivada en Labateca (Norte de Santander, Colombia),”, no. 1, pp. 3–8, 2007. Toys Biobased toys - a playful introduction to the bioeconomy Toy-News With the help of toys made from renewable raw materials, the Agency for Renewable Raw Materials (FNR) wants to give German consumers an understanding of the big world of the Bioeconomy. With the National Bioeconomy Strategy, the German Federal Government set the framework for the expansion of the bioeconomy in the next few years in January 2020. This expansion will only work if it also succeeds in involving consumers and concretely communicating to them how the bioeconomy works and what advantages consumers have. Therefore, the FNR has chosen i.a. the topic “Toys made from renewable raw materials - RRM toys”. With various communication measures, the FNR is focusing on toys made of biobased plastics. What are biobased plastics? What are they made of? What are the environmental and consumer benefits of these materials? What do biobased plastics have to do with bioeconomy? - Consumers are informed about these questions using the example of RRM toys. In the coming months, the measures are to pick up speed and reach a first peak at Christmas time under the slogan “Sustainable gifts”. The aim is to make it clear that each individual can make a small contribution to more sustainability with his or her purchasing behavior. Consumers are addressed with traditional means of communication such as press work and radio broadcasts, but also via modern social media channels. Among other things, a cooperation with various bloggers who are active in the field of child rearing and toys is planned. From the beginning of 2022, the measures will also reach educators in nursery schools. A small competition is intended to encourage nursery schools to deal with the subject of “toys made from renewable raw materials”. FNR will provide background material and award a corresponding prize. The measures are financed by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), for which the FNR acts as the project managing agency. Speaker at 7-8 Sep 2021 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 17

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