vor 2 Jahren

issue 04/2021

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

Cover story Advertorial

Cover story Advertorial Sustainable and Sophisticated PLA Cups & Lids Great River’s view on plastics and the circular economy: Plastics are cheap, convenient, ultra-versatile, and have drastically increased our standards of living since the 1950s. However, for years, we have been warned with statistics and numbers on why disposable plastics are unsustainable. Commonly cited figures stem from the 2017 paper from Geyer et al. named “Production, Use, and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made,” which called to our attention that on a global average 79 % of all plastics ever made ended up in landfills or the natural environment, while only 9 % of plastics are recycled. It is one thing to declare total plastics abstinence, yet another to actually commit to it at the expense of consumer convenience and cost. By now, most of us are aware that relying on plastics derived from fossil fuels is unsustainable since (1) it increases our dependence on nonrenewable resources, (2) they remain in our environment or landfills for centuries, or (3) they are incinerated for energy recovery and thus the create greenhouse gas CO 2 . In our efforts to pursue a circular economy as well as tackle the issues of unsustainable plastic consumption, there have also been great efforts around the globe to promote recycling. However, recycling alone cannot solve our unsustainable plastics consumption since (1) a mere two out of the seven types of plastics are viable and make economic sense to commonly recycle (namely PET and HDPE), (2) one cannot recycle the same plastic forever due to downcycling, and (3) eventually, the plastic still ends up in incineration or landfills or the environment since there is a lack of an end-of-life option designed for it. Recycling is good and it certainly helps; however, it cannot be the only solution we rely on. If we are serious about creating a circular economy and tackling the issues of the unsustainable consumption trends of plastics, then we must approach this complex problem with a multifaceted approach. In other words, such a complex issue requires more than a single simple solution of recycling. Great River Plastic Manufacturer Company Limited (hereinafter referred to as Great River) believes that businesses have an important role to play in the reduction of unsustainable plastics consumption. Great River considers high-quality bioplastics that are certified to international standards to be a vital solution to tackle our world’s plastics problem. Sam Liu, marketing manager at Great River said, “It is an honour to be part of this issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE because we see the impactful work they do in raising awareness and educating people about bioplastics, which would only become more important as various countries and governments around the world look for alternatives to replace petroleum-derived plastics. However, what I appreciate most is the platform this magazine has provided for information about bioplastics that span across the globe. They even have issues in the Chinese language!” Great River’s commitment to PLA: Great River is a leading global manufacturer of plastic, cellulose materials, and bioplastics; it is also known for the quality and consistency of its products. Its manufacturing facilities are located in China with its head office in Shanghai. For the past decade, Great River devoted surmountable amounts of research, time, and focus to developing polylactic acid (PLA) food packaging products. However, straws or cutlery are extremely easy to make and hold low barriers to entry; therefore, Great River positioned the company to innovate in a direction where others have not at the time. They sought the task of specializing in plant-based PLA lids used for high heat applications (e.g., hot coffees or soups). Vincent Fan, Vice General Manager of Great River, explained that, “creating hot drink PLA lids is not an easy task. There are two main challenges. The first is that PLA, naturally, is a material with a relatively low melting point. 22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Second, PLA is also known to be quite brittle, so in order to make our lids not brittle but tight-fitting, we spent a lot of time getting it right.” Great River’s PLA hot lids are crystalized and are often referred to as crystalized PLA (CPLA). What makes Great River’s lids stand out is that (1) they have high heat resistant capacities, making them suitable for hot coffee and soups, (2) the lids are gentle and smooth to the touch, (3) they are not brittle, and (4) the lids are tight and exact fitting, which prevents leaks. “Overall, I think our CPLA hot lids are the best on the market, and I would really encourage those who are interested to try them out for themselves,” explained Vincent. It should be noted that Great River’s plant-based PLA products are renewable, 100 % biobased, compostable, and sustainable, thus making it an ideal bioplastics product. Great River’s products are DinCertco and Biodegradable Products Institute certified (to the international standards of EN13432 and ASTM D6400) with testing done as well from Belgium’s Organic Waste Systems. Furthermore, all of Great River’s operations and manufacturing facilities have fulfilled the requirements of ISO 9001, Global Standard for Packaging Materials Issue 6, and the Amfori BSCI Code of Conduct. Great River’s 2021 launch of PLA cold cup and lids series and increased production capacities: Currently, bioplastics represent around 1 % of total global plastics production. However, bioplastics production is expected to grow as demand for them rises because of increased awareness, education, and needs for alternatives to conventional plastics. In line with this and being true to its commitment to a greener future, Great River has (1) doubled its production capacities this year and (2) will also launch its highly anticipated PLA cold cup and lids series. By: Michael Thielen Vincent exclaimed, “we are really excited for this year’s launch of our PLA cold cup and lids series. For a long time, Great River has dedicated its time and resources to perfecting its CPLA hot lids. This year, due to demand and our increased production capacities, we will launch our PLA cold cup and lids series. The future has never looked brighter for Great River.” Moving Forward: Currently, Great River has found much success in the exporting of its PLA products worldwide. Great River works with over 50 brands around the world which includes innovative industry leaders in the eco-friendly food packaging industry. Moving forward, Great River wishes to continue its mission to advocate for bioplastics as part of an array of solutions to combat the increasingly problematic behaviours of our modern plastics consumption. “As Russel Crowe said in the movie Gladiator, ‘what we do in life echoes in eternity,” said Sam with a smile. “Plastics have raised our standards of living immensely, and we’re accustomed to this lifestyle; however, what we choose to do today matters. Hopefully, we can live in a world where future generations retain the opportunity to enjoy our Earth’s resources and its environments as we have, without making it imperative for the current generation to gravely sacrifice its own needs of their accustomed and modern standards of living. I believe part of the solution is shifting away from conventional plastics and using alternative materials such as PLA in our everyday lives.” Thermoforming bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 23

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