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Issue 05/2017

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Plastics
  • Products
  • Materials
  • Biobased
  • Biodegradable
  • Packaging
  • Industrial
  • European
  • Sustainable
bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1705

Application

Application AutomotiveNews Grasping at bioplastic straw Switzerland’s Sukano, a leading producer of additive and colour masterbatches and compounds for polyester and specialty resins, and NatureWorks have collaborated on the development of an eco-friendly material suitable for making drinking straws from. Formerly made of paper, modern day straws, are mainly made from polypropylene and present a variety of technical challenges for alternative new materials seeking to bring new functionality. For example, the narrow, U-shaped straws for juice boxes must be articulated and have a high flexibility modulus. During manufacturing, edges must be cut smoothly to prevent unsafe sharp or rough rims, while visual aesthetics, such as transparency, are also critical. These are just a few of the many specifications new materials must meet for adoption into this market application. The demand for disposable straws is expected to grow, driven in part by consumer demand for convenience, meals on the go, and the consumption of specialty drinks – hence the potential for materials that provide complete, responsible lifecycle solutions while providing the desired functionality is huge. So, when Sukano and PLA manufacturer NatureWorks, got together, a new, broad market opportunity was born. Bioplastics like polylactic acid (PLA) have long been viewed as sustainable in sourcing, manufacture and afteruse – but, until today, they were unable to meet the market’s performance requirements to replace the use of polypropylene in this application. Sukano masterbatches reduce the brittleness of PLA, which allows precise cutting during production and avoids splintering and rough edges. Combining melt enhancer additives in Ingeo-based PLA masterbatches, Sukano’s concentrates promote dimensional stability and greater flexibility without cracking at temperatures of 110° to 120°C. The additive masterbatches formulations are also designed to maintain the high transparency required in straws. “We are thrilled that this collaboration between key players in the value chain allows us to bring an innovative alternative to the market. Using our combined experience, we are able to modify Ingeo PLA to customize its performance for a new end market – providing benefits to consumers and companies,” said Alessandra Funcia, Head of Marketing at Sukano. “At NatureWorks, we are helping to rethink plastics. The replacement of conventional oil-based polypropylene by Ingeo in drinking straws is just one example of how bioplastics can help address sustainability, while still providing the high-performance material required for this application,” concluded Steve Davies, Commercial Director – Nature- Works Performance Packaging. MT www.natureworksllc.com | www.sukano.com First meal set Beatrice and Daniele Radaelli, founders of eKoala (Cavenago di Brianza, Italy), have decided to look at the world of plastic materials from a different point of view, driven by liability and environmental sustainability. “When both my brother and I became parents we soon understood the limits and the dark sides of traditional plastic and we started looking for new materials that could have the same glamour of those colourful plastic granules which stimulated our fantasy as kids, but at the same time, could be safe for our children and for the environment they would live in. After months of research we finally found what we were looking for…” The bioplastics of eKoala are based on Novamont’s Materbi and do not contain any toxic substances and are biodegradable. They are the ideal products for those who consider responsibility as a key factor for their buying behaviour and choose to leave a better world to future generations. “We put our childrenshealth first”, as Beatrice put it. Babies and kids are the weakest link but also the future of our planet. For this reason, eKoala uses only natural raw materials free from any toxic substance. One of the products recently added to their range of bioplastics products is the eKeat – First Meal Set. Other products include drinking cups, teethers and more. MT www.ekoala.eu 26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/17] Vol. 12

Application Automotive News Organic chair The new Kartell Organic Chair uses a revolutionary new organic plastic material to create a sustainable item of furniture that is high quality and highly creative. Designed by Antonio Citterio (Italian architect, furniture designer and industrial designer who lives and works in Milan), Kartell’s Organic Chair is made from BIODURA, a PHA-based material from Sabio Materials (Italy) obtained from renewable raw materials. The raw material is organic in nature and comes from renewable plant-based sources that will not disrupt food production. The material is a result of different processes that make it a very high-quality compound that Kartell has injection moulded just like other plastics: a first in the world of furniture. Kartell has therefore come up with a sustainable design in line with its industrial philosophy based on the concept of quality and durability. Ideally, at the end of its working life, in the right conditions, the Organic Chair can re-enter the biological cycle or biodegrade. Organic Chair is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use as it is extremely durable, which also makes it perfect for the contract market. MT www.spacefurniture.com.au/kartell.html bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/17] Vol. 12 27

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