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Issue 05/2017

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

Brand Owner

Brand Owner Brand-Owner’s perspective on bioplastics and how to unleash its full potential More and more technical aspects are well within the comfort zone of the bioplastic industry enabling the disruptive innovations our societies and environment need. However, successful innovations are as much business as technology driven. Having a great idea is one thing, launching a proposition and get it to market another. So, quite often a biobased product is desirable and even technically feasible. But bringing such a (often) small scale innovation to market is something else. Before economies of scale can be unlocked, there is this difficult phase during which advocacy and government support are needed. The biobased industry could help to open up discussions with the governmental institutes like the EU to create funding programs around this. Dennis van Eeten, Packaging Innovation and (Interim) Design Manager MARS CHOCOLATE EUROPE & EURASIA Besides the boost for a first launch it would also be very beneficial if the European legislation around bioplastics would be harmonised. This includes, icons for biocertificates, end-of-life rules (what can I put in my green bin and what not) and of course a harmonised EPR fee across all countries (in Europe). Report Polit Bioplastics Survey In this edition of our series ”special focus on certain geographical areas” we have a closer look to North America. This time, however, we did not conduct our little non-representative survey ourselves. We are grateful to the Plastics Industry Assiciaton (PLASTICS), to grant permission to publish some results of a survey they did in May 2016. In this national poll of 1,107 adults throughout the USA were asked. The results show a margin of error of +/- 3.07 % at the 95 % confidence interval. Below we publish an excerpt of the survey that is related to bioplastics. Being asked how familiar they were about a type of plastics called “bioplastics,” which are either made from biobased materials like sugar cane or cornstarch or are capable of biodegrading 27 % responded with “Yes” (defined as somewhat or very familiar). 39 % were unsure and the rest (34 %) said they were very unfamiliar with the terms. The next question addressed the purchase behavior. More or less half of the interviewed citizens committed they would be willing to pay a little bit more for an item that was made from bioplastics. The other 50 % said that they were not. The U.S. Department of Agriculture initiated the BioPreferred programme which includes a BioPreferred Seal (cf. bM 01/2011), which verifies the percentage of biologically grown ingredients in a consumer or wholesale product. Asked if they had ever seen this logo, 14 % responded with “Yes”, while the other 86 % were at least not sure or responded with “No”. The last question addressed the purchase behavior after having seen the USDA BioPreferred Seal. “When considering a plastic product for purchase, would seeing a USDA BioPreferred Seal on that product make you more likely to buy that product?” was positively responded by 57 %. The remaining 43 % wouldn’t. The source of the data can be found here: MT www www www www 44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/17] Vol. 12 30 bio

Automotive 10 Years ago Published in bioplastics MAGAZINE Rhodes Yepsen, Executive Director of the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), said in September 2017: The topics presented 10 years ago continue to be important in North America, albeit with significant progress made. It’s no longer just Wal- Mart that has aggressive packaging goals, but other major retailers and restaurants as well, including a focus on consumer-oriented education, such as the How2Recycle and How2Compost labels. As for state legislation, California’s labelling law has helped clean up bad actors from the market, and became the basis for a model rule for other states, with Maryland adopting a similar law in 2017. Municipal interest in food scraps and compostable products is also at an all-time high, with hundreds of communities across the US and Canada offering residential and commercial food scraps collection, and New York City on track to become the world’s largest program. Avoiding methane generation is still a big driver, but so is the soil connection, returning valuable materials back to the land in the form of compost. has gone through several updates, as has BPI’s database of certified products (, which is now searchable by keyword. As was the case 10 years ago, compostable product companies are at the forefront of the discussion on policies for diverting organics from landfill, and we expect them to continue to play a leading role for the next decade as well. ics What’s happening in the New World? New Legislation in California Article contributed by Steven Mojo, Executive Director of the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), New York, NY, USA I t is truly a new world in North America, as the pace of organics diversion continues to increase. Discussions around the issues of sustainability, increasing use of renewable resources and greenhouse gas reductions are coming to the forefront. Retailer Concerns about Packaging In late 2005, Wal-Mart announced its sustainability drive focused on three aggressive goals: 1. “To Be Supplied 100% By Renewable Energy”: 2. ”To Create Zero Waste”: 3. ”To Sell Products That Sustain Our Resources & Environment”: As part of this effort, Wal-Mart has developed a “scorecard” for packaging and is asking suppliers to document the use of recyclable and compostable packaging (via ASTM D6400) and to verify the use of renewable feedstocks (using ASTM D6866). This scorecard came on-line in March 2007 and manufacturers will be feeding it data throughout this year. Wal-Mart’s efforts, like Sainsbury’s in the UK, call attention to the growing array of new materials available to packagers around the globe. At the same time, packagers are starting to inquire about BPI certification and the benefits of the BPI Compostable Logo. Also, manufacturers are striving to increase the percentage of renewably based materials, in order to help reduce their environmental footprint and earn credits from Wal-Mart. The BPI and its members are immersed in the issues of renewable resources, compostability and biodegradability for almost a decade. As such, they are in a position to help Wal-Mart and others understand the importance of using ASTM Test Methods and Specifications for verifying claims. This project is a “work in progress”. It will continue to evolve as technology and properties improve and importantly will impact suppliers, consumers and everyone in between. California continues to set the pace in the area of compostables. Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger signed labeling legislation which restricts the use of the terms “biodegradable”, “compostable” and “degradable” on plastic food containers to only those products that meet ASTM D6400. This legislation is similar to the one passed in 2004 for labelling on plastic bags. Both of the new laws are designed to address the abuse and misuse of these terms and the resulting confusion. New Ordinances in San Francisco In 2006, San Francisco passed ordinance No 295-06 which bans the use of polystyrene food service packaging and mandates the use of compostable or recyclable alternatives, if their additional costs are within 15% of non-compostable or non-recyclable alternatives. This ordinance is designed to help minimize the waste going to landfills from these operations. Also, this ordinance takes advantage of the City’s well developed recycling and composting infrastructure for businesses and households. On March 27, 2007, San Francisco passed an ordinance mandating the use of compostable plastic bags or recyclable kraft paper bags by large food chains and pharmacies. Given the city’s widespread organic collection system, the compostable bags can serve two purposes. First they will bring home the groceries and then will have a second life as a liner for residential “kitchen catchers”. The new law takes effect by the end of this year. Food Scrap Diversion Programs Grow More communities, especially in Eastern Canada and on the West Coast are implementing food scrap diversion efforts. Portland (Oregon) and Seattle (Washington), join the ranks of San Francisco and Oakland, (California) in implementing commercial collection programs and in some communities’ residential ones as well. In the Canadian province of Ontario organics diversion efforts are beginning to “skyrocket” according to one BPI member. These are driven by the dual goals of continuing to increase the overall diversion rate from landfills as well as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. For example, in the US, landfills are the single largest of anthropomorphic methane releases into the atmosphere, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Further the same study shows that landfills are the number 4 contributor of global warming gases. introduced The BPI and BioCycle magazine from Emmaus (Pennsylvania) are joint sponsors of a new website dedicated to increasing the awareness of composting in the US. The new site “” was debuted in April 2007 at the BioCycle West Coast Conference in San Diego (California). The site will provide consumers information about food scrap collection programs near them and will be available for all to use at no charge. Composters can participate at no cost and all entries will be verified by BioCycle. The BPI and its members are proud to be the first sponsor to support this effort and to help put composting on the map. The BPI and BEPS team up on a meeting in October, 2007 The BEPS and BPI are jointly sponsoring a conference from Oct. 17-19th in Vancouver, Washington. This meeting will combine presentations and discussions on biodegradable and renewable materials from both academia and industry. Presenters are being lined up from North America, Europe and Asia. The conference will be a “zero waste” event. It is being held at the Hilton Hotel, which has been cited for sustainable practices and it will have an active food scrap diversion effort by the end of the summer. Learn more about the conference at bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/07] Vol. 2 31 plastics MAGAZINE [02/07] Vol. 2 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/17] Vol. 12 45

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