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Issue 05/2019

  • Text
  • Textiles
  • Fibers
  • Polymers
  • Compostable
  • Barrier
  • Biodegradable
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Biobased
  • Packaging
  • Materials
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Fibres/Textiles/Nonwovens Barrier Materials Cover Story: Lightweighting PBAT

News 10 Years ago

News 10 Years ago Published in bioplastics MAGAZINE from left: Patrick Gerritsen, Frank Eijkman, Jhon Bollen, Oliver Fraaije. Bio4Pack offers One-Stop Shopping Two Dutch thermoforming companies, Nedupak Thermoforming BV (of Rheden, NL) and Plastics2Pack (of Uden, NL), recently announced the forming of ‘Bio4Pack‘ as a new packaging supply company. The new company is headed by Managing Director Patrick Gerritsen, who brings with him several years of know-how and expertise in the area of biobased and biodegradable packaging. Bio4Pack not only offers thermoformed packaging but also all other kinds of packaging made from biobased and/or biodegradable materials, including films, bags and netting, and through to sugar cane trays made from the bagasse, a by-product from the sugar cane industry. “We want to offer our customers a total packaging solution,“ says Oliver Fraajie, Commercial Director of Nedupack, “not just a thermoformed tray or bulk pack.“ And thus the portfolio of Bio4Pack comprises the traditional thermoformed packaging made from bioplastics such as PLA or new thermoformable materials. The range also includes films and bags for all kinds of purposes, e.g shopping bags or flow wrap packaging made from starch based bioplastics such as Biolice ® , Materbi ® or Bioflex ® from FKUR, and also nets for onions, potatoes or fruit and, of course, the labelling on the packaging. “We also offer meat packaging consisting of a thermoformed PLA tray with peelable SiOx coated PLA film, having the same properties as conventional packing“ adds Frank Eijkman, Managing Director of Plastics2Pack. “And for bakery goods such as cakes and cookies we have thermoformed trays and folded boxes from a more rigid PLA sheet. This kind of box is also available for the packaging of bio-chocolate for example.“ Blisters for liquor gift packs or batteries round off the list of examples. “In a nutshell: We are a trading company that offers all types of packaging made from biobased or biodegradable materials,“ says Patrick Gerritsen, “Those that we don‘t produce ourselves at Nedupack or Plastics2pack, we get from partners who I know from the past“. Of course all products are certified according to EN 13432 and Patrick goes even one step further: “We are investigating the possibility of having our products certified and labeled with ‘Climate Neutral‘ (www.climatepartner.de)“. Bio4Pack started operations in early August and is proud of the first orders from leading companies in the fresh produce and supermarket businesses. Even if the company initially targets the European market, clients from all over the world can be served via Nedupack‘s partners in many countries. “Another big advantage is that Nedupack Thermoforming have their own design and tool-making department, so we are more flexible and can react much quicker than many other suppliers,“ says Jhon Bollen, Technical Director of Nedupack. Although this new company was founded in a generally difficult economic situation, the entrepreneurs have full confidence in the development of this market. “We are looking forward to convincing more and more supermarkets and other suppliers to switch to bioplastic products - and not only because the traditional resources are finite,“ says Patrick Gerritsen. Oliver Fraaije is convinced that “the customers who buy bio-food are also willing to buy biopackaging.“ - MT www.bio4pack.com In September 2019, Patrick Gerritsen, founder and CEO of Bio4Pack said: 10 years of Bio4Pack means 10 years of fighting for the opportunities of sustainable packaging. On July 15 it was exactly 10 years ago that Bio4pack was founded. At the time, 4 enthusiastic entrepreneurs knew for sure: sustainable packaging is the packaging of the future. Now, 10 years later, it appears that they had a good foresight. Sustainable packaging is more popular than ever, partly due to the relentless energy that our team has put into convincing large retailers and packers to switch to this environmentally friendly packaging. Bio4Pack has benefited from this and has since grown into a leading supplier of compostable and sustainable packaging. In the initial phase of Bio4Pack the emphasis was on packaging intended for organically grown fruit and vegetables. Net packaging, film for packaging of potatoes and carrots, among other things, and PLA trays for packaging fruit were the most important products that Bio4Pack sold in the initial phase. Under the influence of the development of new sustainable raw materials and production techniques, the range has since been expanded to include packaging for a wide variety of products that do not have a biological background. Consider, for example, the packaging of peppermint. Bio4Pack recently introduced a completely new sustainable packaging made from the waste of rice plantations. This packaging is so special that the product immediately received the silver cradle-to-cradle certificate. The success of Bio4Pack has led the company to move into a completely new business premises in Nordhorn (D) at the beginning of this year with sufficient office space and a large warehouse. Here the company has room for further growth in the coming years. tinyurl.com/2009-bio4pack 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 48 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/19] Vol. 14

Opinion Biodegradation of plastics in nature: the future tasks of standardisation Francesco Degli Innocenti, Ecology of Products Director, Novamont, Italy What is the minimum timeframe for complete biodegradation for plastics designed to biodegrade? Faced everyday with these type of questions, as a biodegradation expert, I realize that there is a communication deficit in our industry that must be filled. Two tiers are necessary to characterize the biodegradation of plastics at sea. The first tier testing is to verify whether the plastic material shows intrinsic biodegradability. This is the potential of the plastic to be cleaved by enzymes and assimilated by microorganisms present in the biosphere. Achieving high levels of conversion to CO 2 , comparable to those achieved by GRAB (Generally Recognized As Biodegradable) substances, is a strong indication that plastic is biodegradable. When addressing the first tier, test conditions must be optimised, because it does not make any sense to limit the growth and activity of microbes. Obviously, when a biodegradable product “leaves the laboratory” and goes into the real world its biodegradation rate can be slower if conditions are sub-optimal. This is true for any biodegradable material, whether natural or synthetic. Food stored in the fridge does not biodegrade quickly and keeps for years if stored in the freezer. Nobody will claim “food is not biodegradable!” because it does not go bad at 4°C. The second tier is about the environmental fate of products placed on the market that are littered. Here the purpose is to assess the ecological risk of littering. “Risk” is a probabilistic concept, the probability that a certain event will occur that can cause harm to flora and fauna. For example, a bag (the hazard) can be mistaken for a jellyfish by a fish causing its death by suffocation (the harm). That is, a potential hazard can become real harm. The probability of this event happening depends on the number of bags present in the environment and their residence time. The greater the number of bags, the longer their residence time, the greater the probability of harm. For the layman: if I have to cross a highway blindfolded it is better to do it at 3 a.m. (when the “concentration” of cars is very low) and running fast (i.e. with the lowest “residence time”) than at 5 p.m. (when the “concentration” of cars is very high) and walking slow (i.e. with the highest “residence time.”) From this, it follows that littering products whether they are biodegradable or not, causes a risk because it increases one factor of the multiplication: “concentration x residence time”. The other factor is the residence time to be predicted based on the physical characteristics and the biodegradation behaviour of products. Biodegradation reduces residence times and thus the risk. In conclusion, the intrinsic biodegradability, demonstrated in the laboratory under optimal conditions and using a GRAB material as a reference, characterizes the plastic material from the point of view of its propensity to degrade similarly to natural materials. The definition of the impact of any product (including biodegradable plastics) in case of littering requires methodologies for the estimation of amount of litter and the effective biodegradation rates. This will be the task of research and standardisation in the near future. Magnetic for Plastics www.plasticker.com • International Trade in Raw Materials, Machinery & Products Free of Charge. • Daily News from the Industrial Sector and the Plastics Markets. • Current Market Prices for Plastics. • Buyer’s Guide for Plastics & Additives, Machinery & Equipment, Subcontractors and Services. • Job Market for Specialists and Executive Staff in the Plastics Industry. Up-to-date • Fast • Professional bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/19] Vol. 14 49

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