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Issue 06/2015

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Biobased
  • Plastics
  • Biodegradable
  • Materials
  • Products
  • Packaging
  • Carbon
  • Germany
  • Composting

Application News Green

Application News Green to the Grave Marieke Havermans is a Dutch entrepreneur who is fast taking the idiom “from cradle to grave” to an entirely new level. A packaging expert, she has developed a new ecological casket made of 100 % biological materials that will decompose via natural processes in the ground within a period of some 10 years. And for those who prefer cremation: the casket will burn cleanly, reducing toxic emissions by up to 75 % compared to conventional caskets. The idea for environmentally friendly coffins arose in 2012, and Havermans decided to go for it. Market research revealed that this was a product that had not yet been attempted to be made from bioplastic. She resigned from her job and started her company, Onora, in 2012, funded by an investor who believed in the project, a crowdfunding campaign and the proceeds from three awards, including the MKB Export Award. The caskets are made of a purpose-designed bioplastic – a natural fiber-filled PLA-based compound that is completely biodegradable. They are the biggest single products ever made completely from bioplastic. The caskets are injection molded; the two, huge molds, one for the lid and one for the coffin itself, were built in China. The casket is basically a thin-walled container with reinforcing ribs and stiffening features, that can accommodate up to 150 kg of weight. Moreover, this structure means that far less material is needed to produce the coffin, which helps to keep the costs down. Because the coffin is injection molded, not only can features such as grips be integrated in the design, fasteners, such as screws, and adhesives are also unnecessary. According to Havermans, the casket has rounded corners and an organic form: “based on a cocoon,” she says. The coffins come with an organic, hemp matrass and pillow made of hemp fiber, an eco-cotton sheet and, if desired, a blanket made of ecological Dutch wool. KL Bioplastics offer safe solution for toys Germany-based JELU-WERK has developed a wood-plastic compound that, according to the company, offers a superior solution to the toy industry. This bioplastic combines the advantages of wood and plastic: it can be three-dimensionally molded, offers design freedom, yet possesses the positive attributes of wood, such as higher strength and rigidity than plastic, which increases toy safety. In its warmth, feel and smell, the new material closely resembles wood. The company stresses that JELUPLAST ® is completely free of chlorine, formaldehyde, phenol, plasticizers and PVC. An added advantage is its inherent bactericidal effect: the ISO 22196 test for antibacterial activity on plastics shows that Jeluplast has a strong antibacterial effect. This means that even baby toys are protected against harmful germs and bacteria. The bioplastic is composed of food-safe plastic and natural fibers. The natural fiber content can be set individually – loadings of up to 50 % or even 70 % are possible. The natural fibers can remain visible in the end product or be invisibly incorporated, according to preference. Using a biobased plastic matrix results in a compound that is 100 % biobased. The choice of matrix ultimately depends on the required properties. Jelusplast can be processed by injection molding, extrusion, compression molding, blow molding or foaming. The company uses only fibers from selected woods that are PEFC-certified and have clearly defined properties. This is only fibers are processed that meet suitable criteria, such as a fixed grain size. This allows Jelu to adjust the physicalmechanical properties of the biocomposite to specific values. The characteristics can be varied and adjusted to individual applications depending on the additives used. The material is available as a premixed compound; compounds are formulated with different filler concentrations and alternating additives according to the customers’ needs. Jelu offers biocomposites based on polyethylene, polypropylene, thermoplastic starch (TPS), polylactides (PLA) and other plastics. The fibers are either wood fibers or cellulose fibers. Jeluplast with PLA or TPS is biodegradable or compostable. KL 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/15] Vol. 10

Application News New biobased laminate for sustainable food packaging Buzzed – 3D filament made from beer Two bioplastics companies, Bio4Pack and The Bioplastic Factory, both of which are headquartered in the Netherlands, have collaborated on the development and marketing of a new biobased laminated film that is suitable for food packaging applications. Dubbed BBII-80, the new film has earned a four star biobased rating from Vinçotte, indicating that it has a biobased content of minimally 80 %. In additionally to scoring high on the sustainability scale, the BBII-80 laminate structure also features excellent product properties, good processability and easy handling. The laminate structure is composed of a cellulose outer layer consisting of Innovia Films’ compostable cellulose NatureFlex NK Matt film. A metallized NatureFlex film provides outstanding barrier properties, with low oxygen and water vapour permeability, making the film suitable for packaging a wide range of products, as both values score below 1. Seal integrity is ensured through the use of Braskem’s I’m Green renewable bio-PE film. The new laminate can easily be processed on any conventional packaging line and can simply be printed with up to 8 colours (full colour + 4 support colours). As an innovative bio-laminate packaging construction, BBII-80 film offers manufacturers of food products a packaging solution with a performance that is at least as good as anything traditional packaging has to offer, with sustainability thrown in as an added benefit. Already, the new laminate structure has generated interest in the market. The first producer to utilise the product is a Netherlandsbased company called ‘Aardse Droom’, who is packaging its organic Sapana Delibars in the new film. This company has been certified since 2008 and is affiliated with Skal Biocontrole, the designated Control Authority responsible for the inspection and certification of organic companies in the Netherlands. The company has announced that it will be using the film for its complete range of deli bars in the flavours almond/spiced biscuit, cashew/ginger, cashew/cinnamon, Brazil nut/vanilla, walnut/chai and walnut/cinnamon. The enhanced moisture barrier of the BBII-80 laminated film also makes it possible for this to be used to package coffee (beans and ground). This is likely to be the next application. According to the two companies that launched the new laminate, its high biobased content means that its production is extremely environmentally friendly. Compared to conventional film, some 4,200 kg of CO 2 are saved per 1,000 kg of BBII-80 manufactured. Next to BBII-80, the collaboration between Bio4Pack and The Bioplastic Factory has resulted in the development of a wide range of other films, as well – both biobased and biodegradable – for a host of different applications.KL First, it was a coffee cup made of coffee-based filament. Now, 3D printing filament manufacturer 3Dom USA has introduced its newest eco-friendly product, called Buzzed. And it’s made from beer because, as 3Dom puts it: “We hate to see a good beer go to waste.” To make Buzzed, 3Dom USA uses waste byproducts from the beer-making process, which the company gets from a local major label brewing plant. Buzzed uses those beer left-overs to create a special 3D printing material with visibly unique print finishes. The filament produces products with a rich golden color and a noticeable natural grain. Now, a stein printed with Buzzed is a true beer stein. This is the second in a line of intriguing materials from 3Dom USA called the c2composite line; coffee-made filament Wound Up was the first. The filament maker has partnered with c2renew, a biocomposite company that takes supposedly unusable material and makes it usable, to create the c2Composite line of biobased filaments. Buzzed filament can be printed on any machine capable of printing with PLA using standard PLA settings. It comes spooled on the 100 % bio-based Eco-Spool and is available in 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameters. According to the company, the coffee and beerbased filaments are fun and focused on spreading the 3Dom USA name. However, said 3Dom USA, there are definite plans to release more distinctive biobased products, with highly advanced mechanical properties, in the near future. KL bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/15] Vol. 10 37

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