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Issue 06/2016

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  • Bioplastics
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Application News

Application News Innovative toilet paper Personal Care is an important part of everybody’s life, and it’s worth many different daily attentions: choosing a soft and delicate toilet paper is the first act of care for the skin. The new Italian Tenderly Carezza di Latte with Qmilk is a new and most skin-friendly and sustainable toilet paper. Recently introduced by Lucart Group (Lucca, Italy), it is smooth as silk, extra soft but also resistant, and dermatologically tested for sensitive skin. All skin-caring qualities are enhanced by incorporating the Qmilk fibre. It has been tested to be best friend to family personal care. “A velvet caress for your family personal care. As Tenderly Carezza di Latte is dermatologically tested for sensitive skins this applies to the most delicate skin too,” as Stefano Staffieri, Marketing Manager at Lucart Group says. As the biggest producer of thin, single-coated wrapping tissue for flexible packaging and one of the first manufacturers of tissue and airlaid products in Europe, Lucard continues to fulfil its mission – innovation, quality and added-value for the customer with extra sustainability. With its 100 % natural fibres, the Qmilk group makes a valuable contribution to this innovation. As a protein-fibre, Qmilk fibres not only sport unique properties. “They are also the fibres with the smallest CO 2 footprint in the world, “ says Anke Domaske founder and CEO of Qmilk Deutschland (Hannover, Germany).”It can be composted at home and is residue-free biodegradable within a few months.” Qmilk is made of 100 % renewable raw material and is produced in a zero-wasteprocess. Non-food milk that had to be disposed of until now is processed into Qmilkproducts. In Germany alone about two million tonnes of milk are disposed every year because it cannot be sold anymore. Qmilk is the perfect material to be combined with viscose and cellulose, since Qmilk is the only natural fibre with thermo-bonding properties. This means that natural fibres no longer have to be combined with synthetic fibres. Instead, combined with the Qmilk binding fibre they can keep their natural authenticity. The versatility applications for new material combination in the area of non-wovens remains fascinating. MT shutterstock/lopolo Biobased packaging for Swedish cripsbread Polarbröd (Älvsbyn), Sweden’s third largest bakery has taken the decision to convert all of its flexible film requirements from fossil based Polyethylene to Braskem’s bio based Polyethylene. In addition to the perfect fit between packaging and product, the use of Green PE by Polarbröd emphasizes the drive within the company to be more sustainable by moving to a renewable, bio-based polyethylene. Polarbröd will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its packaging when compared to fossil alternatives and as a result reduce its dependence on fossil resources. Being a renewable feedstock, sugarcane captures and sequestrates CO 2 from the atmosphere during every growth cycle, which occurs annually. This means that the production of I’m green Polyethylene contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions certainly when compared to conventional polyethylene, made from fossil materials. As a result the carbon footprint of I’m green Polyethylene is negative, when considering a “cradle to gate analysis”.. in bakeries anywhere in the world,” says Marco Jansen, Commercial Director Renewable Chemicals Europe & North America. “We have made the decision to use this packaging for our entire range, and although the current consequence of this is a higher cost we have come to the conclusion that it is the best choice,” says Johan Granberg, Purchase and Logistics Manager Polarbröd. MT | “Braskem is really excited to have Polarbröd as a partner and to see their commitment to sustainability by introducing green PE into their full product range, a scale not yet seen 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/16] Vol. 11

Aplications 3D printed shoes One of the spaces where 3D printing has the biggest potential for immediate impact is footwear. In the past year various announcements about 3D printing of shoes could be seen. Among the major players were companies such as Nike and Adidas. 3D Printing has obviously hit a tipping point in the field in terms of print quality and material stability. In many ways, it is a bit of a surprise that the adoption of 3D printing footwear has had a relatively late adoption. Human feet, more than many other parts of the body, are uniquely shaped. And many people can all probably point to sticking with certain brands simply because the shape of their shoe matched the shape of their foot, irrespective of the style or colour of the shoe. And there are at least the same number of women that have chosen a shoe based on the style or colour only to have their individualized foot suffer the consequence. Lifespan of Shoes But shoes also have a second unique marker in terms of clothing and that is the rate they are worn through. Most runners recommend to replace shoes after about 800 km (or 500 miles). Depending on how far someone is running per week, this can become necessary every three to six months. Shoes that are worn on a daily basis often don’t fare too much better, depending on the activity of wear a shoe sole can often be worn to replacement within one and two years. And what happens to the waste? A Vision of the Future of Footwear The Dutch company SLEM (Waalwijk, The Netherlands), one of the thought leaders in terms of footwear, is taking the lead in approaching both problems. In 2015, they presented their developments at the GTS Trade Show as the only company presenting industrial-grade shoe production using 3D printing. This year they wanted to set the bar a notch higher with the question: “How can we continue to customize shoes with 3D printing and become a sustainable alternative to current production?” The answer came from BioInspiration (Eberwalde, Germany), producer of WillowFlex, the world’s first flexible 3D print filament made of biobased and biodegradable raw materials (cornstarch based resins from GreenDot, USA). Their Kickstarter Campaign in late 2015 was the first to show that a 3D printing could be both sustainable and flexible - meaning it was the first point that it was feasible to be used for producing shoes. In preparation for the trade show, SLEM printed a series of shoe soles in their trends lab and experimented with printing directly onto the fabric of the shoe to show the potential for comining design and 3D printing into a single production step. “WillowFlex was an easy material to work with and printed as well as the other petroleum based flexible filaments we have been working with. We look forward to working with BioInspiration to improve the long-term durability of the material to move into production”, said Nicole van Enter, Creative Director of SLEM. The current production is still only in a prototype state to verify the settings and best practices of working with the material. But there is no question that sustainable materials will become part of the palette in footwear production. SLEM is known as a thought leader in the footwear industry, and their early adoption of Industrial 3D Printing and Robotics to produce shoes has really put them on the watch-list for the footwear industry. That is why their emphasis on moving towards sustainable materials has also garnered attention on the trade-show floor. “BioInspiration is founded on the knowledge that sustainable materials can equal and out-perform the alternatives. Working with forward thinking groups like SLEM helps to move (…) public perception towards acceptance. Experimentation with Vision is the key to Progress”, as Brian Crotty, CEO of BioInspiration pointed out. Like with the organic food movement, the consumer pressure for products that reflect a social and environmental responsibility will only grow in the coming years - so the companies that can be first to meet those requirements will have a distinct advantage in the field. As production systems further develop for 3D printing shoes, it will provide a direct competition to traditional production and marketing methodologies. The partnership of BioInspiration and SLEM represents the synergy that comes from matching design quality, customer needs, customization and environmental awareness. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/16] Vol. 11 37

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