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Issue 06/2017

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News daily upated news at European Parliament supports use of biodegradable mulch films On October 24, 2017, the Plenary of the European Parliament voted in favour of supporting biodegradable mulch films in the revision of the EU Fertilizers Regulation. European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association for the bioplastics industry in Europe, welcomes the outcome. “The inclusion of biodegradable mulches in the EU Fertilizers Regulation will help to harmonise regulations across the EU Member States and to create a single market for bio-based and biodegradable materials used in agriculture”, says François de Bie, Chairman of EUBP. The amendments, which have already been approved by the Parliament’s Committees on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), and on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) in July earlier this year, acknowledge the innovative potential of biodegradable mulch films to provide positive agronomical effects and to help avoid the accumulation of microplastics on fields. Biodegradable mulch films have been available on the EU market for many years, meeting a high level of acceptance among European farmers. They play an essential role in modern agriculture as help to increase yield, improve the quality of crops, enhance weed control, and reduce water irrigation and pesticides. Additionally, they offer distinctive advantages at the end of the crop cycle as they can be left on the field and ploughed under. The approved amendments on biodegradable mulch films are linked to the criteria of the upcoming European standard CEN FprEN 17033 on biodegradation of plastic mulch films in soil developed by CEN-Technical Committee 249 on Plastics. The standard is expected to be published at the beginning of 2018. MT BPI taps DIN CERTCO for third-party compostability verification The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)’s Board of Directors recently announced that DIN CERTCO has been hired for the administration of technical reviews under the BPI certification program, effective December 1, 2017. BPI (New York, USA) operates North America’s leading certification for compostable products, with over 6,500 products currently approved based on ASTM’s scientific standards. DIN CERTCO (Berlin, Germany) has more than 2 decades of experience administering compostability certification for groups such as European Bioplastics Association and Australasia Bioplastics, as well as its own certifications. Certification for compostable products is critical for ensuring that items have been properly tested, meet international standards, and can be identified as such by composters, municipalities, restaurants, consumers, and others engaged in the diversion of organic waste. US-states like California and Maryland have laws requiring any product marketed as compostable to meet these standards, and BPI certification is widely acknowledged as the best means of doing so. “We are excited to partner with DIN CERTCO for this next phase of our certification program, as they are a recognized leader in the compostability field,” says Rhodes Yepsen, Executive Director of BPI. “This will not change the appearance of the BPI certification to those who trust and rely on it. However, offices in China and Taiwan will assist with the growing number of companies located overseas, and technical expertise will ensure continued strength in compostability claims for products and packaging that are increasingly complex in nature.” “This is an excellent opportunity for BPI and DIN CERTCO to provide our customers the best service possible. We are convinced that we are able to provide a value added service with our experts, since we have been active in the field of industrial compostable products for more than 20 years.” adds Robert Zorn, Managing Director of DIN CERTCO. “Together with BPI we will be able to provide customers a one-stop solution to access several markets in one go.” MT | 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

News Braskem and Haldor Topsoe partner to develop biobased MEG Braskem (São Paulo, Brazil) and Haldor Topsoe (Lyngby, Denmark) have signed a technological cooperation agreement to develop a pioneering route to produce monoethylene glycol (MEG) from sugar. The agreement calls for the construction of a demonstration plant in Denmark, with operation slated to begin in 2019. MEG is a key component of e.g. PET resin. The project is based on a two-step process developed at Topsoe’s labs along with own catalysts, and focuses on the conversion of sugar into MEG at a single industrial unit, which will reduce initial investment in the production and boost the competitiveness of the process. “This novel biobased initiative allies a cutting-edge technology with deep expertise in process design, scaleup and industrial operation, which will allow us to push the renewable chemistry to a whole new level. After the Green Polyethylene, this is another major step forward in our vision of using renewable polymers as a carbon capture tool and keep contributing to a more sustainable future.” said Mateus Lopes, head of Innovation in Renewable Chemicals at Braskem. With the agreement, Braskem wants to expand its portfolio of renewable products to offer new solutions that complement its biobased polyethylene marketed with the I’m green TM seal. “With this new partnership, we strengthen our position as protagonists in the development of innovative solutions that will leverage the competitiveness of different biomasses and complement the traditional solutions offered by the petrochemical industry,” said Gustavo Sergi, director of Renewable Chemicals at Braskem. “Catalysis will play an extremely important role in the development of sustainable solutions that produce important chemicals from renewable sources such as sugars. We are proud to deliver the ground-breaking technology for the project with Braskem, and we look forward to applying our world-leading competencies within catalysis and process engineering in the further commercialization of this important technology,” said Kim Knudsen, Executive Vice President at Haldor Topsoe. The demonstration plant will conduct tests to validate the technology and confirm its technical and economic feasibility, which is a critical step before launching production on an industrial scale and commercial operations. The unit will be flexible to validate the technology in different raw materials such as sucrose, dextrose and second-generation sugars. MT | Sustainable eyeware solutions API (Mussolente, Italy) an Italian company that specializes in the production of thermoplastic elastomeric compounds and bioplastics that was acquired by global materials company Trinseo (headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, USA) in July 2017, has announced a green partnership with EMS-GRIVORY (Domat/Ems, Switzerland), a leading Swiss manufacturer of high performance polymers and supplier of structural materials in the eyewear industry. The partnership aims at developing a series of sustainable eyewear solutions with a lower environmental impact, providing customers with cutting-edge materials. The demand to combine soft elastomeric compounds with hard substrates has been constantly increasing. Engineers from both companies will collaborate on combining the adhesion modified soft-touch TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers) with the harder Ems Grilamid TR ® or Grilamid ® BTR materials, thereby fully complying with the VDI 2019 standard. API and Ems-Grivory will work on the development of specific bio-solutions, both on a fossil and renewable basis. “We are excited to partner with Ems-Grivory as we focus our combined expertise serving a broader and greener product range,” says Giancarlo Busa, Business Unit Manager, Footwear & Sporting Goods, API. “Our materials will satisfy social, economic and environmental benefits, without imposing performance limitations. We strongly believe in the future of innovative and sustainable solutions for eyewear.” Ems-Grivory showcased their eyewear products at the 25 th HKTDC Hong Kong Optical Fair (8‐10 November 2017). bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12 7

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