Advances in Biopolymers ISSUE NUMBER 25
TRACKING THE EVOLUTION OF THE BIOPOLYMERS INDUSTRY
PUBLISHED BY MOMENTUM PRESS www.momentumpress.net
INTRODUCTION QUICK LINK TO SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST
As discussed in several previous reports, the P&G to introduce sugar cane-based packaging for
trend towards durable biobased plastics is cosmetics.─Page 2
now clearly entering mainstream. Following
The problem with PLA: chip bags that are really
last month‘s announcement that Braskem is
bringing forward manufacture of its
bioderived polyethylene, Proctor & Gamble Processors start to pony up for feather-based
have announced their intention to use plastics.─Page 6
Braskem‘s product in their Pantene Pro-V, Engineering applications are bioplastics' holy
Covergirl and Max Factor brands from next grail.─Page 9
year. The projected trend to durable Official complaint for patent infringement in civil
applications, as opposed to only single-use action No. 1:10-cv-00102-wls: Danimer Scientific,
―compostables‖ also received support in a LLC v. Metabolix, Inc.─Page 13
recent article by Mike Verespej of Plastics
ADM adds isosorbide to its industrial chemical
News – EXPERTS PREDICT BOOM IN
product line.─Page 16
Wells Plastics gets Emirates approval for Reverte.
In this article, Jim Lunt & Associates LLC is ─Page 20
joined by others, including Brian Balmer, Sustainable packaging industry to reach $142
Performance Materials Industry Principal for
billion by 2015.─Page 22
Frost & Sullivan Inc., in their assertion that
we will soon see more conventional durable
plastics being produced from renewable resources.
Adding to this growth and diversification for bioplastics is the news that China‘s demand for
bioplastics is also increasing rapidly. The quantity needed in China‘s Packing and Catering
Industry alone totals more than 3 million tons - PLASTEMART.COM.
Report 25 will cover these advancements along with other relevant news and trends. The
editor will continue to offer insights and comments to help the reader understand the context
of the various announcements/articles.
MAJOR PRODUCERS - NEW PRODUCTS
P&G TO INTRODUCE SUGAR CANE-BASED PACKAGING FOR COSMETICS
August 16, 2010 PACKAGINGNEWS
Procter & Gamble is planning to use sugar cane-based
plastics for packaging on its Pantene Pro-V, Covergirl and
Max Factor brands from next year.
P&G today announced that it would be piloting the new
packaging globally over the next two years and expected the
first products to be on shelf by 2011.
Brazilian firm Braskem is manufacturing the HDPE material from sugar cane that is said to
be completely recyclable in existing reprocessing facilities.
Gina Drosos, global group president for P&G beauty, said the move to sugar cane-derived
plastics was consumer driven. "As we talk to women around the world, they tell us that they
want to make themselves more beautiful without making their environment less beautiful,"
Editor’s Note: A significant development in the field of durable and potentially recyclable
plastics, this appears to be a simple replacement of petro-based PE by a renewable
resource based equivalent. Economics, and how the message will be communicated to
consumers, are not as yet known.
OPXBIO COMMERCIALIZING BIOACRYLIC
Feb. 09, 2010 OPXBIOTECHNOLOGIES
Progress Faster than Planned
San Diego and Boulder, Colo. - Feb. 9, 2010 - OPX Biotechnologies, Inc. (OPXBIO), a
renewable biochemical and biofuel company, today announced that it is progressing faster
than plan in developing a commercial process for producing bioacrylic. Since beginning pilot
scale development six months ago, the OPXBIO team has reduced bioacrylic production
cost by 85 percent toward the commercial target of $0.50 per pound. The company used its
proprietary EDGE™ (efficiency directed genome engineering) technology to rapidly develop
a microbe and bioprocess that, when fully optimized, will produce bioacrylic at the rate,
concentration, and yield needed for full commercialization. Today, petroleum-based acrylic is
an $8 billion global market. It is used in a range of industrial and consumer products,
including paints, adhesives, diapers and detergents.
―OPXBIO‘s goal is to compete with petroleum-based chemicals and fuels on both quality and
price,‖ said President and Chief Executive Officer of OPXBIO, Charles R. Eggert (Chas).
―We used our EDGE technology to rapidly develop a bioprocess that, when operated at
commercial scale will produce bioacrylic equivalent in performance and cost to petroleum-
based acrylic. Our results validate our microbial and bioprocess engineering capabilities and
bolster confidence that we will achieve our performance and cost goals by year-end 2010.‖
Eggert communicated news of OPXBIO's accelerated progress on its bioacrylic process
development during a presentation today at the bio-based chemicals summit being held in
The pilot scale bioacrylic process demonstration to be completed in 2010 will confirm
commercial cost and performance viability as well as produce bioacrylic for downstream
customers to test for quality and performance. With successful completion of its pilot scale
development this year, OPXBIO is planning a demonstration facility in 2011 and its first
commercial plant in 2013.
―We have always been very confident that OPXBIO‘s genome engineering technology called
EDGE, would allow us to develop commercially viable microbes faster than the traditional
approaches,‖ said Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of OPXBIO, Dr. Michael Lynch. ―The
fact that we were able to reduce the effective cost of our bioacrylic by more than 85 percent
in just six months of pilot work confirms the power of Edge.‖
Based on the success of its development efforts, OPXBIO has retained Merrick &
Company to design its demonstration and commercial manufacturing plants, which will
become operational in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
―We are pleased to be working with OPXBIO on the development of its potentially game-
changing biochemicals technology,‖ said President and Chief Executive Officer of Merrick,
POLYONE ACHIEVES KEY CERTIFICATION FOR ECO-FRIENDLY COLORANTS AND
Aug. 17, 2010 POLYONE
PolyOne Corporation a premier global provider of specialized polymer materials, services
and solutions, today announced that its OnColor™ BIO and OnCap™ BIO masterbatches
have been granted OK Compost certification by AIB Vinçotte, marking the first time this has
been awarded to a full range of colorants and additives.
AIB Vinçotte, an independent inspection organization, grants OK Compost certification after
verifying that a product meets EN 13432, a standard for compostability recognized in
Europe, Asia and North America. Products meeting this standard are authorized to use the
OK Compost label, which guarantees the item is biodegradable in an industrial composting
plant. To qualify for this label, manufacturers must demonstrate that all components of a
product or package, including inks, pigments and additives, meet EN 13432.
―As environmentally conscious consumers become more aware of the OK Compost
certification, demand is growing for packaging and consumer goods that earn this label,‖
said Marcel Dartée, PolyOne‘s global marketing director for biopolymers. ―Using our
exclusively certified colorants and additives helps customers to accelerate OK Compost
approval of their products. In addition, PolyOne is able to formulate application-specific
solutions that are certified in advance.‖
John Van Hulle, president of Global Color, Additives and Inks, said, ―This achievement
underscores PolyOne‘s long-term commitment to sustainability, and represents the
culmination of several years of development work. We will continue to expand the range of
OK Compost certified solutions to support our customers in meeting the preferences of eco-
THE PROBLEM WITH PLA: CHIP BAGS THAT ARE REALLY LOUD
Aug. 18, 2010 PLASTICSNEWS.COM
Did you ever try to sneak a chip without anyone hearing? Apparently it's just about
impossible with the new sun chip bags from Frito-Lay.
That's according to a story from Page 1 of today‘s The
Wall Street Journal: "Snack Attack: Chip Eaters Make
Noise About a Crunchy Bag."
I love the subhead on this one: "Green initiative has
unintended fallout: a snack as loud as "the cockpit of my
Brad Rodgers, Frito-lay's North American manager of
sustainable packaging, fingers the biobased plastic, polylactic acid, as the cause of the very
The new polymers have a higher "glass transition temperature," which is when a polymer
goes from a harder, glasslike state to a rubber state. Because the transition to rubberiness
happens a bit above room temperature, the bag is "kind of crispy and crunchy," says Mr.
Rodgers. Don't believe the Sun Chips bag is really all that loud? Check out the video and
judge for yourself.
Potato Chip Technology That Destroys Your Hearing from heathaplexVISION on
Editor’s Note: I am surprised that Frito Lay has not done something about the noise of this
product. Since they claim 100% compostable, and not necessarily 100% renewable, I
believe they could have added a small amount of Ecoflex or even PBS which are both
compostable. This approach would certainly make the film more flexible and less noisy.
PBS will soon be made from renewable resources as well. The product is, after all, foil lined
and so not 100% renewable anyway.
CARDIA BIOPLASTICS AND SULO COLLABORATE
July 22, 2010 CARDIABIOPLASTICS
Cardia Bioplastics and SULO collaborate in household food waste
recycling solutions Cardia Bioplastics will provide Australia‘s leading
supplier of waste containment products SULO MGB (Australia) Pty Ltd
with certified compostable bags enabling SULO to offer fully integrated
organic waste diversion services to local governments. Organic waste
comprising plant material and food scraps forms about 40% of the
domestic waste stream in Australia. When this waste is disposed of in a
landfill it breaks down anaerobically, the greenhouse gas methane is released as a by-
product. Diverting organic waste from landfill to composting significantly reduces green
house gas generation and produces compost that can be used as fertilizer and soil
conditioner in farming, parks and gardens.
Increasing numbers of councils in Australia offer a "kitchen to compost" service, with the aim
of diverting organic waste from landfill and SULO is a leading provider of such services. To
fully integrate the offering to households, Australian global sustainable resins and finished
products supplier, Cardia Bioplastics and SULO have collaborated to offer councils and
households a specially designed kitchen tidy bin and certified compostable bag system.
Cardia bioplastics and Sulo announced their partnership at Australia‘s peak environmental
and sustainability conference and exhibition - Enviro 2010 - now on in Melbourne. The
companies will showcase their new SULO kitchen tidy bins fitted with tailored Cardia
compostable kitchen tidy bags.
Cardia Bioplastics managing director Dr Frank Glatz said recycling organic waste is vital if
we are serious about reducing our environmental footprint and managing household waste
sustainably. "This organic waste system is tailored to meet domestic needs for form, fit and
function," he said.
Editor’s Note: Landfills must be managed to recycle leachate and provide the moisture for
bacteria to exist and produce methane. Most landfills are sealed and no bacterial
CARDIA BIOPLASTICS COMPOSTABLE "BIO-FILM" WINS GLOBAL HYGIENE
July 15, 2010 CARDIABIOPLASTICS
Cardia Bioplastics will supply major Chinese
manufacturer Ben’s Land Baby Articles Corp Ltd.
with a new compostable moisture barrier film (―Bio-
Film‖) for the manufacture of a range of baby
diaper/nappy and feminine hygiene products.
Australian global sustainable resins and finished
products supplier Cardia Bioplastics was approached by
Ben's Land to collaborate in the development of this
specialist film product following demand from United
States and European customers for more environmentally friendly hygiene products.
Testing confirmed that, compared to conventional plastic films, Cardia compostable "bio-film"
provides the required high performance moisture barrier to prevent leaking, facilitates
breathability to keep skin drier, and is soft for comfort.
"Bio-film" is part of the patented Cardia compostable resins range. These resins are
manufactured from renewable resources and are certified as fully compostable to
international standards, including Europe‘s EN 13432, the USA's ASTM D6400, Japan‘s
GreenPLA, and Australia‘s AS 4736.
Cardia Bioplastics Chairman Pat Volpe said this contract reflects the continuing shift away
from conventional fossil fuel based plastics by global suppliers and consumers. "Parents
with babies and women are concerned about the environment, as well as product
performance. They want products that offer sustainable solutions to their needs," he said.
"Achieving the right film for these personal hygiene applications was challenging. We worked
closely with Ben's Land to bring this application of Cardia compostable "bio-film" to market.
Ben's Land will supply the new product to its main customers in the USA and European
"This important product development confirms Cardia's confidence that the baby nappy and
feminine hygiene categories will increasingly switch to environmentally friendly and
compostable products. This contract will be the first of many for us in the personal hygiene
sector and will contribute au$1.5m to our annual sales revenue," said Pat Volpe.
Through its ongoing industry collaboration activities, Cardia Bioplastics has several other
products under confidential development agreements with a number of global companies, or
under its own accord.
EXTRUDER ADDS BIO-BASED FLAME-RESISTANT PROFILES TO ITS PORTFOLIO
Aug 11, 2010 PLASTICSTODAY.COM
Keller Plastics, the extrusion processing business unit of Keller Products Inc., has
expanded its range of products with the addition of polylactic acid (PLA) extruded profiles
that offer flame resistance. Potential uses could be in point-of-purchase displays, packaging,
wall partitions and other construction applications, furniture, and more.
The profiles are primarily PLA with a proprietary flame retardant. James Decknick, VP Sales
and Marketing at Keller Products Inc. (Manchester, NH), in answer to question from MPW,
said the flame retardant can be considered harmless to the environment as its formula
contains no halogens, chlorine nor bromine. While PLA alone will burn readily, this profile
blend offers very low smoke and is self-extinguishing. According to the processor, the profile
feels like any other plastic material and very much like ABS. "we can even color match the
profile as well. Green material, your exact profile, and doesn't burn," he emphasized.
Keller Plastics operates out of a 50,000-ft2 extrusion plant in Bow, NH. Development of the
flame-resistant PLA profiles was driven partly in house, and partly from customers'
expressed interest, added Decknick. The processor is offering samples of the profiles to
PROCESSORS START TO PONY UP FOR FEATHER-BASED PLASTICS
Aug. 11, 2010 PLASTICSTODAY.COM
Processors from around the world are starting to take an interest in keratin resin, derived
from poultry feathers. Less dense than polyolefins, with a modulus of about 3-5 GPa and
stress-to-break of 200-500 MPa, the material, a thermoplastic and biodegradable, can be
molded neat or blended with standard thermoplastics to create "green" compounds.
There have been attempts before to derive plastic from poultry feathers, but officials at
Eastern Bioplastics (MT. Crawford, VA), located in the largest poultry farming area of the
U.S., believe they have a leg up on the competition. "Our advantage is that we've developed
a continuous process, using less energy (than others) and keeping it nearly fully automated,"
from feathers coming in one end of the plant to pellets being bagged on the other, explained
Sonny Meyerhoeffer, the company's founder and principal, in an interview with MPW.
Feathers' quills and fibers contain keratin, a material that can be processed much like
standard thermoplastics. Feathers are cleaned, chopped and extruded into strands that then
are cut into granules. The granulate does not smell. Although naturally whitish/brown in
color, the keratin can be colored easily, adds Meyerhoeffer.
Meyerhoeffer comes to the business with a broad business background. Before starting
Eastern Bioplastics, though, he led the founding of a Co-op that took over a turkey
processing plant slated with closure. The Co-op flourished, jobs and livelihoods were saved,
and so, about three years ago, he began to seek a new challenge, settling on
commercialization of keratin resins. Mutual acquaintances put him in touch with Justin
Barone, an associate professor at VA Tech. (Blacksburg, VA), who was a researcher on the
U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) team that
discovered these polymers could be processed into plastics. Barone now is the R&D leader
of the young company and also a stakeholder in it.
The company has eight to nine employees and developed its own machinery for processing
the feathers. In the U.S., poultry feathers sometimes are used as filler in cattle or poultry
feed, but most of them end up in landfills. Brandon Waldron, who handles sales and
marketing at the company, has lined up sufficient poultry processors to ensure a steady
feather supply. Eastern bioplastics uses chicken feathers for its plastic rather than turkey
feathers, as these latter feathers require greater processing, and thus energy, to create a
good keratin. According to the USDA-ARS, annually about 4 billion lb of chicken feathers are
left over after processing in the U.S.
The keratin from Eastern Bioplastics is priced to compete with standard thermoplastics. Matt
Swartley, hired in 2008 and now project coordinator, says the company has tested well over
200 formulations. The company has begun work with some processors, among them Great
Lakes Diecast, and Meyerhoeffer says the company is fielding questions from processors
around the world. Currently the company has focused its efforts mostly on development of
grades for injection molding. On the R&D board is work on extrusion grades, such as those
necessary to extrude agricultural films.
Though still small, the company and product is at a stage where it is ready to step up for
commercial projects, Swartley says. Unlike many plastics based on biomaterials, the keratin
is not particularly sensitive to heat, with melt temperatures well above 200ºF. Exact data is
forthcoming in the next weeks as the company begins a battery of tests to determine the
Processors' interest is across the applications realm, says Meyerhoeffer, with molders of
single-use packaging and cutlery showing interest, but also ones serving the automotive and
furniture markets, with these latter more interested in keratin blended with standard plastics
such as HDPE, LDPE and PP. Swartley notes that keratin's density is lower than that of
these materials, offering processors a means to cut both weight and to score sustainability
points. In these compounds the feather fibers are completely encased in thermoplastic so
there is no transfer of water or microbes into the material to degrade the keratin, and thus no
Editor’s Note: I would never have imagined there were 4 billion pounds of chicken feathers
left over each year in the U.S.! I admit to being initially somewhat confused by this
technology and believe keratin is not a thermoplastic in its natural form. However, it appears
the process uses water to break the sulfur –sulfur bonds which apparently reform after
processing. It will be interesting to see actual data for the thermoplastic materials as
opposed to the filled polyolefin composites.
MAJOR PRODUCERS-BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS
Facility Expansions, Announcements, Acquisitions, Mergers, Sales
NAPCOR AND ESSEL PROPACK DISCUSS RECYCLING IMPLICATIONS OF PLA
July 22, 2010 PLASTICSNEWS.COM
Recent research into manufacturing closures made partly of bio-based resin by India‘s Essel
Propack Ltd. has upset some in the recycling industry, even as company officials denied
that they plan to introduce the product into the most commonly recycled plastics materials‘
Essel Propack, which makes tubes, caps and closures, has been testing a hybrid of
polypropylene and what the firm originally said was polylactic acid for tube closures. In a July
20 telephone interview, Kerry Dodds, manager of Essel Propack‘s molding plant in Danville,
VA., said the bio-based material more accurately could be termed ―starch-based resin,‖ not
The company developed the hybrid caps at the request of an unnamed North American
customer and has successfully batch tested them at Danville Community College, with
commercialization likely to happen in the near future once pricing is ironed out, Dodds said.
That research and development work prompted the National Association for PET
Container Resources in Sonoma, Calif., to send a letter July 6 to Ted Sojourner, regional
vice president of Essel Propack‘s tubes and laminates business in the Americas.
In the letter, NAPCOR cautioned Sojourner that the R&D project ―likely runs counter to your
customers‘ motivations and intentions regarding this material and we urge you to take the
time to fully understand the implications that these closures may have when used on
containers made from non-PLA resins.‖
In a July 14 telephone interview, Mike Schedler, NAPCOR‘s technical director, said the
group is concerned whenever companies appear to be designing bio-based products without
regard to their effects on recycling.
―During the process of recycling PET bottles, float/sink technology is used to float off the PP
[and] polyethylene closures in use today, as well as in some cases residual label [material].
If you inject a PLA cap into that mix, there‘s no way you can instruct people to take the caps
off and recycle them. It‘s going to get into the mix,‖ he said.
Schedler said the problem is that material recovery facilities (MRFs) in the United States are
generally not configured to successfully separate PLA from other materials with a float/sink
―Most of them are still employing a manual sort; there‘s just no way when you have a burden
depth of 9-20 inches that those manual sorters can pick out one [material] from another. So
you always have a spillover to some degree, whether it‘s 2 percent or 5 percent — depends
on how well the MRF is run.
―Even if you had a high density [polyethylene] bottle in there, chances are that the closures
are going to get in with the PET, and that really poses a problem in terms of extreme
contamination for the PET, since the PLA and PET will sink. The technology that is being
used to remove the PLA bottles as contaminants is not going to work on caps,‖ Schedler
Sojourner referred Plastics News to Dodds for comment. Dodds said he appreciates
NAPCOR‘s concern about the hazards of mixing incompatible materials during recycling, but
doesn‘t think it‘s germane to Essel Propack‘s immediate R&D project.
―These caps are for tubes. They will have a [Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.] No. 7
[―Other‖] designation on the inside,‖ he said. ―And they are caps. It‘s not like we have any
intentions of going further with this and making bottles. It‘s not within our realm of
Dodds said Essel Propack‘s customer is seeking a cap that could degrade in a landfill, not
something that could be recycled.
Schedler said that kind of ―green‖ philosophy about PLA — which he said is more about
brand-owners‘ marketing instead of true environmental concern — is what‘s causing so
much confusion in the plastics recycling industry.
―These guys are saying, ‗It‘s going to disappear in a landfill in five years.‘ I haven‘t spoken to
a landfill manager that would knowingly want that stuff in their landfill, because what you‘re
saying is that it‘s going to continue to destabilize the landfill, No. 1.
―No. 2, it‘s going to generate methane. Nobody wants to generate methane. It‘s counter to
what you‘re talking about in terms of global warming issues. Even if you accept that it
disappears, from a public value standpoint, it doesn‘t make any sense,‖ he said.
In its letter to Essel Propack, NAPCOR referenced design guidelines written in 1994 and last
revised in 2008 by the Association for Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers in Washington.
Editor’s Note: Concern over upsetting the recycling stream seems to be increasing.
However, recycling in the USA, as we know, is not really well developed. In addition, I
believe if we want to generate methane as a fuel this is not a bad thing; it‘s more a question
of philosophy─build a sealed tomb devoid of biological activity or allow such activity to occur
and use the product of decomposition as an energy source as occurs in managed landfills
ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS ARE BIOPLASTICS' HOLY GRAIL
July 22, 2010 DESIGNNEWS
Tough jobs for bioplastics could emerge from a marriage of Natureworks PLA
Technology and Avantium's green YXY process.
Two leaders in the development of sustainable polymers
are extending research into a new generation of
engineering plastics made from renewable resources.
The research mates Ingeo polylactic acid from
NatureWorks of Minnetonka, MN, with Furanic chemicals
developed by Avantium of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
We find the material intriguing with a host of potential
market applications," says Steve Davies, Director of Corporate Communications and Public
Affairs at Natureworks. "Before we can make a solid assessment, more research on a larger
scale needs to be conducted. The Research and Development project continues."
From a chemist's perspective, furanics are a family of aromatic unsaturated polyesters, while
polylactide is an aliphatic polyester. Davies says they would complement each other in how
they offer alternatives to traditional petroleum-based polymers.
Furanics are chemicals that are formed when you take carbohydrates and remove the water.
Avantium says it has developed a patented chemical catalytic process technology to convert
biomass directly into furanics. In comparison to biological production technology, such as
fermentation widely used to make bioplastics, Avantium's catalytic process has these
Speed. Chemical conversion takes seconds to minutes, while fermentation takes several
Adaptability. The catalytic process can be run using existing chemical industry
Costs. A typical catalyst used in a chemical process costs less than 1 cent per gallon of end
product. Enzymes used in fermentation processes are typically 6 to 65 cents per gallon of
end product, according to Avantium.
Avantium partnered with NatureWorks to develop commercial plastics for its technology. But
it looks like a long road. There are no plans at the moment to develop production facilities
even though the partnership is now a year old.
"It is simply too early, and like any new-to-the-world material, much needs to be learned
about it first," Davies says. "Commercial production would require both a new monomer
production process and an understanding of the most desirable compositions. If we had to
estimate a time for commercialization, our best estimate would be that commercial samples
may be available in several years. "Potential markets are personal electronics, automotive,
fibers and various engineering plastics applications.
Avantium, which calls its process YXY, was founded in 2000 by Royal Dutch Shell,
Eastman Chemical, Akzo-Nobel and Pfizer to develop catalysts for chemical and refinery
Editor’s Note: Avantium is a Netherlands‘ based startup company. It will be interesting to
see how the properties of this aromatic, non-compostable, polyester compares with
biobased PET based on sugar cane derived ethylene glycol.
PTT, MITSUBISHI TEAM UP FOR GREEN PLASTICS VENTURE
July 23, 2010 DOWNSTREAMTODAY
Thailand's national oil flagship PTT has joined with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) to
build the first biodegradable plastics plant to serve the rising global trend, says Prajya
Phinyawat, PTT's chief operating officer for downstream petroleum business. The two
companies are studying the possibility of investing first in downstream biodegradable
products, including polylactic acid (PLA) and polybutylene succinate (PBS). Prajya said that
while the size of the investment had yet to be determined, the production capacity should be
at least 30,000 tonnes yearly to achieve economies of scale.
There is no local production for PLA in the country but US-based NatureWorks has planned
to begin such an operation in 2013. Prajya said the two types of downstream biodegradable
plastics were in high demand amid the rising awareness of climate change.
As one of the world's major producers of cassava and sugar, Thailand has abundant
supplies of the raw materials for bioplastics production, making it a competitive, low-cost
location for production. "We could very well be the lowest-cost producer in Asia. Although
biodegradable plastics are quite new in the local market, demand will definitely catch on in
the next few years. There is no cause for concern because [the demand] is growing in other
countries," said Prajya. "Also, once the global economy is back on track, biodegradable
[plastics] will gain in popularity, probably in leaps and bounds given the green product trend.
We will see consumer products makers and the food sector use biodegradable plastic
packaging in a bid to add value to their products." To spur local demand initially, PTT
introduced its first bioplastics to the domestic market a month ago by importing
biodegradable resin from Mitsubishi's production plant in Japan.
PTT and MMC, its key bioplastics partner, will co-invest in two plants, a downstream
biodegradable resin plant and an upstream plant, said Hiroaki Ishizuka, managing executive
officer for supervision petrochemicals. He added these plants would be MCC's second
biodegradable plastics production base in Asia. Thailand was picked due to its plentiful
tapioca starch and sugar resources and full government support.
"Given the local government's support and rich crops of raw materials, we are confident in
setting up a base in Thailand. It is a right decision as it is going to be a facility with the lowest
production cost in the world," said Mr Ishizuki. The two companies yesterday also signed a
memorandum of understanding with the National Innovation Agency and the Ministry of
Environment and Natural Resources to build a 5-million-baht organic fertilizer factory from
organic waste on Koh Samet, Rayong. Organic waste will be managed and separated by
using biodegradable plastic bag. Ranked among the top garbage-producing areas, the resort
island generates six tonnes of waste daily.
Editor’s Note: Thailand is the location for Purac‘s 75,000MT Lactide plant which is going
to be used to produce PLA. If NatureWorks is really planning to also begin PLA production
there in 2013 then, depending on the scale, Thailand would become the next largest source
CEREPLAST, INC. ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER 2010 RESULTS
Aug. 16, 2010 CEREPLAST.COM
Gross Profit Rises Significantly on Cost Savings from New Bioplastics Facility in
Cereplast, Inc. A leading manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, sustainable
plastics today announced its financial results for the second quarter ended
June 30, 2010.
Second quarter 2010 highlights:
Second quarter sales totaled $684,431 compared to $900,598 a year ago.
Gross profit rose 157.3% to $199,211, versus $77,421 for the same period last year.
Gross margin as a percentage of net sales increased to 30.8% from 8.6% for the
same period last year.
Operating expenses were $1,837,635 compared to $1,136,295 last year.
Net loss was $1,731,259, versus net loss of $1,049,237 in the same period last year.
Working capital increased by about $5.7 million during the quarter to $6.7 million.
Successfully raised approximately $7.5 million in registered direct financing.
Introduced 11 new grades of bioplastic resins for wide range of applications.
Entered into agreements to ship 16 million pounds of bioplastic resins in 2010,
representing up to a 400% increase in shipments over 2009.
Expanded distribution agreements in South East Asia, Southern China, South
America, Europe, and in the United States with Ashland Distribution, among
Solidified sales and marketing force with key new appointments.
Began trading on the NASDAQ capital market under the symbol "CERP."
"We achieved significant milestones in the second quarter and further positioned the
company for rapid growth and operational profitability," said Mr. Frederic Scheer, Founder,
Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Inc. "Our gross profit rose significantly on cost savings
from our new bioplastics manufacturing facility in Seymour, Indiana, which has increased
production efficiencies significantly. As a result, our second quarter gross margin as a
percentage of net sales increased to 30.8% from 8.6% in the same period last year. Though
sales were impacted by the ramp up of our facility taking place towards the beginning of the
quarter as we moved our operations to Indiana from California, we expect revenues for 2010
could increase more than 190% over last year to between $8-$10 million as demand for our
products remains strong as a result of contracts and commitments we are securing from
around the world.
"Our momentum in building our customer base in the second quarter coincided with a
number of significant accomplishments, including the listing of our common shares on the
NASDAQ capital market under the symbol 'CERP,'" added Mr. Scheer. "Ultimately, this will
allow our share price to reflect the growth of our company and the rapid development of the
bioplastics industry, as well as provide better market support, increased institutional
ownership, and more favorable terms for accessing capital. During the quarter, we raised
about $7.5 million from qualified institutions and accredited investors. We are very excited
about our prospects, and this round of financing will assist us in growing our business and
expanding our product lines based on the demand we are experiencing for our
biodegradable, environmentally-friendly resins."
Editor’s Note: This is excellent news for Cereplast and the bioplastics Industry in general.
Cereplast really struggled in 2009. The starch-based market is essentially dominated by
Cereplast, Novamont, in Italy, and Biotec (Stanelco), in the UK/Germany.
OFFICIAL COMPLAINT FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT IN CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:10-CV-
00102-WLS: DANIMER SCIENTIFIC, LLC V. METABOLIX, INC
July 30, 2010 SCRIBD.COM
In our last report we noted that Metabolix has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against
International Paper claiming infringement of US Pat. 5,883,199. This patent deals with
polylactic acid blends. We now see Danimer Scientific suing Metabolix over what appears
to be the same Patent. No other details are as yet available.
Editor’s Note: It would appear that the patent in question is becoming contentious,
specifically in relation to PLA blends. This will be watched to see how the situation unfolds.
GEVO TO ACQUIRE AGRI-ENERGY ETHANOL PRODUCTION FACILITY TO PRODUCE
Aug. 09, 2010 GEVO.COM
Gevo, a privately held renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, today
announced it has signed definitive agreements to acquire Agri-Energy‘s ethanol production
facility in Luverne, Minn.
"This transaction is another important step in achieving our goal of bringing commercial
volumes of renewable isobutanol to the market as soon as possible," said Dr. Patrick
Gruber, CEO of Gevo. "The Luverne plant is a very well run facility with a strong operating
team. It is a great place to begin our commercialization effort. We expect the facility will be
the first among many and want it to be a model project for the future."
Mechanical retrofitting of the plant will begin upon closing the transaction. Isobutanol
production is expected to begin by the first quarter of 2012. During most of the retrofit
process, it is expected that the facility will continue to produce ethanol.
Gevo has developed a proprietary process designed to fit into current ethanol production
facilities. The process also enables the production of isobutanol from numerous renewable
feedstocks including corn, wheat, sorghum, barley, sugar cane and cellulosic feedstocks
when biomass conversion becomes commercially available. Gevo‘s integrated fermentation
technology (GIFT™) platform consists of two components: a yeast biocatalyst and a
separations technology unit that bolts into existing ethanol plants.
"Since its founding in 1998, Agri-Energy has been dedicated to advancing the technology
and best practices of the ethanol industry," said Agri-Energy founding member and Co-op
Coordinator David Kolsrud. ―We see biobutanol as the next logical step in the industry‘s
development. We believe isobutanol can be sold into many markets and has product
attributes that make it a compelling product for current ethanol producers."
About Isobutanol: A Viable Platform for Renewable Fuels and Chemicals
Isobutanol is a naturally occurring, four-carbon alcohol found in food and some alcoholic
beverages. It is also a ―drop-in‖ platform chemical with broad applications in the product of
approximately 40 percent of petrochemicals and 100 percent of hydrocarbon fuels. It can be
used directly for a solvent and converted to isobutylene, the raw material for plastics and
fibers. Gevo believes its isobutanol will provide a route to the renewable production of
rubber, polypropylene, polystyrene, and PET. Isobutanol can also be used directly as a
gasoline blendstock and as a building block in the production of hydrocarbons found in
petroleum-derived gasoline, jet and diesel fuels.
GEVO, INC. FILES REGISTRATION STATEMENT FOR PROPOSED INITIAL PUBLIC
Aug 12, 2010. GEVO.COM
Gevo, Inc., a privately held renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company,
announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to the proposed initial public offering
of shares of its common stock. The shares of common stock to be sold in this offering are
proposed to be sold by Gevo, Inc. and the number of shares to be offered and the price
range of the offering have not yet been determined.
UBS Investment Bank and Goldman, Sachs & Co. will be acting as joint book running
managers, with Piper Jaffray acting as a co-manager for the offering. This offering will be
made only by means of a prospectus. Copies of the preliminary prospectus for this offering
may be obtained, when available, from the prospectus department of UBS Investment Bank,
Attention: Prospectus Department, 299 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10171, via
telephone at 1-888-827-7275; or from the prospectus department of Goldman, Sachs & Co.,
Attention: Prospectus Department, 85 Broad Street, New York, New York 10004, via
telephone at 1-866-471-2526 or via fax at 212-902-9316.
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC but has not
yet become effective. These securities may not be sold, nor may offers to buy be accepted,
prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall
neither constitute an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any
sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful
prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.
Editor’s Note: Gevo appears to have made a wise investment to accelerate its ability to
commercialize its bioderived isobutanol. This acquisition and subsequent IPO follows on the
recent announcement by Lanxess to invest in Gevo and produce Butyl rubber from Gevo‘s
TREVIRA TO MANUFACTURE INGEO™ FIBERS
July 13, 2010 NATUREWORKSLLC.COM
NatureWorks LLC and Trevira GmbH jointly announced that Trevira of Bobingen,
Germany, one of the world‘s leading producers of high-quality branded polyester fibers and
filament yarns, now holds a master license to manufacture Ingeo fibers. The rationale for this
new partnership was first discussed at the EDANA International Nonwovens Symposium,
held in Milan.
―Because of its technical expertise, exemplary reputation, capability to shorten time-to-
market for custom products, and range of product offerings, Trevira is the ideal company to
provide Ingeo fibers to a diverse base of European Union fabric producers, converters, and
brand owners,‖ said Eamonn Tighe, NatureWorks European business manager for fibers
and nonwovens. ―Expanding our portfolio of product offerings with a cost-competitive and
versatile fiber like Ingeo is both a growth strategy and the next step in our company‘s
sustainability journey,‖ said Günter Wittmann, Trevira‘s director of sales and marketing,
―The close cooperation with NatureWorks fits perfectly into our strategy of offering specialty
and customized fibers. Leadership in quality and product development relies heavily on
Ingeo is made from renewable plant materials, not oil, emitting up to 85 percent less
greenhouse gas and requiring up to 69 percent less energy to manufacture into resin when
compared to traditional polymers. Ingeo biopolymer not only lowers the carbon footprint of
products and components, but it also offers exceptional performance capabilities.
Tighe said that in the past 18 months, NatureWorks has seen significant interest among
European Union converters, brand owners, and retailers in locally sourced, low-carbon
footprint fibers and nonwovens for apparel, household, technical textiles, and personal care
products. He said this new relationship with such a reputable company as Trevira further
confirms NatureWorks‘ commitment to the fibers and nonwovens sector within the European
NATURALLY IOWA BUYS COMPOSTING REACTOR COMPANY
AUG. 05, 2010 PLASTICSNEWS
Naturally Iowa Inc. has acquired Totally Green LLC of Marietta, Ga. a manufacturer of
industrial composting reactors. Terms of the deal, announced Aug. 3, were not disclosed.
Clarinda, Iowa-based Naturally Iowa is known for its blow molded milk and water bottles
made from NatureWorks LLC‘s Ingeo-brand polylactic acid resin. Naturally Iowa claims to
offer the world‘s first compostable water bottle closed-loop composting system. By
combining Naturally Iowa‘s compostable bottle with Totally Green‘s Orca Green Machine, —
which can turn into water as much as 2,000 pounds of garbage per day — bottles and food
waste can be fully composted within 48 hours in a cost-effective and earth-friendly way, the
firm said in an Aug. 3 news release.
In the release, Naturally Iowa President Rob Phillips disclosed that Totally Green has been a
strategic partner with his firm since 2008. ―This acquisition completes Naturally Iowa‘s vision
for providing a complete solution to disposal of food waste and packaging in an
environmentally friendly manner,‖ he said.
―Food waste continues to be an expensive problem for the food and beverage industry, due
to rising landfill costs and the environmental challenges of disposal,‖ he said. ―This industry
has been looking for solutions to their water bottle waste issues. ―Since Naturally Iowa‘s
Green Bottle Spring Water bottles can be composted within 48 hours in the Green Machine
along with the food waste, both problems are solved at the same time.‖Company officials did
not return calls seeking additional comment.
Naturally Iowa in 2007 bought PLA Supply Co., a PLA preform molder in Waverly, Neb.,
from Minnetonka, Minn.-based NatureWorks. According to its website, Naturally Iowa —
which operates a 28,000-square-foot plant in Clarinda — posted a loss in 2009 of about
$70,000 on sales of $672,000.
Editor’s Note: Blow molded milk containers would seem an ideal application for the
biobased polyethylene being launched by Braskem as opposed to PLA.
MAJOR PRODUCERS – NAMES IN THE NEWS
CEREPLAST, INC. APPOINTS HEATHER SHEEHAN AS CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Aug. 16, 2010 BUSINESSWIRE.COM
Cereplast, Inc., a leading manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, sustainable plastics, today
announced that it has appointed Ms. Heather E. Sheehan to the position of Senior Vice
President and Chief Financial Officer, effective August 16, 2010.
Ms. Sheehan is a seasoned finance executive with over 20 years of financial leadership in
public companies and 'big four' accounting firms. She joined Cereplast in 2008 and has
served in increasingly important roles, most recently as Senior Vice President & Chief
Accounting Officer. Prior to joining Cereplast, Ms. Sheehan served as chief financial officer
of Exemplis Corporation and held various senior international treasury, corporate finance,
and accounting roles at Conagra Inc., International Rectifier Corp. and Trans Mountain
Pipe Line Co., Ltd. Ms. Sheehan began her career in the audit practice of Price
WaterhouseCoopers in Canada and the United Kingdom. Ms. Sheehan, who holds a
Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Simon Fraser University
(Vancouver, Canada), is a chartered accountant (Canada) and a certified public accountant.
"We are delighted to enhance our executive team with the appointment of Heather Sheehan
as Chief Financial Officer," said Frederic Scheer, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast,
inc. "based on our recent NASDAQ up listing and the revenue growth we are anticipating
over the next couple of years, 1 am confident that her ability to navigate the regulatory
landscape and further develop our corporate financial infrastructure to support operations
and communicate with the investing public will be a key to driving Cereplast's long-term
MONOMER SUPPLY/RENEWABLY SOURCED MATERIALS
ADM ADDS ISOSORBIDE TO ITS INDUSTRIAL CHEMICAL PRODUCT LINE
Aug. 11, 2010 ADM
Renewable ingredient is a potential alternative to BPA in plastics.
Archer Daniels Midland Company today announced that it has begun offering isosorbide
under its line of Evolution Chemicals™. Isosorbide is an industrial ingredient made from
corn that is a potential alternative to the petroleum-based chemical Bisphenol A in plastics
and other applications. ADM is the first company in North America to offer renewable
isosorbide on a commercial scale.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is used in the manufacture of plastics and is present in many products
including eyeglass lenses, sports equipment, CD‘s and DVD‘s. Both the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health have
expressed concern about the potential health effects associated with BPA.
―Today more than ever, people are seeking both consumer and industrial products that are
safe and renewable,‖ said Robert Broomham, Business Director, ADM Industrial Chemicals.
―Isosorbide offers manufacturers a renewable alternative to the traditional chemicals found in
Isosorbide is a versatile ingredient with wide range of applications. It can be used in
polyesters for inks, toners, powder coatings, packaging and durable goods; polyurethanes
for foams and coatings; polycarbonates for durable goods and optical media; epoxy resins
for paints; and detergents, surfactants and additives for personal care and consumer
―With increased interest in environmental improvement, we see growing opportunity to
expand our portfolio of renewable industrial products,‖ said Broomham. ―ADM‘s Research
and Development expertise and our access to agricultural feed stocks enable us to develop
innovative ingredients that can serve as replacements for traditional chemicals.‖
ADM currently offers isosorbide in both a technical grade (97 percent pure) and a polymer
grade (99 percent pure). For more information or to order, contact ADM at 866-660-7336 or
ADM‘s evolution chemicals line of biobased industrial ingredients is derived from renewable
resources like corn and soy. Evolution places ADM‘s industrial chemicals, such as
isosorbide, propylene glycol, glycerin, industrial ethanol and ethylene glycol, under one
Editor’s Note: Isosorbide is not a new material. In 2002 The French company Roquette
worked with DuPont to introduce this monomer into PET (PEIT). The result was a higher Tg
polyester. The product was not commercialized. Isosorbide was also studied by
NatureWorks for increasing the softening point of PLA and, more recently, Roquette is
studying the manufacture of polyisosorbide succinate polyesters. With the entry of ADM,
isosorbide as renewable resource based monomer will no doubt result in increasing interest
for new polymers and intermediates.
NATURAL FIBER COMPOSITES AND OTHER ‘BIO-ADDITIVES’
SO.F.TER. INTRODUCES NATURAL FIBER REINFORCED COMPOUNDS
Aug. 02, 2010 SOFTERSPA.COM
Based on polyolefins, allow 10% weight reduction compared with glass fibers.
SO.F.TER. launches a new line of polyolefin based
compounds reinforced with vegetable fibers,
featuring very good mechanical properties.
Developed to fulfill the growing demand for
sustainable materials, these composites are fully
recyclable and contain fibers coming from renewable sources as a replacement of traditional
mineral fillers. These fibers originate from long leaves plants such as flax, sisal, hemp or
come from wood flour and working scraps.
The natural fiber reinforced composites are characterized by strength and lightness: tests
comparing NF and GF composites having equal properties prove that the former weighs
10% less than the latter because of a lower density. They also offer better sound-deadening
and anti-vibrating properties as well as better resistance to shock and high temperatures.
The lightness of the natural fibers composites makes them particularly suitable for the
automotive industry, where the reduction in vehicles weight yields a cutback of emissions.
From a functional point of view the natural fiber composites are suitable for the production of
internal parts and panels, but their applicative potential also includes visible parts because
they can provide very innovative and good looking aesthetical effects.
PLASTIC BAG BAN PRESSURES, LEGISLATION AND PUSHBACK
Editor’s Note: As in previous reports I have selected just the most relevant articles
surrounding the use of disposable plastics bags to provide an insight into the dynamics of
this debate. It would appear that California is almost ready to enact a State-wide ban on
plastic bags; however, opposition to such bans is still strong.
PLASTIC BAGS AND MYTHS THAT DEPICT THEM AS THE VILLAIN
JULY 24, 2010 WORKONINTERNET.COM
As the general population continues to become more consciousness about protecting our
environment and maximizing the amounts we recycle, it becomes commonplace for a
particular item to become an "environmental villain." in this case, we're referencing plastic
Whether its poly mailers, newspaper bags, bread bags, or any variation of self seal bags, the
fact is that many of these plastic variations are looked down upon by many environmental
activists. And typically for the wrong reasons.
That's why this article will look to set the record straight when it comes to the world of plastic
bags. The biggest myth about plastic bags is that they are being banned across the nation.
While it is true that some states have developed legislature that would remove plastic bags
from grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores (North Carolina has banned them
in its outer banks). The truth is that a majority of states, instead of prohibiting, are looking for
ways to recycle.
According to the Progressive Bag Alliance, New Jersey, Connecticut, and certain cities in
California have all begun to block legislation banning plastic bags, "and instead are now
looking to implement plastic bag recycling programs."
Another popular myth to believe is that by using paper bags, you're supporting the planet
more than someone who would choose to use plastic bags. The truth is that "paper or
plastic" are practically equal when it comes to natural resources being used.
According to a plastic recycling directory by the society of plastics industry, the energy
needed to create a Safeway plastic bag is 594 BTU‘s. The amount of energy used to create
a Safeway paper bag, meanwhile, is over quadruple that, at 2,511 BTU‘s.
Not to mention, paper bags create a "double-whammy" when it comes to the environment,
as their production leads to the destruction of trees, which coincidentally absorb the
greenhouse gasses their manufacturing creates.
Another myth that circulates around environmental "green" groups is that the creation of
plastic bags consumes massive amounts of crude oil. Some groups even go as far as to
suggest the banning of plastic bags would be the key to ending America‘s dependence on
The truth of the matter is that all plastics… including plastic bags…. Are manufactured with
byproducts of petroleum products, and most plastics in the USA are made with natural gas.
While some oil does end up being converted into plastic (all plastics, not just self seal poly
bags), it is less than 5% of the oil used in America.
Therefore, banning plastic bags would reduce America‘s oil-usage by an almost
unnoticeable amount. This is in sharp contrast to the amount of oil that is refined into fuel,
which is how a massive majority of oil in this country is used.
To put it in perspective: more oil is used as fuel for transportation an industry in the United
States A DAY than is used to create plastic bags IN A YEAR.
And as we dip into the hot summer months, and vacationers enjoy those sunny beaches, a
myth that often circulates is that plastic bags are the most common garbage on the beach.
The truth is that plastic bags accounted for a mere 6% of the total litter collected by
volunteers for the ocean conservancy's coastal cleanup in 2008.
PUSH TO GET RID OF PLASTIC BAGS GETS BOOST IN CALIFORNIA
Aug. 16, 2010 JOPLINGLOBE.COM
Paper or plastic?
For many local consumers, it‘s a question of convenience versus environmental
responsibility. ―I just don‘t like having (plastic bags) lying around,‖ Joplin resident Andrea
Svec said Monday. ―If I get them, I always try to reuse them, but they still end up in the
trash.‖ Svec said she has been carrying her own reusable grocery bags for a year, and that
she tries to avoid grocery store plastic bags when she can.
Since San Francisco in 2007 banned plastic grocery bags, cities and counties across the
country have adopted similar restrictions. Many maritime communities have adopted bag
bans to protect marine life, and cities inland have adopted them, too.
Now, California is poised to become the first state to ban the so-called ―urban tumbleweeds‖
entirely, which could pave the way for similar regulation elsewhere. The ban has made it
through the California state assembly, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has indicated he‘ll
sign the bill if it passes the state senate.
Though at least 24 states have examined plastic bag legislation, so far none have gotten as
far as California‘s proposed ban. Missouri has no statewide restrictions. For now, in
Missouri, the future of plastic bags will be dictated by consumer preference.
Dan Shaul, State Director of the Missouri Grocers Association, said the group would like to
see bags that balance environmental and economic issues and ―meet the needs of the
consumer.‖ He warned that any kind of bag-banning regulations need to be examined
closely for possible unexpected side effects. ―The devil‘s in the details,‖ he said. ―We can put
a ban on stuff, but it isn‘t really going to solve the problem.‖
California‘s bill allows for the use of paper bags, but it would charge consumers 5 cents per
bag with the goal of encouraging customers to begin using their own reusable bags. The
California Grocers Association prefers the statewide measure to a patchwork of local
The plastics industry has been lobbying against the ban. So has the paper industry.
Although paper bags stand to gain market share, manufacturers don‘t like the bill‘s
requirement that the bags be made from 40 percent recycled material.
The American Chemistry Council, which represents a variety of industries including plastics
manufacturers, has denounced the legislation as a $1 billion bag tax. The industry also is
preparing to fight legislation in Oregon, where legislators plan to introduce a plastic bag ban
―If California passes this bill,‖ said Patrick Rita, spokesman for the renewable bag council, a
paper industry group, ―we‘re going to see a real opening up of floodgates on copycat
Joplin consumer Greg Rmory said he uses primarily the plastic bags he‘s given when he
shops at Wal-Mart and price cutter, then returns them to Wal-Mart‘s in-house recycling
program on each trip. ―But I see a lot more people at Wal-Mart with (reusable bags),‖ he
Suzanne Nelson, owner of Suzanne‘s natural foods, said she favors reusable bags for both
her own shopping and for her business, but she provides paper bags for customers.
―We ordered 1,000 shopping totes that we‘re giving to members of our loyalty rewards
program,‖ she said.
Nelson said using a reusable bag is just a matter of getting into the habit of carrying one.
―I keep mine hanging on my doorknob, and I always have a bunch of them in the floorboard
of my car,‖ she said. ―It‘s just sort of a new thing. People need to start learning to create a
new habit of not getting a bag when they go someplace but taking a bag with them.‖
NEW, EMERGING (HOT) TOPICS
Editor’s Note: It appears that despite all the controversy surrounding oxo degradable
products the technology is now making inroads in geographies outside the USA. It is
interesting that, despite the lack of public domain information as to the true efficacy of these
products, certification in the Emirates has been achieved. Maybe this will lead to more
information becoming readily available.
WELLS PLASTICS GETS EMIRATES APPROVAL FOR REVERTE
Aug. 11, 2010 PRW.COM
Wells Plastics has become the first company to
obtain the Emirates Quality Mark certification for
oxo-biodegradable additives from the Federal UAE
Authority: ESMA (Emirates Authority for
Standardization & Metrology).
The certification has been issued for Wells Plastics‘ Reverte brand of oxo-biodegradable
additive, which is certified as complying with the newly introduced UAE standard S5009,
which specifies the standard for the oxo-biodegradation of plastic bags and other disposable
Speaking at the certificate award ceremony, which was held in Dubai on 10 August, John
James, export manager at Wells Plastics, said: ―We are delighted to be the first company to
be certified in the UAE for oxo-biodegradable additives, and we are pleased that through the
use of Reverte more and more companies are now able to make a difference towards the
problem of dealing with plastic waste in the UAE environment.‖
GLOBAL BAKERY BIMBO SWITCHING TO BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS
AUG. 06, 2010 PLASTICSNEWS.COM
Giant baker Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV is pressing on with its switch to biodegradable
packaging for all its products in Mexico.
The move, mentioned in the Mexican conglomerate‘s annual report for 2009, is part of a
project called Committed to the Environment (Comprometidos con el Medio Ambiente),
which Bimbo launched in November 2007.
In the annual report, published June 30, Bimbo said it started introducing biodegradable
packaging last year. Without providing details, it said the technology ―reduces the period of
degradation from 100 years to between three and five.‖
It didn‘t say how long it will take to complete the switch to biodegradable packaging on all its
brands. But sliced bread brands, including Wonder, are now stamped with a seal that reads
―100 percent degradable‖ (Empaque 100 por ciento degradable) on their plastic packaging.
―We‘re in the process of change,‖ a Bimbo spokesman in Mexico City told Plastics News,
when asked specifically about the type of packaging used for products sold by El Globo, the
group‘s premium class cake and pastry chain of 263 outlets, which it purchased in 2005.
In early 2009 Bimbo unveiled in Mexico what it claimed were the world‘s first oxo-
biodegradable, metallized polypropylene snack bags, using additive technology developed
by British company Symphony Environmental Technologies plc and sold under the d2w
The technology was used for a snack brand called Barcel. According to Daniel Servitje
Montull, Bimbo‘s managing director, Barcel‘s oxo-biodegradable re-packaging program is
due to be completed by the end of 2010.
Grupo Bimbo operates in 17 countries across the American continent and in Asia and has 98
production plants. Wonder is one of its 150-plus brands, which market 7,000 products. In
fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, the company registered net sales of 116.3 billion pesos ($9.2
billion), up from 82.3 billion pesos ($7.4 billion) a year earlier.
Bbu Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, controls Bimbo‘s operations in the United States, where its
brands include Oroweat, Mrs. Baird‘s, Weber‘s, Bimbo, Thomas, Francisco, Old Country,
Bohemian Heart and Roman Meal.
Among other Bimbo achievements in Mexico in 2009, the company said it managed to
reduce its consumption of electricity by 6 percent and of natural gas by 10 percent. The
company‘s production plants are in the U.S., México, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru,
Uruguay, Venezuela and China.
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS AND RELATED NEWS
TOWARD A NEW GENERATION OF SUPERPLASTICS
July 25, 2010 SCIENCEDAILY.COM
Scientists are reporting an in-depth validation of the
discovery of the world's first mass producible, low-cost,
organoclays for plastics. The powdered material, made from
natural clay, would be a safer, more environmentally friendly
replacement for the compound widely used to make plastics
A report on the research appears in ACS' Macromolecules,
a bi-weekly journal. Miriam Rafailovich and colleagues focused on a new organoclay
developed and patented by a team of scientists headed by David Abecassis. The scientists
explain that so-called quaternary amine-treated organoclays have been pioneering
nanoparticles in the field of plastics nanotechnology. Just small amounts of the substances
make plastics flame retardant, stronger, and more resistant to damage from ultraviolet light
and chemicals. They also allow plastics to be mixed together into hybrid materials from
plastics that otherwise would not exist.
However, quaternary amine organoclays are difficult to produce because of the health and
environmental risks associated with quaternary amines, as well as the need to manufacture
them in small batches. These and other disadvantages, including high cost, limit use of the
The new organoclay uses resorcinol diphenyl phosphate (which is normally a flame
retardant), to achieve mass producible organoclays which can be made in continuous
processing. In addition these organoclays are cheaper, generate less dust, and are
thermostable to much higher temperatures (beyond 600 degrees Fahrenheit). This clay has
also been proven to be superior for flame retardance applications. In addition, unlike most
quaternary amine based organoclays, it works well in styrene plastics, one of the most
widely used kinds of plastic
STUDIES, AWARDS, PUBLICATIONS, CONFERENCES
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING INDUSTRY TO REACH $142 BILLION BY 2015
AUG. 16, 2010 MATTERNETWORK.COM
The global market for sustainable packaging is forecast to
reach $142.42 billion by the year 2015, according to a new
Increased awareness about environmental hazards related to
disposal and recycling of packaging wastes, government
initiatives to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and
stringent regulations are driving the growth of sustainable packaging, according to Global
Industry Analysts (GIA).
Sustainable packaging involves the use of sustainable raw materials such as recycled
materials and renewable resources. Companies are offering novel packaging designs, with
improvements in several key performance areas, such as environment-friendliness,
simplicity, material saving, and cost reduction without compromising on ease of use and
Unlike other segments of the packaging industry, sustainable packaging registered
impressive growth during the period 2008-2009, and has been immune to the economic
downturn. Sustainability helped companies as a medium to cut costs and reduce packaging
waste using recycled and reusable materials.
Europe and the US represent the largest regions for sustainable packaging, together
accounting for more than 70 percent of the global market. With sustainable packaging
progressively becoming a mainstream global trend, several companies are adopting green
packaging as a marketing tool. In addition, manufacturers are presently under pressure to
use environment-friendly materials, and adopt methods that require low-energy consumption
and reduce adverse environmental impact of packaging.
increasing at a CAGR of more than 10 percent during 2007 through 2015.
In terms of market segmentation, the recycled material constitutes for the largest packaging
category, contributing for close to 90 percent of the total demand in the US. However,
biodegradable are witnessing growing demand from the packaging industry, and represent
the fastest growing segment. Biodegradable materials are easily decomposed by
microorganisms, and reduce packaging waste. Among biodegradables, bioplastics are
registering increased demand in the green packaging market.
Key markets using sustainable packaging include cosmetics and personal care, food and
beverage, food service and shipping markets, healthcare, and others. The increased
demand for sustainable packaging in these end-use sectors is evident by the recent product
launches with sustainability features. Sustainable packaging is witnessing increased demand
from cosmetic and personal care industries, mainly due to growing consumer preference for
eco-friendly plastic packaging materials. More than 600 new beauty products with green
label were introduced in Europe alone during the past two years.
Several food companies are announcing plans to switch to compostable biopolymer
packaging. Meanwhile unlike the food and beverage, and cosmetic industries, the medical
sector still lags behind for sustainable packaging materials. Cost and regulatory concerns,
poor recycling infrastructure, and limited consumer demand are few factors responsible for
restricting the medical device and pharmaceutical industries to switch to sustainable
Key players in the global sustainable packaging market include Associated Packaging
Technologies Inc., Amcor Ltd., Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL), Bemis Company Inc. (NYSE:
BMS), Biopack Environmental Solutions Inc. (UZZB.F), Constar International Inc.
(QCN.F), Crown Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CCK), Earthcycle Packaging Ltd., EnviroPAK
Corp., E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE: DD), Georgia-Pacific LLC,
Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE: GPK), Huhtamaki Oyj, Innovia Films Ltd.,
MeadWestvaco Corp. (NYSE: MWV), NatureWorks LLC, Owens-Illinois Inc. (NYSE: OI),
Pactiv Corp. (NYSE: PTV), Plantic Technologies Ltd. (PLNT.L), Plastipak Packaging
Inc., Printpack Inc., Rexam Plc., Saint-Gobain SA, Sealed Air Corp. (NYSE: SEE),
Silgan Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLGN).
KARL SANFORD VP AT GENENCOR TO TALK AT BIO-BASED CHEMICALS
CONFERENCE SEPT 13-14 2010 SAN FRANCISCO
JULY 24, 2010 FREEPRESSRELEASE.COM
Karl Sanford, Vice President Technology Development at Genencor (a Danisco Division)
will give a presentation on ―Enzymes, Pathways and the Future‖ at the Future of Bio-Based
Chemicals: From Inception to Marketplace conference to be held this year in San Francisco,
CA on September 13-14, 2010 by GTCbio.
Genencor develops and sells enzymes for a number of industrial market segments. The
customers in these segments are increasingly interested in sustainable solutions for their
needs thus providing a significant market pull. Karl‘s presentation will address the growing
opportunity for product development in industrial biotechnology and will profile bio-catalysts
with a view of how they can shape the future and how collaborations and partnerships