2012 0121 platt bioplastics101 uscc jan212


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2012 0121 platt bioplastics101 uscc jan212

  1. 1. Compostable Plastics 101: Overview & Issues Brenda Platt SBC Co-Chair Institute for Local Self-Reliance January 21, 2012 USCC Conference, Austin, TX www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  2. 2. Overview Introduction to biobased products Definitions:  biobased vs biodegradable  biodegradable vs. degradable  biodegradable vs compostable Standards Biobased content or compostability alone ≠ sustainable Challenges and common points of confusion Labeling Compost for organic markets cannot process bioplastic Compostable Plastics Task Force www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  3. 3. First Bioplastics http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object.cfm?key=35&objkey=18 Copyright Smithsonian National Museum of American History, • Collodion (cotton-derived cellulose nitrate) – dentures and buttons • Celluloid (cotton-based) – photography/film • Cellulose acetate – apparel • Cellophane – first film plastic "Made in 1868 of Cellulose Nitrate, Celluloid. The Year John Wesley HyattGutta Percha Discovered This First Plastics Resin." Shellac www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  4. 4. • 1930s – 1st injection molding machines made plastics from cellulose acetate• 1941 – Henry Ford’s biological car• late 1940s – crude oil drops to >$1/barrel• by 1975 – no ethanol in our fuel tanks and bioplastics virtually disappear www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  5. 5. Pendulum Swings Back www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  6. 6. The Good News on Biobased Products• Variety of resins and products available• Performance improving• Experience and R&D growing• Growth expected• Programs such as the federal biobased procurement will open up new markets• Standards in place• Price competitiveness improving• Demand increasing www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  7. 7. Degradable Vs. BiodegradableDegradable Biodegradable– May be invisible to – Completely assimilated into food naked eye and energy source by microbial– Fragment into smaller populations in a short time pieces period– No data to document – Meet biodegradability standards: biodegradability within  ASTM D 6400 – biodegradation of one growing season plastics in commercial composting– Migrate into water table systems– Not completely  ASTM 6868 biodegradation of plastic- coated paper in commercial assimilated by microbial composting systems populations in a short  D 7081 – biodegradation in the 1989 Cover of Environmental Action time period marine environment  D 5988 – biodegradation in soil  D 5511 – biodegradation in anaerobic digesters Source for definitions: Dr. Ramani Narayan, Michigan State Univ. www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  8. 8. Compostable PlasticPlastic that undergoes degradation by biologicalprocesses during composting to yield CO2, water,inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rateconsistent with other known compostable materialsand that leaves no visible, distinguishable, or toxicresidue.ASTM Standard D6400, 2004, “Standard Specification for CompostablePlastics,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2004, DOI:10.1520/D6400-04, www.astm.org www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  9. 9. Biodegradable Products Institute238 certified products130 global companiesNote:Some BPI-certifiedresins have zerobiobased content www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  10. 10. BPI-certified Products (sample) www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  11. 11. Biobased ≠ biodegradable Mass of biobased carbon in the product ÷ Mass of total organic carbon in the productNon-biodegradable biobased plastics are here www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  12. 12. USDA Biopreferred ProgramQ. What are biobased products?A. A biobased product is a product that is determined by the USDA to be a commercial or industrial product (other than food or feed) that is composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological products, including renewable domestic agricultural materials forestry materials, and marine and animal materials. Biobased products do not include motor vehicle fuels, heating oil, electricity produced from biomass, or, since the program is designed to stimulate markets for new biobased products, any "mature market" products. Mature market products are those biobased products that had significant national market penetration in 1972. Examples of mature market products include cotton shirts or towels, paper plates, and wood furniture. www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  13. 13. Market drivers & new developmentsBiobased content - The amount of biobased carbon in the material or product expressed as a percent of weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the material or product. Biobased content is determined using ASTM Method D6866, Standard Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Natural Range Materials Using Radiocarbon and Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Analysis. www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  14. 14. Biobased content varies www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  15. 15. Biomaterial – Wonder Material?• “renewable”• “green• “eco-friendly”• “sustainable”• “environmentally neutral”• “safe and better”• “easy on the environment”• “return to nature without a trace” Compostability alone ≠ sustainable www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  16. 16. Not All Bioproducts Created Equal  Biobased content  Additives and blends  Material feedstock type  Recyclability  Feedstock location  Performance  Biodegradability  Products  Commercial compost sites  Home composting  Marine environment  Anaerobic digestionBiobased content alone ≠ sustainable www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  17. 17. Survey Data: feedstock types and sources• China • India – Bulrush – Fallen palm leaves – Bagasse • Thailand/Vietnam – PSM (Plastarch Material) – Tapioca starch – Grass fiber – Corn – Bagasse – Chinese PLA • Malaysia – PHBV* – Palm fiber – PBS** • USA – Cornstarch – NatureWorks Ingeo (PLA) – Mirel PHA – “Natural total chlorine-free pulp” – Recycled wood fiber *polyhydroxybutyrate-polyhydroxyvalerate **polybutylene succinate (petrochemical + succinic acid) www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  18. 18. Path from Field to Producer “The source product is from Brazil,then turned into cornstarch in China, then the starch is used in our manufacturer’s facility.” “Feedstocks grown in Midwestern US. Manufacture the resin in Hawthorne, CA today, but plan to manufacture in Seymour, IN shortly.” www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  19. 19. Challenges with Biobased ProductsConcern over genetically modified organisms (GMOs)Desire for sustainably grown biomassNeed to develop adequate composting programsConcern with nanomaterials and fossil-fuel-plastic blendsInconsistencies in and lack ofadequate labelingConcern over contaminationof recycling systemsConfusion in terminologyASTM may not reflect composters’ needs www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  20. 20. Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative: Market-based tools  Sustainable feedstocks / Sustainable agriculture  Green Chemistry / Clean Production  Closed Loop Systems / Cradle to Cradle / Zero Waste“Just because it’s biobased, doesn’t make it green” www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  21. 21. Purchasing Specifications for Biobased Compostable Foodservice Ware • Bid specs for purchasers • Presents baseline mandatory criteria • Bidders can earn points for products meeting beyond baseline desirable criteria. www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  22. 22. Common Points of Confusion• False claims of compostability or biodegradability: Many available products carry misleading, deceptive or unsubstantiated claims of biodegradability or compostability. Buyer beware!• Compostability of plastic-coated paper: Research now shows that polyethylene-coated paper products are bad for composting operations and the quality of compost. www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  23. 23. “Biocompostable” cutlery www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  24. 24. Confusion Source: www.ensobottles.com www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  25. 25. Oxo-degradables www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  26. 26. “Biodegradable” PVC www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  27. 27. Better than paper claim www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  28. 28. Ultra Green but single-use www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  29. 29. Biobased content labeling inconsistent too Biobased content based on ASTM D6866 ~20% www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  30. 30. FTC Green Marketing GuideExample 3:A manufacturer makes an unqualifiedclaim that its package is compostable.Although municipal or institutionalcomposting facilities exist where theproduct is sold, the package will notbreak down into usable compost in ahome compost pile or device. To avoiddeception, the manufacturer shoulddisclose that the package is not suitablefor home composting. Source: http://ftc.gov/bcp/grnrule/guides980427.h www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  31. 31. San Francisco: Aiming for Zero Waste www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  32. 32. Seattle: Compostable Foodservice Ware www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  33. 33. CA AB 1972 and AB 2071• AB 1972 (DeSaulnier)–Solid Waste: Plastic Bags: Food and Beverage Containers (effective 1/1/09) This bill modifies two chapters in current law: one on biodegradable and compostable plastic bags and one on plastic food and beverage containers. In both programs, the sale of an item labeled "compostable" or "marine degradable" is prohibited, unless the item meets specific ASTM Standard Specifications, or in some cases, a standard adopted by CalRecycle. (Chapter 436)• AB 2071 (Karnette)–Plastic Bags: Plastic Food and Beverage Containers: Enforcement (effective 1/1/09) This bill establishes penalties for failure to comply with labeling requirements for compostable, biodegradable, and degradable plastic bags and plastic food and beverage containers sold in California. (Chapter 570) www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  34. 34. CA Senate Bill 567 The Truthful Environmental Advertising in Plastics Law• SB 567 expands the scope of current California law beyond plastics bags and food packaging to all plastics products.• Approved by Gov. Brown, Oct. 8th, 2011• Effective January 1st, 2013 www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  35. 35. Bioplastics and Organic Certified Compost• USDA’s National Organics Program ensures credibility of USDA Organics label• One rule requires compost feedstock to be free of non NOP- authorized synthetics• The Organic Materials Review Inst. determines which input products are allowed for use in organic production/processing.• OMRI has ruled that compostable and biodegradable products are not acceptable.• The Canadian Organics program and the European Organics program both accept biodegradable plastic in their feedstock.• BPI is developing and executing a plan to seek NOP approval for use of plastics that meet ASTM D6400 and D6868.• Meanwhile, composters will be bound by restrictions placed on them by certification organizations. www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  36. 36. www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  37. 37. 2011 USCC Compostable Plastics Track1. Identification/Labeling Challenges2. Enforcement/Legislation3. ASTM Standards Need Refining4. Consumer Education5. National Organics Program (NOP) Impacts http://compostingcouncil.org/compostable- plastics-symposium/ www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  38. 38. Contact Info Brenda Platt SBC, Co-ChairInstitute for Local Self-Reliance, Co-Director bplatt@ilsr.org 202-898-1610 ext 230 www.sustainablebiomaterials.org www.sustainablebiomaterials.org