ioplastics magazine Vol. 2 ISSN 1862-5258

Special editorial Focus:

Biodegradable bags

Review K2007

Düsseldorf | 8

Logos, Part 6 | 36

04 | 2007

Don’t worry,

the raw material for Ecovio ®

is renewable.

Ecovio ® , a biodegradable plastic from the PlasticsPlus TM product line,

is keeping up with the times when it comes to plastic bags and food

packaging. Ecovio ® is made of corn starch, a renewable raw material,

and it has properties like HD-PE, which translates into a double plus

point for you. Films made of Ecovio ® are water-resistant, very strong

and degrade completely in composting facilities within just a few weeks.



dear readers

Probably the most exciting event in the world of plastics processing and

applications is the K-exhibition, which takes place every three years.

This year, at the end of October, about 242,000 visitors from more than

100 countries came to the exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany. 3,130

exhibitors presented their products, services and innovations, and

bioplastics were a part – albeit a small part – of that mega event.

More than 3,000 copies of bioplastics MAGAZINE were picked up from

our booth in hall 7 by interested visitors. We were pleased to meet so

many of you personally, and talk about so many different topics. We

were really quite reluctant to leave the booth from time to time, but we

too wanted to see the more than 40 companies exhibiting products such

as resins, additives, machines and services related to bioplastics.

But it was not only K‘2007 that caught our attention this fall. There was

the 2nd European Bioplastics Conference in Paris and the Bioplastics

Event in Cologne where the 2nd Bioplastics Awards were made to the

innovative and well-deserving winners. And there were in fact many

other bioplastics / biopackaging / bioresin events that our editorial

team simply could not attend, but I am sure that these too made a

significant contribution to disseminating information and promoting

networking between the delegates.

As well as many other topics from the bioplastics world, the markets,

science, politics and so on, the special editorial focus in this issue of

bioplastics MAGAZINE is ‘bags‘.

I hope you enjoy reading this last issue of 2007. From

2008 we will publish six issues per year and we look

forward to your comments, editorial contributions and

more exciting events where we can meet with you.

Special editorial Focus:

Biodegradable bags

04 | 2007

bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 2 ISSN 1862-5258

Michael Thielen


Review K2007

Düsseldorf | 8

Logos, Part 6 | 36

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/07] Vol. 2


Editorial 03

News 05

Suppliers Guide 39

Events 42

December 04|2007


K’2007 Review 08

2nd European Bioplastics Conference 14

Bioplastics Awards 2007 16


Shopping bags, that dissolve in hot water 18

World‘s first biodegradable zipper bag 19

Compostable shopping carrier bags 20

Biobags: In-line production is the future 21


Lactide Monomers for the production of PLA 22


Oriented films continue their 25

successful run – even with PLA

From Science & Research

From Waste 2 Gold: Making bioplastic 28

products from biomass waste streams


Biopolymers as an option for 32

sustainability – Quo vadis?


Letter to the Editor 35


Logos Part 6 36

Glossary 37


Publisher / Editorial

Dr. Michael Thielen

Samuel Brangenberg

Dr. Thomas Isenburg, Contributing Editor


Mark Speckenbach, Jörg Neufert

Head Office

Polymedia Publisher GmbH

Hackesstr. 99

41066 Mönchengladbach, Germany

phone: +49 (0)2161 664864

fax: +49 (0)2161 631045

Media Adviser

Elke Schulte, Katrin Stein

phone: +49(0)2359-2996-0

fax: +49(0)2359-2996-10


Tölkes Druck + Medien GmbH

Höffgeshofweg 12

47807 Krefeld, Germany

Print run: 4,000 copies

bioplastics magazine

ISSN 1862-5258

bioplastics magazine is published

4 times in 2007 and 6 times a year from 2008.

This publication is sent to qualified

subscribers (149 Euro for 6 issues).

bioplastics MAGAZINE is read

in more than 80 countries.

Not to be reproduced in any form

without permission from the publisher

The fact that product names may not

be identified in our editorial as trade

marks is not an indication that such

names are not registered trade marks.

bioplastics MAGAZINE tries to use British

spelling. However, in articles based on

information from the USA, American

spelling may also be used.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/07] Vol. 2


Sustainability a key

criterion for DuPont’s

Packaging Award

DuPont has announced that the packaging industry’s longest running,

independently judged global innovation awards program has

added a special emphasis on sustainability. Innovation in the journey

toward sustainable packaging will now be a key consideration in addition

to innovation in delivering quality packaging solutions.

DuPont, being one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental

goals 17 years ago, has broadened its sustainability commitments

beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven

targets for both revenue and research and development investment, as

stated by the company. The goals are tied directly to business growth,

specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved

new products for key global markets.

The call for entries for the 20th DuPont Awards competition (closing

Jan 31, 2008) was announced at the Sustainable Packaging Forum in

Pittsburgh, Pa., by William F. Weber, vice president, DuPont Packaging.

“Today there are strong drivers toward sustainable packaging including

increasing consumer awareness, pull from brand owners and retailers,

legislation and other factors. As a global leader in packaging materials

and technologies, DuPont is working with customers on science-based

packaging innovations that address consumer demands for performance

and sustainability,” Weber said.

“DuPont is committed to creating shareholder and societal value

while reducing the environmental footprint in our value chains,” he

continued. “Consistent with this commitment, the DuPont Packaging

Awards now will honor materials, processing, technology and service

achievements that demonstrate progress toward sustainability, while

also meeting important market requirements for enhanced performance

such as improved freshness, convenience and shelf appeal,” Weber


A prestigious international jury panel contributed to the evaluation

criteria for the 20th DuPont Packaging Awards. Factors such as innovation,

enhanced performance, responsible sourcing, clean production

and effective recovery will be considered in selecting the winners. As it

was the case in the previous years also; the usage of a DuPont material,

technology, process or service is not required for eligibility.

In a collaboration to showcase packaging solutions that implement

sustainability, information about entries in this year’s DuPont Awards

will be posted online at the GreenBlue/Sustainable Packaging Coalition

Design Library to be launched in early 2008. Capturing the innovations

represented among these entries will support best practices throughout

the packaging industry. GreenBlue is a nonprofit institute committed

to sustainability by design and is home to the Sustainable Packaging

Coalition, an industry working group recognized as the definitive

resource for credible information about packaging sustainability.

Potential growth

for Australian


A range of biologically-based products,

such as biodegradable plastics and packaging

materials produced from plants instead

of petroleum, offer new opportunities for

Australian farmers.

‘Biobased Products – Opportunities for

Australian agricultural industries‘ is one of

four new reports from the Rural Industries

Research and Development Corporation

(RIRDC) presenting a picture of the current

status and future prospects for Australia’s

biofuels and biobased product industries.

The reports examine a range of issues relevant

to government and policy-makers, the

biofuels industry, the agricultural and livestock

industries, scientists and consumers.

“Research into the development of Australia’s

biofuel and bioproducts industries

has become an integral part of determining

and securing our nation’s energy future,”

said RIRDC Chair Mary Boydell. “We are

particularly keen to identify new biobased

industries that will complement, rather

than compete with, food production,” she

said. “There … are … products like plastics

that are heavily reliant on petroleum. This

research identifies potential replacements

for fossil fuels with agricultural products

like sugar, soybeans, woody crops and corn

starch,” Ms Boydell added.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2


Photo: RacingThePlanet Limited (

Novamont supported antarctic

marathon runner

The Italian marathon runner Francesco Galanzino joined six other athletes in

crossing the coldest landmass in the world, racing over 250 km in temperatures

ranging from -10 C° to -30°C. Starting out by sea from Argentina, they crossed

the Southern Polar ice cap in 5 days, from 21 November to 1 December, 2007.

Galanzino, wherever possible, replaced traditional plastics with biodegradable

and compostable plastics. Novamont provided him with kits of single-use

Mater-Bi tableware as well as sorted collection refuse bags. This allowed all

refuse to be returned to Italy for intelligent disposal. Every kg of organic matter

which is properly initiated in compositing allows for a saving of about 250gr in

CO 2

emissions, considerably reducing environmental impact.


Novomer raises

$6.6 million to bring

novel ‘eco-plastics‘

to market

Novomer Inc., a Cornell University spin-off founded

in 2004, announced that it has raised US-$6.6

million in series A funding. Physic Ventures co-led

the financing in partnership with Flagship Ventures.

The company is today pioneering a family of highperformance,

biodegradable plastics, polymers and

other chemicals from renewable substances such

as carbon dioxide.

Founded in 2004, Novomer’s technology is based

on the discoveries of Professor Geoffrey Coates and

his research group at Cornell University. Coates is

an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of

polymer science and a leading innovator in the increasingly

vital arena of sustainable materials.

The national trade magazine of the American

Chemical Society wrote about Novomer‘s pioneering

work: “Geoffrey W. Coates and his group at Cornell

University have spent a decade developing catalysts

to incorporate CO 2

into polymers. Two successes,

building on work by other groups dating back to the

late 1960s, are β-diiminate zinc acetate and salen

cobalt carboxylate complexes. These catalysts promote

alternating copolymerization of various epoxides

with CO 2

to make biodegradable aliphatic polycarbonates.

Meredian Inc. announced

acquisition of PHA

technology from Procter

& Gamble

Meredian, Inc. a privately held corporation from Georgia, USA,

announced the acquisition of an extensive intellectual property

portfolio from The Procter & Gamble Company relating to Polyhydroxyalkanoate

(PHA) technology. Procter & Gamble developed the

technology through more than a decade of research, resulting in a

highly functional and cost effective material, which will now be produced

commercially by Meredian, Inc.

“We are very pleased and excited to bring leading-edge, green

technology to the marketplace,“ said S. Blake Lindsey, President of

Meredian, Inc. “Meredian biopolymers combined with our existing

DaniMer and Seluma biopolymers will enable us to provide synergies

within these technology platforms and will result in one of the

world‘s most versatile biopolymer product lines.“

Harry Coleman, director of P&G‘s External Business Development

adds, “As part of our open innovation strategy, P&G was seeking an

enthusiastic company that could efficiently commercialize our intellectual

property on polymers. We selected Meredian because of

their dedication to biopolymers and strong ability to take our development

work to the next level - delivering products to the market.

We look forward to future collaboration with Meredian in this area.“

Meredian expects to begin construction in 2008 on the first of four

planned production facilities; the first will be located in the Southeastern

United States. Meredian plans to produce over 600 million

pounds of biopolymers annually.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

New study on

‘Nanohybrid’ PHB


In its November issue ACS‘ Biomacromolecules, a bi-monthly

journal, published a study on the development of a new biodegradable

‘nanohybrid’ plastic, based on PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate). In

this study, Pralay Maiti, Carl A. Batt, and Emmanuel P. Giannelis

(all from the Department of Material Science and Engineering or

the Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New

York) compared the strength and biodegradation rates of a ‘hybrid‘

of PHB which contains ‘nanoclays‘ (nanoparticles of clay) to

‘conventional‘ PHB. It was observed that the modified PHB showed

increased mechanical and thermal properties and decomposed

faster than regular PHB. The biodegradation rate of the nanohybrid

PHB is enhanced significantly in the presence of nanoclay. In

about seven weeks the material decomposed almost completely,

whereas the rate of biodegradation is quite slow in pristine PHB, as

the researchers discovered.


Biggest European

WPC Congress

After the great success of the First German WPC Congress in

2005 (WPC=Wood-Plastic-Composites) the organiser, nova-Institut

from Hürth, Germany, arranged the Second German WPC Congress

on 4th and 5th of December 2007 in Cologne. About 350 participants

from 24 countries saw presentations that were simultaneously

translated into English. 30 companies showed their innovations in

the accompanying exhibtion. Among the highlights of the event was

the first WPC Innovations award and the introduction of a ‘certificate

of quality‘ by the Association of the German Wood-Based Panels

Industries (VHI). Even though the matrix in WPCs is still mainly

made of polypropylene, an increasing number of developments also

cover the use of biobased polymers as matrix components.

Bio-coated paper

cup range launched

by Huhtamaki

Huhtamaki‘s range of single-use BioWare cups,

plates, containers and cutlery is now being completed

with bio-coated paper cups for hot and cold

drinks. The BioWare paper cup range is the first

complete bio-coated paper hot and cold cup range

launched in Europe, as the company stated. The

bio-coating allows the paper cups to be composted

in industrial composting facilities. Fibers for the paper

cups come from sustainably managed forests

and can be traced back to their origin. The cartonboard

material has Forestry Stewardship Council‘s

(FSC) chain of custody certificate.

BioWare paper cups are as strong and rigid as

conventional Huhtamaki heavy board cups. The

complete range of hot and cold cups include cup

sizes from 100ml to 500ml, making this range suitable

for different beverages and drink sizes. Excellent

customized printing and promotional options,

but also attractive BioWare stock design with ‘compostable’

printing, are available.

Designed to fulfill the needs of various foodservice

operators, BioWare products work in uses

ranging from outdoor festivals and mass events to

catering and daily food and beverage service. By using

BioWare, restaurants and event organizers can

combine the waste stream for packaging and food.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2




K‘2007 the world‘s number 1 plastics and rubber fair

In the last issue, we reported about the bioplastics related exhibits of a

large number of companies, to be presented at K‘2007 in Düsseldorf Germany,

from October 24 to 31, 2007. Together with this review, we try to give

our readers a most complete overview about what K‘2007 offered in terms

of bioplastics materials, machinery and applications.

Arkema: Pebax Rnew

Arkema unveiled

latest innovations

Well known for its many years of experience

with Rilsan ® Polymaide 11 made from castor

oil (see bM 01/2007) Arkema, Paris, France

presented three new technical polymers produced

from renewable raw materials. Pebax ®

Rnew, a first range of thermoplastic elastomers

based on the chemistry of polyamide 11

produced from castor oil, offers properties

such as lightweight, flex fatigue resistance

and elasticity return, over a wide temperature


Biostrength TM , an innovative impact modifier

for biodegradable PLA allows converters

to process the biobased resins using conventional

equipment. These additives also impart

to this new polymer made from renewable raw

materials the necessary mechanical, optical

and aesthetic properties to fulfill the requirements

of the main intended markets.

Also from 100% renewable raw materials

is Platamid ® Rnew, a new concept for thermoplastic

hotmelt adhesives. A new grade

has been developed to fulfill two new market

needs: reduced emissions as per standard

VDA 278, and eco-design by using raw materials

from 100% renewable raw materials.

The power of nature

BIOPLAST GmbH from Emmerich, Germany, a subsidiary of the Sphere

Group and Stanelco plc, presented BIOPLAST ® , a new generation of thermoplastic

and completely biodegradable materials. Its range of five major

products covers a wide number of rigid and flexible product applications.

BIOTEC‘s expertise lies in the know-how regarding blending and modifying

such resins to special compounds and blends, concentrates and

masterbatches. The materials are certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO

9001:2000 and DIN EN ISO 14001:2004. This certification is audited by an

independent certification agency annually.

Hishiecolo pipes, which

return to soil

Biodegradable plastic pipes and fittings from raw materials such as PLA

were presented by Mitsubishi Plastics Inc from Hiratsuka-City, Japan. The

pipes offer the same strength and impact properties as Mitsubishi‘s vinyl

chloride ‚Hishi Pipes‘, but they biodegrade and undergo hydrolysis from

water and microbes living in the natural world. Potential applications are

temporary pipes for short term use, pipes where retrieval is difficult and

pipes in areas where the natural environment is a concern (rainwater

ducts, etc.). Mitsubishi expect a variety of other uses to appear.

Flexible PU-foam with

100% biobased polyol

Mitsui Chemicals Polyurethanes from Nagaura, Japan presented flexible

polyurethane foams with a polyol component made from 100% castor

oil. The final polyurethane contains 70% polyol and 30% isocyanate. The

main feature of this polyurethane foam is its low resilience property, which

makes it ideal for use in pillows. Other polyurethane foams with a biobased

content are rigid foams for insulation purposes. In these materials

the polyol consists of 30% renewable raw materials.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

J.C. Grubisisch


rainforest to be cut for

sugarcane production?

bioplastics MAGAZINE reported about BRASKEM and the new

bio-polyethylene based on ethanol from sugarcane in the last

issue. However, once in a while people express their concerns

about rainforests being uprooted for new agricultural space to

grow sugarcane that is needed for the production of bio-ethanol.

In a press conference at K‘2007, J.C. Grubisich, CEO of Braskem

stated that in Brasil the rainforests are in the north of the vast

country, whereas the sugarcane plantations are in the southeast.

In addition, land and climate in the north – the rainforest

area - isn’t appropriate for sugarcane production. At least for

the time being, bio-ethanol production from sugarcane does not

threaten the brasilian rainforests.

PLA Nanoalloy

Toray Industries, Inc. presented a Polylactic Acid Nanoally

with improved properties. A small amount of high performance

polymer is finely dispersed at nanometer scale in PLA building

a network structure. The new materials reach impact and heat

resistance properties above those of PET, PS and even HI-PS.

Potential applications are for example mobile phone charger or

PC housings. Earlier this year Toray announced that it has successfully

developed a plant fiber-reinforced PLA plastic with improved

heat resistance, rigidity and moldability by compounding

cellulose-based plant fibers with PLA. Able to withstand heat

up to 150°C, which is the highest level in the world for biomass

plastics, the newly developed plastic has double the rigidity of

existing PLA plastics and has achieved significant reduction in

the time required for molding.

PLA - cast and

biaxially oriented

film equipment


Brückner Formtec GmbH and Brückner Maschinenbau

GmbH & Co. KG presented their equipment for

converting thermoplastics including PLA into films.

bioplastics MAGAZINE reported about cast film lines

from Brückner Formtec in issue 01/2007. BOPLA (biaxially

oriented PLA) films can be produced on machinery

from Brückner Mashcinenbau (see page 25 in

this issue).

BASF polyamide 6.10

based on castor oil

A material developed, produced and marketed by

BASF over fifty years ago in the pioneering phase of

engineering plastics is undergoing a renaissance. At

K‘2007 BASF unveiled Ultramid ® BALANCE, a polyamide

6.10. This is based to the extent of about 60% on

sebacic acid, a renewable raw material derived from

castor oil.

In the K-show preview we already mentioned Ecovio

L foam materials based on of Ecoflex and polylactic

acid (PLA). Ecovio L Foam’s content of PLA amounts

to more than 75% in weight. According to the standard

ASTM D6866 it has a “biobased content” of more than

75% as well. This number describes the amount of biobased

carbon atoms. BASF is anticipating its first production-scale

amounts by early 2008, so that Ecovio L

Foam will be introduced into the market among select

partners over the course of 2008.

BASF: Eccovio L foam

For details about the exhibits of the following companies,

see bioplastics MAGAZINE issue 03/2007:

A. Schulman GmbH

Clariant International AG


FkuR Kunststoff GmbH

Fraunhofer Umsicht

Grafe Advanced Polymers GmbH

M-Base Engineering + Software GmbH

Novamont S.p.A.


Telles (Metabolix)


Sukano Products Ltd.

FAS converting machinery see page 21 in this issue

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2


Dow and Crystalsev:

Polyethylene from


The Dow Chemical Company, the world‘s largest producer

of polyethylene, and Crystalsev, one of Brazil‘s largest

ethanol players presented their plans for a world-scale

facility to manufacture polyethylene from sugar cane.

The two companies will form a joint venture in Brazil to

design and build the first integrated facility of its scale in

the world. Start of production is expected for 2011 with a

capacity of 350,000 metric tons.


modified natural materials

into innovative


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has built

up extensive knowledge in modifying and adding new

functions to natural polymers—such as starch, cellulose,

and wood fibres—over the past 10 years. This work

has resulted in a number of sustainable processes and

commercial products, such as starch derivates for tailoring

the surface properties of paper, starch-based

pigments, water-based and hot-melt glues, injection

moulding materials, dispersion formulations into coatings

and adhesives as well as coating and matrix materials

for the controlled release of ingedients.

Gehr: extruded rods

First in the world

extruded rods made of


The family owned company GEHR, which is located in Mannheim,

Germany, has extruded what is most probably the world’s

first ‘biological rod’. PLA-L is the name of this biopolymer.

PLA-L consists of Polylactide (PLA) and Lignin (= wood). With

PLA-L, the worldwide leading company for extruded thermoplastics

(POM, PVC, PEEK, etc), further expands its product

range in rods. PLA-L is available in the diameters from 10 to


PLA-L is a thermoplastic material based on renewable,

ecologically harmless and biodegradable raw materials. Under

appropriate conditions it can be disposed of by either industrial

composting or by climate-neutral incineration. PLA-L

exhibits good mechanical properties that are similar to ABS.

It shows a high stiffness (modulus of elasticity is 2740 MPa)

and good impact strength. It also exhibits a good resistance to

polar media such as acids, bases and solvents. It can be used

in temperatures from - 30 °C to + 60 °C.

„You can hardly imagine the variety of applications“, says

Bernhard Grosskinsky, head of the technical department at


„Because of its advantages with regards to its biodegradability

and consequent low environmental impact, it is very

likely that PLA-L can be used in the toy and agricultural industry

as well as in mechanical engineering and the medical


Elastogran: matress

Matress made of

24% renewables

Elastogran GmbH, a company of the BASF group presented

Lupranol ® BALANCE. Through the application of a completely

novel type of catalyst it has been possible for the first time to employ

natural castor- oil in the production of low-emission flexible

foam polyols. The new product is made up of 31% castor oil. A

finished mattress made with Lupranol BALANCE contains up to

24% by weight of castor oil, without impairing the performance

of the foam. This very high percentage of renewable raw material

in the finished product is a breakthrough in the realm of

polyurethane base products.

10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2



SAM-A C&I Corporation Ltd from Korea presented

their advanced technology to improve physical properties,

processability and chemical stability of biodegradable

resins which have inherently fragile properties.

SAM-A offers this by enhancing the compatibility of biodegradable

resins, proper composition and development

of additives based on many years of experience. SAM-A‘s

biodegradable resins are composed of PLA and aliphatic

polyester, environmentally friendly and biodegradable

plastics and can replace traditional plastics because

they offer excellent physical properties such as strength,

heat stability and chemical resistance, as can be read in

their K‘2007 brochure.

3rd generation natural

fibre composites

At present Kareline Oy Ltd fom Joensuu, Finland say

they have the widest range of bio-composites available

in the market. These materials are based on PLA, but

also natural fibre composites with a matrix of PP, PE,

ABS, PS, POM are available. The natural fibre content

varies between 20 to 55 wt-%.

The reinforcing fibres used are wood-based cellulose

fibres manufactured in the most ecologically advanced

mills in the world. Wood raw material used in the process

is environmentally certified.

The Kareline ® composite granulates can be injection

moulded in all standard thermoplastic injection moulding

machines and tools. This material has already been

in use all over the world in a wide variety of different

machines and tools.

Kareline: flexwood guitar

Symphony in


Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG presented their machinery in

Düsseldorf as well as in their premises in Troisdorf Germany.

In the Technology Center in Troisdorf a premium 3-layer blown

film line Filmtec 3-1700-IBC-RHS with IBC was shown among

others. The flexible line concept with an excellent price/performance

ratio features low-temperature screws and three

REItorque extruders, so that the range of applications is completed

by bio packaging.

Processing of PLA material was be demonstrated on the

high-performance thermoforming sheet line MIREX-W-3-

130/80/50-1000. The series is available as mono or coex line

for up to 7 layers.


BioLog: product examples

New compounding

process for bioplastics

BioLog GmbH from Queis, Germany have developed a new

patented bioplastic based on starch, chitosan and polyester.

It can be processed in film blowing (10-30 µm) e.g. for food

packaging or in thicknesses of 30-200 µm for mulch films,

bags, liners or covers. Monolayer as well as multilayer applications

are possible. Furthermore extrusion blow moulding,

thermoforming films, injection moulding applications such as

planting pots, cups, cutlery etc. Foam applications for building

industry and packaging applications round off the portfolio.

In Düsseldorf, BioLog presented themselves at the booth of

Reimelt Henschel MischSysteme GmbH from Kassel, Germany.

They developed a new process for the compounding of

BioLog material. A new screw design of the twin-screw extruder

allows to process higher amounts of starch even with a

higher moisture content.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 11


PLA sheet material with

better impact properties

UK-based VitasheetGroup has developed a new range of biodegradable

PLA based materials which offer greater impact resistance and

improved processability — properties which are often challenging with


ViForm Bio 9100 and ViPrint Bio 9100 offer the traditional benefits of

PLA products — compostability, renewable resources origins, but have

been modified so they will have a much better impact strength‚ improving

overall durability of the material and affording excellent performance

in die-cutting and folding.

Biodegradable materials such as PLA are currently used in a number

of applications ranging from food packaging to blisters, but until now

have had little interest for producers of horticulture labels or cosmetic

boxes due to issues with brittleness and folding ability.

“What has traditionally limited the use of bio-degradable materials in

certain applications has now become a thing of the past,“ says Stephane

Jacquet, VitasheetGroup Business Manager for the Packaging and

Graphic Arts sectors.

ViForm Bio 9100 and ViPrint Bio 9100 are available in white and transparent

and gauges ranging from 300 micron to 650 micron.

DuPont expands portfolio of

renewably sourced polymers

With Sorona ® EP thermoplastic resins, Hytrel ® RS thermoplastic

elastomers, Biomax ® RS packaging resins and Selar ® VP breathable

films DuPont presented in Düsseldorf a number of new plastics based

on renewable resources.

A key ingredient in Sorona EP is Bio-PDO which is made by DuPont

and Tate & Lyle. Bio-PDO will be used in the two glass-reinforced grades

of Sorona EP that will initially be available.

Hytrel RS incorporates Cerenol renewably sourced polyol made with

Bio-PDO. Initial grades of Hytrel RS will have a renewable content range

of 25-50%.

Biomax RS 1001 is a renewably sourced polytrimethyl terephthalate

(PTT) offering aimed at rigid packaging applications such as injection

molded containers, caps and consumer items such as media cases

where it would replace polypropylene. Initial applications are targeted

for cosmetics, food and consumer goods packaging. Biomax RS 1001

incorporates has a renewable content of 35% with Bio-PDO as the key


Selar VP is a renewably sourced breathable film, designed for use in

applications where foods need to respire, such as fresh fish and produce.

It is up to 40% renewably sourced with the incorporation of a vegetable

based fatty acid.

The “green”


For high-potential applications – ranging

from refrigerator insulation to imitation

forest floors Bayer MaterialScience from

Leverkusen, Germany has now developed

polyols (as component for polyurethanes)

based up to 70% by weight on renewable raw

materials to help cut down emissions.

Polyurethane all-foam mattresses are currently

very much in vogue and their market

share has been rising for years. However, consumers

would be unwilling to accept compromises

in performance or above all durability.

Following extensive development work, experts

from Bayer MaterialScience were able

to raise the properties of the „green“ foams

up to the same high level as standard products.

At K 2007, Bayer MaterialScience also

presented a molded-foam part typically used

in car seats. The polyol used for this was also

based largely on renewable raw materials.

Another exhibit on display was a high-end

refrigerator. The proportion of renewable raw

materials it uses is double that of conventional

polyurethane insulating foam systems.

Walking or running on a soft surface provides

a more comfortable underfoot sensation.

An artificial forest floor that Bayer MaterialScience

has produced by combining a

viscoelastic flexible polyurethane foam with

textile overlays and a soft pile offers this feeling

for your own bathroom. An extremely high

volume of a polyol based on modified vegetable

oils is used in the formulation without

producing any adverse effect on technical

properties such as tensile strength and durability.

Photo: Bayer

12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

Timberland shoesoles

with renewable content in

the polyol component

Dow Footwear Solutions announced during K‘2007 that it will supply its

VORALAST Soling System with renewable content to The Timberland Company

for the Miōn ® Spring 2008 line of outdoor footwear. Dow Footwear Solutions

is a business unit recently launched by The Dow Chemical Company

and is a leading provider of innovative solutions to the footwear industry

worldwide. „We are very excited about our development partnership with

Timberland that has used our VORALAST R series system with renewable

polyol content to deliver both a durable, water resistant polyurethane sole

and an advance in sustainability,” said Antonio Batistini, Research & Development

Director for Dow Footwear Solutions.

PLA bottle blowing


Stretch blow moulding machines for the production of PLA bottles are part

of the scope of supply of Sistec srl. from Pordenone, Italy. Their models SSB-

02/03 are the ideal solution, versatile and easy to use, as a spokesman said.

Sistec presented themselves on the stand of MAG Plastic SA in Hall 13, right

next to SIG Corpoplast from Hamburg, Germany. SIG‘s BLOMAX machine series

were the first to produce the PLA bottles of Biota (USA) and Belu (UK). In

addition, sister company SIG Plasmax offers barrier coating systems to apply

an inner layer of SiOx (glass) to both, PLA and PET bottles for enhanced barrier

properties against water vapour, CO 2 and Oxygen.,

10mm twinscrew


An ideal solution for compounding minimal

amounts of test compositions, for example of

sensitive materials or with nano materials, is

the 10 mm twinscrew compounder of Rondol

from Stone, UK. Non Invasive mixing allows

rapid batch mixing at a selected degree of

specific energy allowing totally enclosed high

shear or low shear mixing. The twinscrew

compounding technique meets the essential

requirements of

• High torque dispersive mixing with optimised

screw profiles

• The capability of adding measured quantities

of nano materials to melt stream

• The facility to process small quantities

• A small equipment ‘footprint’ to allow

bench top/clean room installation

Eco-Smart TM hot runner

system for PLA

D-M-E, a Milacron company introduced Eco-Smart hot runner systems,

which are ideaI for processing “green“ plastic resins - proven successful with

PLA. Eco-Smart Hot Runner Systems provide an ecological molding advantage.

D-M-E is qualifying additional polymers as they become available.

Key Advantages of Eco-Smart Hot Runner Systems:

• Uninterrupted material flow path for reduced shear

• Corrosion-resistant components

• Front-removable heaters and thermocouples for easy system maintenance

• Thermal isolation component design for improved performance

• Superior thermal control from machine nozzle to moulded part surface


for PLA

Masterbatched for PLA were shown by


Italy. The masterbatches for PLA granulate

are particularly recommended for film extrusion.

Continuous research in this field, in cooperation

with University Politecnico Milano,

Italy, will allow the range of masterbatches to

be expanded in compliance with the standards

requested in the various fields of application.

Certification according to EN 13432 is expected

for the end of this year.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 13


2 nd European Bioplastics


in Disneyland Paris

Dr. Harald Käb

The 2nd European Bioplastics Conference has proven to

be the place to be in bioplastics industry. 360 bioplastics

professionals from 29 countries met in Paris at the largest

bioplastics event ever in Europe that was organised

for the second time by the industry association European


Record attendance of delegates, speakers and exhibitors

The number of delegates as well as the comprehensive

exhibition showed the relevance of the promising industry.

The delegates followed the presentations of 45 speakers

about material novelties, biopackaging innovations, consumer

insights, political frameworks to end of life options

in alternating plenary and parallel sessions.

The exhibition room, where 26 exhibiting companies

showcased their latest products and developments, provided

a unique environment for extended networking.

Keynotes on bioplastics

The first plenary session was opened by a welcome

adress of Dr. Harald Käb, Chairman of European Bioplastics

and Christophe Doukhi-de Boissoudy, Chairman of the

French Clubbioplastiques. Käb introduced the challenges

for the future bioplastics development: „Sufficient material

supply will be a very basic parameter for the future

of bioplastics. This can be achieved by utilising existing

production capacities to the full, building up new production

sites by known and yet unknown market players and

broadening the scope of materials and material properties.“

Also waste management will play a crucial role as

well as material developments.

„The bioplastics industry is at a cutting edge. Fortunately,

politics become more and more aware of the potential

of reducing dependency on crude oil not only for fuels but

also in material use of renewable ressources.“ The representative

of the French Ministry of Agriculture, Julien

Turienne, took up the thread and explained the French

policies for bio-based products, which are motivated by

14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2


360 bioplastics experts 26 exhibitors

their advantages, i.e. the substitution of non renewable

resources, the improvement of innovation and competitiveness

and the preservation and creation of jobs in agriculture

and agro-industry. Amongst the French actions

are the proposal to prefer bioplastic bags regulated by law

(which was rejected by the European Commission due to

the free trade and packaging directive; France now works

on transforming these measures in incentive measures,

e.g. ecotax).

Production capacities

European Bioplastics estimates the global production

capacities of bioplastics to sextuple until 2011. The shares

of the three material classes synthetic/biodegradable,

biobased/biodegradable and biobased/non-biodegradable

are expected to change significantly towards biobased/

nonbiodegradable bioplastics. While their share is about

12% in 2007 (of a total production capacity of 262.000

tonnes/year), in 2011 the share of biobased/non-biodegradable

bioplastics will be almost 40% of total capacity.

The overall capacity will increase to 766.000 tonnes/year

in 2009 to about 1.500.000 tonnes/year in 2011.

European Bioplastics bases its estimations on publicly

available announcements that have been published in the

last months as well as on information gathered amongst

their members. Provided a positive access to capital markets

and thus investments production capacities can grow

even faster.

Material properties and material types

To capture an even broader application range than today

some bioplastics need to improve their material properties.

Basically, this applies for barrier properties and heat

resistance. Usual PLA softens at a temperature of about

60°C and is not deployable for several applications. According

to a manufacturer, PLA composed from D- and L-

lactic acid shall be heat resistant up to 175°C. Thus, PLA

will become applicable for e.g. micro-wave suitable products.

According to several studies PLA bottles have a large

growth potential. To capture more applications the barrier

properties need improvement.The high permeability of

water vapour for instance reduces the shelf-life. However,

it is expected that new PLA types and barrier solutions will

widen the scope of applications very soon. It is likely that

new bioplastic materials and an increasing availability of

bioplastics will accelerate product innovations.

Waste management and bioplastics treatment

Waste management will be a key success factor of bioplastics

in two different ways. On the one hand, for compostable

plastic products it is crucial to have composting

infrastructures in place. That’s the reason why European

Bioplastics advocates for a separate collection of organic

and residual waste and for installing composting sites

across Europe. In the EU, organic waste accounts for

around 38% of municipal waste. This amounts to around

120 million tonnes of organic waste per year, with the potential

to obtain over 50 million tonnes of compost annually

(in EU 25).

On the other hand European Bioplastics is strongly supporting

an adequate treatment of bioplastics given the

quantities of the material. Organizing the most optimized

waste management system is dependent on local infrastructures

for collection and recycling, local and regional

regulations, the total volume on the market available and

the composition of waste streams.

With both bioplastics and biopackaging in their infancy,

the development of the market should not be delayed even

though the most optimal recovery systems have often not

been recognized by local authorities. The risks associated

with existing recovery schemes should be monitored.

These will be limited at this time given the relatively small

volumes that currently enter the market. Once volumes

reach a critical mass, waste management systems which

make most sense from an environmental and economic

point of view can be set up. Over time, recycling may be

the best option for certain bioplastics, especially if a homogenous

stream can be organized such as in place for

plastic bottles.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 15


Bioplastics Awards 2007

The second Bioplastics Awards took place together

with the ninth Bioplastics conference

in Cologne, Germany, on December 5 th . Organised

by European Plastics News, an audience of

around 100 people attended the event to witness the

recognition of some of the best bioplastics developments

and applications.

Launched in 2006, the Bioplastics Awards are intended

to raise the profile of bioplastics, which, although

a developing market, is still very much a niche.

The result is that the sector’s achievements tend to be

overshadowed by innovations in the mainstream packaging

and plastics industries.

The seven categories of the Bioplastics Awards intend

to change all that, providing a platform to promote

the innovative ideas that are driving the bioplastics

market forward.

EPN Editor and Conference manager, Chris Smith,

said: “The 2007 Bioplastics Awards come at an important

time for the bioplastics industry as we are seeing

new and important developments not only in traditional

compostable bioplastics but also in bio-sourced

versions of traditional polymers, such as PE, PA, PU

and TPEs. When this industry looks back in 10 years

or so we might say that 2007 marked the beginning

of a new renewable era in bioplastics production and


Nominees & Winners


Best Innovation

in Bioplastics

Best Bioplastics


Best Bioplastics

Application –


Nominees & Winners

Braskem, Brazil

(Polyethylene from ethanol derived from

sugar cane)

Dow Polyurethanes, USA

(Renuva range of bio-derived polyols,

derived from vegetable oils)

Merquinsa Mercados Quimicos, Spain

(Pearlthane ECO TPUs, with 40 – 49%

renewable contents)

Teijin, Japan

(BioFront PLA fibres with a melting point

of 210°C)

Amcor Flexibles, UK

(heat sealable VFFS film using Mater-bi

and much more)

Leoplast, Italy

(High quality PLA cases and packaging

for the cosmetics industry)

Treofan, Germany

(Production of Biophan PLA films)

Alcan Packaging, Ireland

(Lamination of a range of fully compostable

printed film products using PLA and


Alcan Packaging, Ireland

(first fully printable laminate of Natureflex

cellulose and Mater-bi, which can be

home composted)

Amcor Flexibles, UK

(heat sealable VFFS Mater-bi film for

packaging of Sainsbury’s So Organic

salad potato range)

Coopbox Europe, Italy

(Naturalbox PLA foamed PLA tray and

capping film meat packaging system)

Wiedmer AG, Switzerland

(Compostable PCO28 closure in Mater-bi

resin for packaging of still beverages)

16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

Photos: European Plastics News



Nominees & Winners


Nominees & Winners

Best Bioplastics

Application –


WIP, Italy

(Lov’N range of biodegradable hypoallergenic

sanitary pads, exploiting the

breathability of Mater-bi to retain moisture

and keep the skin dry while moisture

is absorbed by three PLA Ingeo fibre

filtering layers)

Arkema, France

(Use of Pebax Renew in the Wave Creation

training shoe by Mizuno of Japan)

Elastogran, Germany

(Use of bio-derived polyurethane resins

in the Elastocoast coastal erosion defence


NEC Corporation, Japan

(Use of kenaf fibre reinforced PLA in a

mobile phone casing)

Teijin, Japan

(Use of BioFront heat resistant PLA

fibres in automotive prototype seat

Best Bioplastics


Delhaize, Belgium

(One of the longest standing supporters

of bioplastics, Delhaize has used more

than 7 million PLA salad packs over the

past two years replacing more than 120

tonnes of traditional plastics. This year

it switched its single-use carrier bags

to starch-based plastics, estimating it

will use 100 tonnes of the resins over the

first 12 months. The group is also working

with its national retail association

FEDIS and waste association Fost-Plus

to develop suitable end-of-life options)

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, UK

(The 2006 winner in this category,

Sainsbury’s environmental packaging

approach continues to set the standard

in the UK retail sector)

Wal-Mart, US

(Not a company with the greatest record

on sustainability, Wal-Mart’s conversion

to sustainable thinking and launch of its

environmental scorecard have has really

kick-started interest in bioplastics in the

Best Bioplastics



Excellent Packaging & Supply, US

(provides customers with assistance in

selecting the right product for its needs,

The company is also highly active in the

US in promoting organised composting

schemes, without which many biodegradable

products make little sense)

Alcan Packaging, Ireland

(Promotion of its fully customisable

laminated packaging film materials)

Novamont, Italy

(Supply of two million sets of Mater-bi

disposable tableware for the Loreto

Agorà dei Giovani two-day eco-meeting

in Italy, which was addressed by the




to Bioplastics


The Personal


award is made

by EPN alone.

Martin K Patel

(Martin Patel is not, perhaps, seen by

many as part of the bioplastics industry,

but the work he has been doing over the

past 15 years in the techno-economic

analysis of energy saving and emission

reductions achievable through new and

existing industrial biotechnologies is

likely to become hugely important in the

years to come.)

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 17


Shopping bags, that

dissolve in hot water

Figure 1: degradation in soil after 3 months

Headquartered Singapore, Biostarch Technology

Pte Ltd was registered in 2004. However the Biostarch

journey began with research in 1998. The

technological process to produce the Biostarch biopolymer

film was registered for international patent in 2005.

The manufacturing headquarter is in Beijing, China.

According to a company‘s spokesman, Biostarch offers

a cost-effective, EN13432 certified, OK Compost mark approved,

100% compostable biopolymer shopping bag solution

and film for packaging. Biostarch products also meet

the American ASTM-6400-99 Standard for Compostable

Plastics and Australian AS4736-2006 Biodegradable



The unique biodegradable and compostable nature of

the Biostarch film is demonstrated by its ability to be dissolved

in hot water. The rapid disintegration in a natural

environment can be seen in fig. 1, showing a Biostarch

bag before and after 3 months in the soil of an Australian


Other features include the following:

• Comparable strength to conventional plastic bags

• Made principally from the renewable resource corn


• Does not contain the conventional plastic constituents

such as polyethylene and polypropylene

• Can be re-used (encouraged)

• Ideally suited for dry goods but tolerates short term

exposure to moisture.

Shopping Bags

For supermarkets, retail and department stores,

Bio-starch Bags provide a variety of solutions:

• Bio-Fresh bags on a roll, with perforation for easy

separation. Ideal for fruit and vegetables.

• Bio-Light, a lightweight bag for dry goods.

• Bio-Mist, a lightweight bag for moist/refrigerated


• Bio-Multi, a heavy duty flexi loop bag for dry goods

• Bio-Max, a grip hold bag ideal for retail outlets and

department stores

Film for Packaging and Plastic Converters

Biostarch film is ideal for the packaging of dry goods

and rolls are also available for plastic converters to

manufacture bags to their own specifications. Biostarch

film can be processed on conventional plastic bag

manufacturing equipment with some adjustments.

Biostarch‘s Vision

Biostarch recognizes the environmental hazard

caused by plastic bags and products. „We believe that

government, business and environmental groups and

individuals all need to work together to solve this problem,”

says Dr. Jian Mao, CEO of Biostarch Technology.

„Changes in patterns of behaviour are essential and

the provision of certified biodegradable, 100% compostable

biopolymer alternatives is mandatory,” he

adds. Biostarch is excited to be able to be a part of the

solution by offering a cost effective alternative to plastic

bags and packaging and a more environmentally

responsible alternative to paper bags. Together we can

make a difference.

18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2


Paperflex-Bio; paper plus bioplastic film

Zipper-Bio bag

World‘s first

biodegradable zipper bag

Forapack, an Italian flexible packaging films converter

from Poggiofiorito, has expanded its product

range of ready-made bags and pouches with a new

series for food producers and retailers. The three product

lines follow the approved design and application but

are made completely of biodegradable and compostable


The Bagflex-F-Bio line consists of bags and pouches

made from a single web of bioplastic film, such as PLA,

Materbi, Naturflex and the like. These bags are hot-wire

sealed, and can be custom-printed and micro-perforated.

The Bagflex-HS-Bio series of bags and pouches is made

from a laminate composed of Kraft paper and a bioplastic

film. They come in a wide range of options, e.g. with or

without die-punched handle or custom-printed. The Kraft

paper is available in white or havana colour. The bioplastic

film can be PLA, Materbi or Natureflex, depending on the

application. Organic adhesives are used between the two

layers to allow for 100% biodegradability. In this respect,

Forapack also carries out flexo printing in up to eight colours

with water-based inks. As required the central film is

produced opaque or transparent to show the contents.

The Paperflex-Bio series of bags and pouches consists

of a laminate of paper plus a bioplastic film, with or without

a central „window“. In comparison with the abovementioned

products Paperflex-Bio is produced in reels for

automatic packaging machine applications.

The Zipper-Bio bags are made of paper laminate plus

biodegradable compostable plastic laminates. Its unique

feature is the world‘s first re-closable zippers made of

biodegradable plastic (a Forapack exclusive speciality),

making the contents watertight and airtight. The applica-

tion of the biodegradable zipper to a bag or pouch made

of biodegradable compostable laminate is a Forapack patent.

One of the latest developments is a PLA film with enhanced

oxygen barrier properties to protect the contents

from oxidation. It was developed in collaboration with

an Italian barrier film producer. Barrier enhancement is

obtained by applying a very thin layer of a special, highly

transparent and food-grade lacquer onto the film surface.

The barrier film is converted as a single web (Bagflex-F-Bio)

or alternatively Forapack laminates it to paper

(Bagflex-HS-Bio and Paperflex-Bio) resulting in a biodegradable

laminate that ensures better protection for the

product, and offers a longer shelf life.

All mentioned products are being tested by independent

laboratories and the results will show full comparability

with the properties of fossil oil based plastic films,

including conformity to food contact regulations, machineability,

transparency, natural permeability, long shelflife

and antifog properties. Beside ensuring the necessary

hygiene and food protection, Forapack promises that the

new packaging solutions to be a valid marketing tool and

offer distributors, food producers and final consumers a

number of additional features that rarely come with other

packaging solutions.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 19


Article contributed by Christian Garaffa,

Marketing Department, Project Manager

Waste Management Area.

After Ireland, San Francisco and Oakland in California,

Modbury in Britain, the debate on disposable

carrier bags has recently moved to London. Many

other countries and cities are looking to introduce or already

have some form of ban, tax, levy or some voluntary

agreement on throwaway shopping bags (e.g. France or


The question is always the same: how to manage the

environmental issue posed by non biodegradable carrier

bags? The common logic permeating the different choices

is always the one dictated by the waste hierarchy: prevent,

reuse, recover, dispose of.

Factors like an intensive communication to the consumers

and the introduction of reusable bags “for life”

which can be used for several times before they are finally

thrown away or given back to the store, are an essential

part of this schemes.

Compostable shopping

carrier bags: what is the

logic for their contribution

to the environment?

How do compostable carrier bags place themselves into

this picture?

Compostable carriers can actually be a powerful aid to

waste minimization and recovery policies especially there

were organic waste collection schemes are to be set up

or are already in place. In order for such schemes to be

successful they must be hygienic for both consumer and

collection crews and be as convenient as possible. The

best way to ensure both these criteria is for consumers

to line their kitchen caddy with a compostable liner which

can then be tied and placed in the larger container. Using

liners in this fashion not only keeps the system clean and

hygienic from kitchen to collection to treatment facility,

but by being simple to use, they also lead to higher levels

of participation and subsequently greater amounts of food

waste are recovered and less material is landfilled.

A proper communication and the possibility for the

householder to easily identify the compostable bags are

completing the picture for this kind of schemes which are

able to recover as much as 90% of the kitchen organics

present in the household waste.

20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2


Article contributed by Jonas Hellström,

Marketing & After Sales Manager,

FAS Converting Machinery AB, Ystad, Sweden

Biobags: in-line

production is the future

The Scandinavian company BioBag International A/S,

headquartered in Askim, Norway has great faith in

the future. They have a long experience of making

plastic bags and have used converting machines from FAS

Converting Machinery AB, Ystad, Sweden for more than 15

years. About three years ago BioBag International started

to specialise in making plastic bags which are 100% biodegradable

and compostable (according to standards such

as EN 13432 or ASTM D6400) and which can be recycled or

incinerated with a neutral greenhouse gas impact. Converting

material from the Italian company Novamont into

bags in-line on a machine from FAS is a very cost-effective

way of making bags on a roll.

”We believe in the future of this project”, says Jorn Johansen,

president and CEO at BioBag International. Many

people are becoming more aware of how important it is

to take care of our Earth. BioBag International A/S has

activities in 18 countries and the list of products is long. In

Belgium for example, BioBag has a business arrangement

with Jemaco nv. (also a customer of FAS), regarding the

marketing and production of high quality bio-products.

Jorn Johansen appreciates the quality of the machines

and the good service from FAS, which fit well in this environmentally

friendly future.

Bag production in-line using the film blowing process

is well known, and has been improved over the years by

FAS, followed by other machine suppliers, as pointed out

by Jonas Hellstrom, Marketing Manager at FAS.

Especially with the combination of tensionless sealing

and sealing from both sides, FAS perforation and sealing

units are the ideal equipment to process biodegradable

products. The FAS sealing system is one of the few that

can handle a wide variety of film materials, e.g. all kinds

of PE from HD to LD, recycled plastics and biodegradable

materials, without any special adjustments required.

In addition to the above-mentioned features, the FAS

perforating and sealing units offer the benefits of constant

or intermittent heating and adjustable seal pressure,

which has proven to give many producers advantages

when running different products on the same machine.

The in-line process of film blowing and bag production

brings a number of additional benefits, such as faster

quality control of the plastic film, no capital locked up in

storage for master rolls or floor space, and a better cash

flow. And - thanks to converting a warm film which enables

thick film to fold easily and the final winding to be

easier – the final products often just look better.

When it comes to total machine investment cost, an

in-line set-up offers advantages over an off-line solution.

One reason is a simpler blown film unit, as there is no

need for a rotating head or winding equipment when running


Other costs for a producer are the handling of master

rolls and for the personnel needed to run the machines.

In an in-line environment less operators are needed compared

to an off-line set-up, which also provides financial


As one of the biggest bag producers in Europe once

said: “Produce this morning – deliver in the afternoon -

and invoice tomorrow! That´s the key to success!”.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 21




for the


Article contributed by Hans van der Pol, Marketing Manager,

PURAC biochem BV, Gorinchem, the Netherlands

of PLA

So far the focus for bioplastics developments has

been in particular on the environmental and

social elements. To make PLA sustainable on

the long-term it is now crucial that the economic sustainability

is secured. L- and D-lactide produced with

PURAC technology in combination with PURAC’s value

proposition for the value-chain members will allow

PLA to become an attractive economic reality.

Accelerating PLA potential

Although many PLA applications have been developed

over the last years, PLA is currently in short

supply. In order for the bioplastics market to grow at

the pace dictated by the customer demand, there is a

need for a higher level of PLA supply. The main factors

hampering the growth in supply are PLA product quality

and the availability of an economically sustainable

production technology as part of the PLA value-chain.

The key factor in this chain is the technology to produce

high purity, polymer grade, lactic acid with high

carbohydrate efficiency – the core expertise of PURAC,

whose technology has been optimized over decades.

PLA for packaging applications was developed in the

nineties but it is not until very recently that the value

chain for PLA applications has been seriously expanded.

The Kyoto protocol and the associated trading

schemes for carbon dioxide certificates are providing

companies with real incentives to reduce their carbon

dioxide emissions by investing in more environmentally

benign technologies and products. Bioplastics and

bio-fuels are at the forefront of this trend.

Market opportunities

With improvements in PLA supply and quality as

well as development of value added applications it is

expected that the market for PLA can grow to a level

of several hundreds of ktons over the next 10 years.

The bioplastics industry is still in a very early stage of

its development. Institutional, legal and policy framework

conditions are adjusted continuously in order to

stimulate a continuous growth of sustainable materials.

The market for traditional polymers is over 250

mio tons and growing. Many framework conditions for

these traditional polymers actually act as barriers for

the new polymers. The bioplastics industry has grown

so far without the huge subsidies heaped upon bioethanol.

The opportunities to capitalize on this are immense.

The total consumption of biodegradable polymers

stood at around 140 ktons in 2006, with packaging representing

31% of the total consumption. The projected

growth for PLA in this segment is estimated 23%

per year.

With improvements in technology, higher value added

applications such as fibers and engineering plastics

can be developed. Such higher value added applications

are important to turn a bio-based economy into

reality, as it will improve the economic sustainability of

the value-proposition.

Retailers and brand-owners recognize possibilities

to capitalize on the sustainability trend by re-branding

their image as an environmentally conscious company

22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2


by incorporating innovative bio-based packaging

solutions into their product lines. This allows them

to create additional added value to their customers,

who are also becoming more environmentally


The use of annually renewable resources as a

feed-stock is the main driving force behind sustainable

plastics in the 21st century. Biodegradability

of PLA packaging materials is an advantage

in those countries that have an industrial composting

infrastructure in place. However, no material

can find a sustainable position in the market without

the right functional attributes. For many applications

the biodegradability has no added value,

and PLA is perfectly stable under normal use conditions.

Added value

The added value of PLA polymers comes in the

first place from its unique combination of properties,

such as very high optical clarity, good mechanical

properties, gas and water barrier properties,

etc.. These properties can be influenced

and further improved or modified by value added

polymer technologies, such as compounding, copolymerization,

combining materials or films with

different properties or applying nano-technologies.

Properties that will need improvement to make the

polymer applicable to high-end applications are

its heat deformation temperature and its impact

strength. For bottle applications for example the

gas barrier properties needs improvement.

PLA Value proposition

Due to its strong technology position in lactic

acid, moving one step further in the value-chain is

a logical step for PURAC. This enables polymerand

plastics producers to make the step into PLA

bioplastics. PURAC itself has in-depth experience

with PLA in the relatively small, but high value

added market of medical-grade lactide monomers

and polymers.

The scale to economically produce lactide is

much bigger than the scale to economically produce

PLA. In PURAC’s concept, polymer producers

will not need to invest in complex lactide technology,

but can focus instead on their core expertise:

adding value through the production of specialized

PLA (co-)polymers. By allowing PLA producers to

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 23


invest in smaller scale plants, the efficiency of PLA

production can be enhanced by focusing on dedicated

grades for certain application areas. Further

value can be added to these (co-) polymers by compounding

them into plastics and using nano- and

other technologies to improve the properties.

PURAC allows polymer producers to add value

in a revolutionary new way by offering two types

of lactide (L-lactide and D-lactide). By combining

these lactides in new and unconventional ways, the

improvement of the PLA heat-stability – one of its

key issues – can become a reality.

PURAC will deploy a business model, where lactide

is manufactured at an advantageous scale and

offered as a premium quality, competitively positioned

product to PLA producers. Based on this

lactide monomer customers will be able produce

superior quality polymer. This business concept allows

medium size and starting PLA companies to

be competitive in the PLA market.

The production of lactide is integrated into the

manufacturing of lactic acid and as such different

grades will be either processed or marketed

through PURAC’s global sales network. PURAC

partners do not have to concern themselves with

the production of lactic acid or lactide and hence

will see a reduced risk profile for the investment,

product management, logistics and warehousing

and operation of facilities.


The flexible production unit in PURAC production

site in Spain will be used for lactide production

for selected partners early 2008. This unit will

be extended with the required steps to make high

quality lactide shippable to selected customers all

over the world. The investment path leads to the

industrial scale availability of a lactide production

unit in Thailand.

Since the availability of D(-) lactid acid is essential

for the highest PLA grades, PURAC’s lactic acid

production unit in Spain is being revamped into a

high quality D(-) production plant. The product will

also become available as D-lactide for PDLA production.

PURAC has commenced a focused application

development effort to support customers in

their use of lactide and D(-) products.

24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

Practically everybody uses them to protect sensitive

goods – high-quality stretched plastics are

undoubtedly the number one within the world of

packaging material. More and more they are replacing

paper, cardboard, tin foil and other materials. Upon applying

a particular process, mono- or biaxial orientation, the

films obtain a wealth of advantageous properties, due to a

change in the morphology of the film’s molecular structure:

• excellent mechanical properties, e.g. stiffness, tear,

shock or puncture resistance

• impermeability to moisture and water vapour

• high resistance to oils, fats and solvents, as well as to

heat and cold

• dimensional stability and scratch resistance

• attractive glossy appearance, thanks to brilliant surface

quality and high transparency

• excellent convertibility, printability and sealability.

Packaging has become a key marketing tool at the point

of sales. As a result, customers in supermarkets and

stores are placing greater emphasis on attractive packaging.

This leads to a greater demand for a variety of speciality


• co-extruded multi-layer structures, up to 7 layers for

ultra-high barrier

• shrink film and sleeves for trendy, full body sleeves

• ultra-high barrier film for lamination

• bio-degradable films for environmental protection and


• BOPA (bi-axially oriented Polyamide) film highly suitable

for freezable and cookable (microwavable) packaging

• mono-axial shrink films for bundles and labels

Orientation methods

The orientation methods applied to manufacture such

films are the film blowing process and the tenter frame

process. Blown film extrusion process is based on the

principle of extruding a tube having a thickness that is 40

– 50 times thicker than that of the film to be produced.

As part of the tenter frame process, the cast film derived

from plastic granulate by means of extrusion is stretched

in longitudinal and transverse direction to attain the required

film dimensions. This film is then processed either

sequentially or simultaneously in order to obtain a very

thin, high-rigid end film. Sequential lines first stretch the

cast film in machine direction through a system of rollers.

This stretching is achieved by different speeds between

groups of rolls. Then the film enters the tenter, an ovenlike

device, which uses two endless chains to grip and

stretch the web in transverse direction on diverting rails.

Simultaneous systems stretch the film in both directions

at the same time. The limited yield and inflexibility

of mechanical solutions led to the development of LISIM ®


films continue




run – even

with PLA

Article contributed by Christian Aigner,

Marketing Manager, Brückner Maschinenbau

GmbH & Co. KG, Siegsdorf, Germany

Photo: Treofan

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 25



1 : 2.0 - 3.5

1 : 3.0 - 5.0

Sequential BO stretching line - TDO inlet

Typical temperatures during BOPLA process

technology, which uses linear motors driving clips without

chain connections. This drive principle, also used on the

“Transrapid” (Germany’s high-speed monorail train using

magnetic levitation), allows a new level of freedom to be

obtained when manufacturing high quality film in fast and

extremely flexible production.

Biodegradable oriented film is gaining great


Excellent properties in stiffness, transparency, gloss,

and dead-fold retention, combined with the environmental

benefits clearly emphasize the breadth of its appeal for

use in consumer packaging applications.

• As an alternative to cellophane in: confectionery twist

wrap, premium wrapping for flowers, toiletries and

prestige gifts

• Bags for compost and garden refuse, as well as agricultural

mulch films to replace paper (when wet strength

is required)

• Multi-layer films for packaging uses, especially food

• Lamination films where cellulose acetate can be replaced

• Co-extruded structures with low temperature heat seal

layers and/or flavor and aroma barriers where properties

allow layer simplification or replacement of nylons

• Shrink sleeve films and high modulus label films

• Non-fogging films for fresh produce packaging

Key performance indicators of Brückner’s stretching

lines for biodegradable film

Due to the fact that PLA resin is sensitive to humidity,

special raw material handling and extrusion technology

is needed. Particularly in the storage system, Brückner’s

line layouts include silos with humidity protection. Resin

dryers guarantee the resin’s low moisture content prior

to extrusion.

For the extrusion, Brückner utilizes their over ten year’s

worth of experience in twin screw technology. Benefit: no

additional material drying is needed. The special screw

design creates uniform melt properties. Stainless steel

melt pipes, polymer filters with short dwell times, static

mixers and a three-layer adapter block designed for PLA

are essential to the entire process.

The pinning and stretching properties of PLA are very

similar to the behavior of PET. Therefore, an electrostatic

pinning device is needed to fix the extruded sheet to the

chill roll. A shockless speed variation is realized with a

drive motor concept, which assures a constant take off

speed. A special roll design guarantees a temperature accuracy

of ± 1 K (Kelvin) across the roll surface.

The MDO (machine direction orienter) is equipped with

the same drive technology.

Special drive functions called MSD (MD soft drive system)

assure a “scratch-free” surface of the MD stretched

film. The elongation ratios in machine direction (MD) are

in a range of 2 - 3.5.

The stretching ratios within the transversal direction

(TD) are around 3 to 5. The TDO (transversal direction orienter)

is characterized by accurate and adjustable air distribution

and a reliable chain track system.

Stretching profile

1.767 mm Die


80 mm


120 mm

Clip Range

30 mm

7. 435 mm

1.687 mm Castfilm

1.567 mm MD Film

6.600 mm

Edge trim 150 mm

26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2


BOPLA (2,2 x 6,0)

s-BOPLA (4,5 x 5,2)


























Tensile Strength


Elongation at Break






Improvement of mechanical properties by biaxial stretching

Sequential BO streching line - Winder

The stretched film needs to be surface treated and the

thickness gauge must be measured. Brückner’s stateof-the-art

treatment systems and scanning devices combined

with a ultra-fast die-bolt system guarantee highest

surface properties and a constant gauge throughout the

complete production.

The winder winds up the final treated film on steel


Criteria like winding tension, roll profile, roll density and

perfect roll build-up are essential for the further process

steps. Technologies like LIWIND ® (winding technology with

linear motors), tension control systems and winder oscillation

systems are essential for perfect further processing.

The output of such a state-of-the-art stretching line is

1,300 kg/h, with the end film having a thickness range between

15 and 50 µm.

Unique technology center

Brückner‘s experience in processing PLA using an orientation

process is based on their worldwide unique technology


The variety of stretching methods, ranging from monoaxial

to sequential and simultaneous stretching, gave the

possibility to run PLA in each production mode.

Produced PLA film:

• MOPLA (mono-axially oriented PLA) shrink film for

sleeves applications

• BOPLA (bi-axially oriented PLA) thin film

• BOPLA thick film for thermoformapplications

(190 – 350 µm)

All produced film types displayed improved film properties

after the stretching process.

Considering that cast – PLA is brittle and inflexible the

stretching process made the final film flexible, while at the

same time improving its tensile strength and E-modulus.

The final film exhibited excellent dead fold and twist

wrap properties.

The simultaneous stretching mode also presented

amazing results.

Sequentially, PLA can be processed with a MD ration of

2.2 and a TD ration of 6.0. The main challenge in this line

configuration is the maximum pinning speed.

The use of simultaneous technology is completely

changing the situation. Stretching ratios of 4.5 times 5.2

are no longer a problem. Therefore, line output can be dramatically

increased. In addition, film properties were better

when compared to the sequential stretching process.

• Mechanical properties

• Sealing properties (by using a low sealing skin layer)

• Adjustable shrink properties due to the special process

• Better optical quality (no scratches, higher gloss)

Overall, the PLA tests at Brückner’s technology center

were surprisingly successful and they gained a lot of new

experience and insight from these trials. The successful

thermoform application tests for the thick film were carried

out at Brückner’s new Group Company Kiefel GmbH

in Freilassing, Germany.

More PLA technology from Brückner Group

Brückner Formtec, supplier of cast film and sheet extrusion

lines, developed a process to produce PLA film

and sheet for rigid packaging in a very cost effective way

by increasing productivity through high outputs and high

speeds. Highlights of the line concepts are: Twin screw

extrusion for highest efficiency, outputs of up to 2,000 kg/

h, speeds of up to 75 m/min, thickness range from 250 µm

up to 1,200 µm, proven pinning technology, especially suitable

for inline processed high volume applications.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 27

From Science & Research

Reactor contents transfer

From Waste 2 Gold: Making

bioplastic products from

biomass waste streams

Article contributed by Dr Alan Fernyhough,

Unit Manager of the Bioplastics Engineering

Group, Scion, Rotorua, New Zealand

New Zealand is widely regarded as pristine and

uncluttered. But the country has waste management

challenges just like everywhere else. A large

volume of these wastes arise from its prolific agricultural,

forestry and horticultural sectors. Innovative research

programmes aimed at turning these organic wastes into

high-value bioplastic products are being run by Scion, a

Crown Research Institute based in Rotorua, at the heart

of New Zealand’s green hinterland. At Scion, teams working

on wastewater and environmental (bio)technologies

have come together with those working on biopolymers,

and materials formulation and processing technologies to

create a suite of technology options for converting wastes

into bioplastic related products. The programmes include

turning wastes into bioplastics, or into functional additives

for use in bioplastics, or directly into processed bioplastics


Dr Trevor Stuthridge is the leader of the ‘Waste 2 Gold‘

programme, an overarching framework developed by Scion

for turning wastes into valuable products. He explains

why this research is of vital interest to a nation focused on

minimising waste:

“New Zealanders landfill the equivalent of 872 kg of solid

waste per year per person – one of the highest per capita

rates in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation

and Development). Our primary industries contribute

55% of this total; a major proportion is organic material

28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

From Science & Research

which can generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas

(GHG), and harmful leachates.”

In a bid to help minimise GHG emissions, New Zealand

has implemented a Waste Management Strategy that aims

to see 95% of these industrial organic wastes re-directed

from landfills by 2010. Dr Stuthridge believes that New

Zealand’s primary sectors can best meet this challenge

by actively exploiting the intrinsic worth of their organic


“The only effective way to provide incentives for minimising

liquid and solid wastes and redirecting organic

material from landfills is to ensure that the resource has

an economic value. The ‘Waste 2 Gold‘ initiative is proactively

generating sustainable solutions, which will simultaneously

help to increase revenues, reduce costs and add

value to businesses,” he says.

Carbon-rich industrial wastes, such as those from the

pulp and paper, food processing, and biorefinery sectors

are low cost, high volume feedstocks that are ideal

for sustainable production of biopolymers, fine chemicals

and biofuels. Microbial biotechnologies and chemical

functionalisation technologies are under development by

Scion scientists who are exploring ways of utilising these


One project involves the use of mixed and/or pure cultures

of bacteria that directly fix nitrogen from the atmosphere,

allowing them to remediate carbon-rich wastes

from these sources, without the need for additional costly

chemicals, and convert the carbon into useful products.

Dr Stuthridge explains that a novel function of these nitrogen-fixing

bacteria is their ability to store excess carbon

in the form of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs, >50% of

dry cell mass).

“We are exploiting this characteristic to produce biopolymers

and biopolymer composites from industrial waste

streams. Given that feedstock costs can comprise over

60% of manufacturing costs, this type of process is expected

to offer substantial economic advantages.”

Nitrogen fixation processes produce very low ecological

footprints since no supplemental nitrogen needs to

be added to achieve microbial growth. This approach can

give a 35% saving in operational costs over conventional

bioconversion methods. In addition, very low nutrient final

wastewater discharges are achieved, amounting to over

90% reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus over conventional

methods. Finally, these aerobic nitrogen fixation

processes have a lower oxygen demand than normal systems,

offering a 25% saving in aeration energy costs.

“Of course, in the case of solid wastes, there is a requirement

to make them more easily accessible for microbial

bioconversion”, explains Dr Stuthridge. “Here, we

are integrating proprietary green chemistry-based technologies

that break down the solid organic material, such

Bacteria with PHA

Biodegradable pots

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 29

From Science & Research

as proteins, lipids and polymeric carbohydrates, into

readily degradable feedstocks for the bacteria.”

The ‘Waste 2 Gold‘ framework demands a multi-disciplinary

approach, encompassing microbiology, bioprocess

engineering, biomaterials chemistry, polymer

engineering, and ecotoxicology. Advanced biomaterial

engineering concepts also enhance these opportunities

by taking the bioplastics from bacteria and integrating

functional attributes, such as programmed degradation

and biofunctional additives.

The author of this article is leader of the Biomaterials

Engineering Group and leads many of the bioplastic

pro-duct developments at Scion. They are functionalising

selected wastes, and mixing benign solid wastes

from other sources (such as the horticultural, food

processing and agricultural sectors), with renewableresourced-based

plastics, and selected additives, to

create a range of novel biopolymer products. These

products include controlled-release fertilisers, biodegradable

plant pots, panels, packaging materials, and

other moulded plastic products.

As future disposal options become more limited, these

technologies will provide a viable alternative for not only

reducing waste, but for utilising it as a valuable resource.

Though the initial interest has been from commodity

based product developments, we increasingly see greater

interest in accessing functional attributes of particular

pro-cessed or functionalised wastes in bioplastic products.

This is leading to a range of advanced performance

bioplastic product developments.

Scion has taken this concept outside the lab to some

leading New Zealand plastics processors and has also

worked to directly involve those who generate much of

New Zealand’s organic wastes. Scientists have conducted

surveys to assess primary industry processing activities

within New Zealand and to identify current waste production

and disposal patterns. The surveys highlighted the

availability of high-volume, good quality waste streams,

with producers indicating a clear desire for better options

to use this waste.

This need led to the formation of a partnership between

Scion and a number of major pulp and paper and horticultural

producers and processors to explore opportunities

for developing new products from these waste streams.

This partnership exploits a ‘Waste 2 Gold‘ ‘hotspot’ based

in the Bay of Plenty region, where significant volumes of

the ideal raw materials are available to this programme.

The fledgling regional initiative may be a model for extension

into other sectors in New Zealand as scientists

develop ways of making bio-derived plastics and biobased

composites out of a range of organic wastes from

kiwifruit to cow dung.

“From a purely economic perspective, industrial

wastes can no longer be considered ‘wastes’ but rather

‘untapped resources’. While reducing the amount of

waste generated is the first priority, even the most efficient

manufacturing processes create surplus materials.

The future sustainability of industrial production depends

on the smart utilisation of these residues,” Dr Stuthridge


30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

Our Covergirl Maria says:“ I‘ve known

about these biodegradable bags made

from starch. But I like the idea that

scientist try to make bioplastics even

from waste.“

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4


EcoWorks ®


St. Paul, MN 55110 USA

© Cortec Corporation 2006



Biodegradable EcoWorks

Replacement for Plastic and Polyethylene

Up to 70% Bio-based With

Annually Renewable Resources

From thick rigid plastic cards to fl exible protective wrap,

EcoWorks ® 70 by Cortec ® Research Chemists offers universal,

biodegradable replacement to traditional plastic

and polyethylene films. This patent pending breakthrough

meets ASTM D6400 and DIN V 54 900. EcoWorks ® 70

does not contain polyethylene or starch but relies heavily

on renewable, bio-based polyester from corn. 100%

biodegradable, it turns into water and carbon dioxide in

commercial composting.


Article contributed by

Miriam Wehrli, Project Manager and

Dr. Markus A. Meier, Head Market Platform Packaging

Market Platform Packaging, Ciba Inc., Basel, Switzerland

Biopolymers as an

option for sustainability

– Quo vadis?

Sustainability has become the new buzzword

in our modern and environmentally aware

society. Government authorities, organizations

and companies all over the world are increasingly

coming up with initiatives to improve

sustainable development while striking the right

balance between environmental, social and economic


Specifically relating to the packaging market, the

focus is on reducing carbon footprint and in this

regard, biopolymers are consistently in the spotlight.

When compared to traditional plastics, these

new types of emerging polymers bring numerous

modified properties such as a higher water-vapor

transmission rate (WVTR) and biodegradability.

The latter, however, often leads to confusion and

consumers too often do not know how to deal with

this new feature, what makes them unsure of the

real benefits of biopolymers.

Do we need biodegradable polymers?

Biodegradability is an attribute which is often

associated on the one hand with environmental

friendliness but on the other hand, also with

instability of the polymer and low performance.

Currently biodegradability is frequently used as a

marketing tool, although not all aspects of biodegradability

are known and therefore hardly foreseeable.

32 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2


Life-cycle: Oil-based polymers

Net CO 2

Exploration Refinery Use Collection


with energy recovery





Life-cycle: Biopolymers

Growth Processing Use Collection


with energy recovery





No significant difference between polymers

Net CO 2 production (+)

Overall target: CO 2

reduction by process optimization

Figure 1: CO 2 balance

comparison of oil-based

polymers and biopolymers.


+ : CO 2

production and release to the atmosphere (emission),

- : CO 2

elimination of plants during growth (photosynthesis),

0 : CO 2

neutral (overall no emission nor elimination)

Already today we are confronted with headlines pointing

at the rising prices for corn tortillas in Mexico due to

increasing demand of bio-resources causing corn shortages.

Feedstock and farmland for biopolymers are in

competition with biofuels as well as land capacity which

could be used to feed people. The benefits of biopolymers

capable of being chemically recycled rather than composted

are therefore obvious. Collecting industrial and

post consumer waste of polylactic acid (PLA), for instance,

and converting it back to lactic acid by depolymerization

results again in a purified base material for the polylactic

acid production. In doing so, corn production, corn wet

milling and fermentation could be avoided and leading to

an overall reduction of costs and energy consumption.

Furthermore, when considering the high efforts presently

made to improve the mechanical and technical properties

of biopolymers, future biopolymer solutions will

most probably end up losing the biodegradability at the

expense of strength. In essence, the development of biobased

polymers should target a polymer which is recyclable

rather than biodegradable.

Carbon footprint

In this context, the main driver for biopolymers on the

market turns out to be the fact that they are based on

renewable raw materials. This is presumably linked with

the increasing pressure to reduce the environmental impact

of products and furthermore to comply with internal

sustainability commitments. Biopolymer resin producers

especially enhance their life cycle studies by purchasing

renewable energy credits, but this option is certainly independent

of the polymer produced.

For the time being, Ciba’s market analysis in collaboration

with Pira International and life cycle assessment

(LCA) studies of biopolymers in cooperation with the Swiss

Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) show neither

clear advantages nor disadvantages of biopolymers compared

with traditional mineral oil based polymers.

As processing, use, collection and even waste management

(except composting) do so far not show significant

difference and are comparable for all kind of polymers in

terms of energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions,

a fully greenhouse gas neutral option (from cradle-tograve)

can only be achieved by using renewable resources.

Even if 100% recycling could be feasible, traditional plastics

would still need crude oil as a feedstock and therefore

release net CO 2 to the atmosphere.

So, the long-term vision for a sustainable solution

points to biopolymers which are 100% recyclable. If this

is considered not feasible, then at least incineration with

heat recovery should be the option and not composting, in

which, neither energy nor base material can be recovered

(destroying value).

Alternatives – biobased polyethylene (PE)

Biopolymers like PLA and starch-based solutions still

show performance drawbacks in end-use packaging applications

compared with traditional polymers. While the

higher WVTR of biopolymers could be a benefit for several

fresh produce packaging applications, they then shortly

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 33


reach their limits due to e.g. insufficient heat stability,

brittleness and relatively low gas barriers for other


Alternatively, there are companies like Dow and

Braskem planning to make polyethylene from sugar

cane. The advantages of this approach are that PE is

already fully established in the market and the properties

for processing and applications are well known.

Even the waste streams do already exist and there

will be no issue of contamination, since the bio-based

polymer is chemically identical with its oil-based analog.

At least short- to mid-term, the bio-based PE could

be a viable alternative to PLA and starch-based biopolymers

and it remains to be seen which solution

will win recognition long-term.

Role of raw material suppliers

Ciba continuously strives for superior performance

and is committed to contribute to long-term sustainable

development. Regarding biopolymers simply as

a new type of polymer on the market, Ciba is committed

to learn more about these new materials. The

company is capitalizing on its expertise in polymers,

colorants and additives to support the development

of biopolymers by improving their technical performance

through additives, focusing on testing compatibility

with polymers and recycling rather than biodegradability.

Beyond the interests in the embryonic biopolymer

market, Ciba offers a wide range of sustainable solutions

for plastics and paper/paperboard packaging.

Consequently Ciba‘s contribution to sustainable

packaging will not only concentrate on additives and

colorants for biopolymers, but also include strength

solutions which allow significant light-weighing of

packaging as well as improvement of recycled resin


There will be no standard solution eliminating all

present and future concerns. Rather, the point is to

find individual ways to change general attitudes and

develop technologies to balance environmental, economic

and social aspects of sustainability in order to

ensure the same quality of life also for future generations.

34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2




Dear Editor,

It is always with great interest that we read bioplastics MAGAZINE as

it brings together a vital collection of news and views in bioplastics, an

industry that we at NatureWorks LLC are deeply committed to. In a recent

editorial in the 03/2007 issue it was suggested that availability in general

of NatureWorks ® biopolymer is causing signs of hesitation in the market.

This is an inaccurate statement and we feel this is an appropriate the time

to bring greater clarity on our current manufacturing position.

Due to the strong and unexpected market growth throughout 2006,

NatureWorks channeled available biopolymer in a secure and strategic

way to our existing partners by carefully mapping supply chains and material

flows. At the same time we reported that NatureWorks LLC continued

to increase production volume by de-bottlenecking production in our

Blair, NE, facility and as a result we are able to secure all existing end

user demands. Today we are also in a position to support and develop

new opportunities, confirming the continued and robust market growth

for NatureWorks biopolymer applications.

In all of what we do, NatureWorks seeks to include our core values

around sustainability and responsibility meaning that we are actively

seeking and having dialogue with key stakeholders to make sure everyone’s

effort follows the same approach.

I think most people close to this industry are aware of our peer reviewed

eco-profiles that have been updated and published recently to reflect key

progress made in this field, as well as position papers laying out our response

to issues such as feedstock sourcing, waste management and our

overall environmental footprint. Our colleague, Erwin Vink, will elaborate

on this in a paper that will be included in the next issue.

As people around the globe are working to make us less dependent on

fossil raw materials, the use of bioplastics contributes to this in a meaningful

way and bio-packaging solutions are a valuable way to demonstrate

this important evolution.

We are more than happy to provide more details around any of these

topics and we welcome innovative companies to bring their own responsible

products to market and join the growing assortment of applications

based on NatureWorks biopolymer and marketed as Ingeo innovations.

These include not only a complete range of biopackaging solutions but

also high value durable goods such as cosmetics and electronics, as well

as a full range of Ingeo fiber applications.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further details.


Mark Vergauwen – Commercial Director Europe, NatureWorks LLC

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 35


Logos Part 6:

A number of products made from bioplastics are already on

the market. Almost all of them are labelled with some kind of

a logo that tells the consumer about the special character of

the plastic material used. In this series of articles the logos

and their background are introduced by bioplastics MAGAZINE.

Here we address such questions as: What is the origin and

history of a logo? What does it mean? Which type of legislation

or regulation is it concerned with?

In previous issues bioplastics MAGAZINE introduced six

different logos that inform consumers about the biodagradability

or compostability of packaging and other products

made of bioplastics.

Before we start a new series in 2008, where we introduce

logos informing about the biobased origin of bioplastics products,

we‘d like to summarize the compostable/biodegradable

logos in the following table.

But also in future issues, we will inform our readers about

all modifications, consolidations or cooperations which might

arise about the existing logos.

Logo Name Association Meaning Certifying institute(s) Countries


Mark, called

„the Seedling“

(bM 01/2006)

The “Compostable”

logo of BPI

(bM 02/2006)

The “OK Compost”


(bM 01/2007)




Products Institute,


Vinçotte, Belgium

compostable bioplastic

products according to

EN 13432, ASTM

D 6400, ISO 17088

compostable products

according to ASTM D

6400 (Compostable

Plastics) or ASTM

D6868 (Compostable


compostable bioplastic

packaging according to

EN 13432

DIN-Certco (D),

The Composting

Association (UK),

Keurmerk Instituut (NL),

Cobro (PL).

(others to follow)


Vinçotte, Belgium

Germany, Switzerland, the

Netherlands, Poland and the

United Kongdom.

In Austria the label is used in

model projects in Linz and St.

Pölten. European Bioplastics

promotes the use of product

certification and the use of a

unified label in Europe

USA, Canada

Belgium, France

The Finnish Apple

(bM 02/2007)

Finnish Solid Waste

Association, FSWA

mainly for compostable

biowaste bags,

certified in line with EN


Finnish Solid Waste

Association, FSWA


The Norwegian


(bM 02/2007)

Avfall Norge (Waste

Management Norway,

formerly NRF)

mainly for compostable

biowaste bags,

certified in line with EN


Avfall Norge

(Waste Management

Norway, formerly NRF)



logo Japan

(bM 03/2007)

Japan BioPlastics


Biodegradability according

to Japanese

and international

standards such as ISO

14851, 14852, 14855

Japan BioPlastics

Association (JBPA)


36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

Basics Glossary


Readers who know better explanations

or who would like to suggest

other explanations to be added

to the list, please contact the editor.

[*: bM ... refers to more comprehensive

article previously published in

bioplastics MAGAZINE)

In bioplastics MAGAZINE again

and again the same expressions

appear that some of our readers

might (not yet) be familiar with.

This glossary shall help with

these terms and shall help avoid

repeated explanations such as

„PLA (Polylactide)“ in various



Polymeric branched starch molecule with very high molecular

weight (biopolymer, monomer is à Glucose).


Linear polymeric glucose-chains are called à amylose.

If this compound is treated with ethan acid one product is

amylacetat. The hydroxyl group is connected with the organic

acid fragment.


Polymeric non-branched starch molecule with high molecular

weight (biopolymer, monomer is à Glucose).

Biodegradable Plastics

Biodegradable Plastics are plastics that are completely

assimilated by the à microorganisms present a defined environment

as food for their energy. The carbon of the plastic

must completely be converted into CO 2

.during the microbial

process. For an official definition, please refer to the standards

e.g. ISO or in Europe: EN 14995 Plastics- Evaluation

of compostability - Test scheme and specifications. [bM*

02/2006 p. 34f, bM 01/2007 p38].


Mixture of plastics, polymer alloy of at least two microscopically

dispersed and molecularly distributed base polymers.


Clear film on the basis of à cellulose.


Polymeric molecule with very high molecular weight (biopolymer,

monomer is à Glucose), industrial production

from wood or cotton, to manufacture paper, plastics and



A soil conditioning material of decomposing organic

matter which provides nutrients and enhances soil


Compostable Plastics

Plastics that are biodegradable under “composting“

conditions: specified humidity, temperature, à microorganisms

and timefame. Several national and international

standards exist for clearer definitions, for example

EN 14995 Plastics - Evaluation of compostability

- Test scheme and specifications [bM 02/2006 p. 34f, bM

01/2007 p38].


A solid waste management technique that uses natural

process to convert organic materials to CO 2

, water

and humus through the action of à microorganisms.


Plastic composed of different monomers.


Biochemical reactions controlled by à microorganisms

or enyzmes (e.g. the transformation of sugar into

lactic acid).


Translucent brittle solid substance, colorless or

slightly yellow, nearly tasteless and odorless, extracted

from the collagen inside animals‘ connective tissue.


Monosaccharide (or simple sugar). G. is the most

important carbohydrate (sugar) in biology. G. is formed

by photosynthesis or hydrolyse of many carbohydrates

e. g. starch.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 37

Basics Glossary


In agriculture, “humus“ is often used simply to mean

mature à compost, or natural compost extracted from

a forest or other spontaneous source for use to amend



Property: “water-friendly“, soluble in water or other

polar solvents (e.g. used in conjunction with a plastic

which is not waterresistant and weatherproof or that

absorbs water such as Polyamide (PA)).


Property: “water-resistant“, not soluble in water (e.g.

a plastic which is waterresistant and weatherproof, or

that does not absorb any water such as Polethylene (PE)

or Polypropylene (PP)).


Living organisms of microscopic size, such as bacteria,

funghi or yeast.


Polycaprolactone, a synthetic (fossil based), biodegradable

bioplastic, e.g. used as a blend component.


Polyhydroxyalkanoates are linear polyesters produced

in nature by bacterial fermentation of sugar or lipids.

The most common type of PHA is à PHB.


Polyhydroxyl buteric acid (better poly-3-hydroxybutyrate),

is a polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a polymer belonging

to the polyesters class. PHB is produced by micro-organisms

apparently in response to conditions of

physiological stress. The polymer is primarily a product

of carbon assimilation (from glucose or starch) and is

employed by micro-organisms as a form of energy storage

molecule to be metabolized when other common

energy sources are not available. PHB has properties

similar to those of PP, however it is stiffer and more



Polylactide, a bioplastic made of polymerised lactic


Saccharins or carbohydrates

Saccharins or carbohydrates are name for the sugar-family.

Saccharins are monomer or polymer sugar

units. For example, there are known mono-, di- and

polysaccharose. à glucose is a monosaccarin. They are

important for the diet and produced biology in plants.


Sugar alcohol, obtained by reduction of glucose changing

the aldehyde group to an additional hydroxyl group. S. is

used as a plasticiser for bioplastics based on starch .


Natural polymer (carbohydrate) consisting of à amylose

and à amylopectin, gained from maize, potatoes, wheat,

tapioca etc. When glucose is connected to polymer-chains

in definite way the result (product) is called starch. Each

molecule is based on 300 -12000-glucose units. Depending

on the connection, there are two types à amylose and

à amylopectin known.

Starch (-derivate)

Starch (-derivates) are based on the chemical structure

of à starch. The chemical structure can be changed by

introducing new functional groups without changing the

à starch polymer. The product has different chemical qualities.

Mostly the hydrophilic character is not the same.


One characteristic of every starch-chain is a free hydroxyl

group. When every hydroxyl group is connect with ethan acid

one product is starch-ester with different chemical properties.

Starch propionate and starch butyrate

Starch propionate and starch butyrate can be synthesis

by treating the à starch with propane or butanic acid. The

product structure is still based on à starch. Every based

à glucose fragment is connected with a propionate or butyrate

ester group. The product is more hydrophobic than

à starch.


An attempt to provide the best outcomes for the human

and natural environments both now and into the indefinite

future. One of the most often cited definitions of sustainability

is the one created by the Brundtland Commission,

led by the former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem

Brundtland. The Brundtland Commission defined sustainable

development as development that „meets the needs of

the present without compromising the ability of future generations

to meet their own needs.“ Sustainability relates to

the continuity of economic, social, institutional and environmental

aspects of human society, as well as the non-human



Plastics which soften or melt when heated and solidify

when cooled (solid at room temperature).

Yard Waste

Grass clippings, leaves, trimmings, garden residue.

38 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

Simply contact:

Tel.: +49-2359-2996-0 or

Suppliers Guide

Stay permanently listed in the Suppliers Guide with your company logo and contact information.

For only 6,– EUR per mm, per issue you can be present among top suppliers in the field of bioplastics.

1. Raw Materials

1.1 bio based monomers

1.3 PLA

1.4 starch-based bioplastics

2. Additives /

Secondary raw materials

4. Bioplastics products

Du Pont de Nemours International S.A.

2, Chemin du Pavillon, PO Box 50

CH 1218 Le Grand Saconnex,

Geneva, Switzerland

Phone: + 41(0) 22 717 5176

Fax: + 41(0) 22 580 2360

1.2 compounds

BIOTEC Biologische

Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG

Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 32

46446 Emmerich


Tel.: +49 2822 92510

Fax: +49 2822 51840

Du Pont de Nemours International S.A.

2, Chemin du Pavillon, PO Box 50

CH 1218 Le Grand Saconnex,

Geneva, Switzerland

Phone: + 41(0) 22 717 5176

Fax: + 41(0) 22 580 2360

3. Semi finished products

3.1 films

natura Verpackungs GmbH

Industriestr. 55 - 57

48432 Rheine

Tel.: +49 5975 303-57

Fax: +49 5975 303-42

Veriplast Holland BV

Stadhoudersmolenweg 70

NL - 7317 AW Apeldoorn

R.O.J. Jongboom Holding B.V.


Damstraat 28

6671 AE Zetten

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 488 451318

Mob: +31 646104345

BIOTEC Biologische

Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG

Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 32

46446 Emmerich


Tel.: +49 2822 92510

Fax: +49 2822 51840

Plantic Technologies GmbH

Heinrich-Busold-Straße 50

D-61169 Friedberg


Tel: +49 6031 6842 650

Tel: +44 794 096 4681 (UK)

Fax: +49 6031 6842 656

1.5 PHA

1.6 masterbatches


Avenue Melville Wilson, 2

Zoning de la Fagne

5330 Assesse


Tel.: + 32 83 660 211

Maag GmbH

Leckingser Straße 12

58640 Iserlohn


Tel.: + 49 2371 9779-30

Fax: + 49 2371 9779-97

Treofan Germany GmbH & Co. KG

Am Prime Parc 17

65479 Raunheim

Tel +49 6142 200-0

Fax +49 6142 200-3299

Sidaplax UK : +44 (1) 604 76 66 99

Sidaplax Belgium: +32 9 210 80 10

Plastic Suppliers: +1 866 378 4178

4.1 trays

5. Traders

5.1 wholesale

6. Machinery & Molds

Molds, Change Parts and Turnkey

Solutions for the PET/Bioplastic

Container Industry

284 Pinebush Road

Cambridge Ontario

Canada N1T 1Z6

Tel.: +1 519 624 9720

Fax: +1 519 624 9721

SIG Corpoplast GmbH & CO. KG

Meiendorfer Str. 203

22145 Hamburg, Germany

Tel. +49-40-679-070

Fax +49-40-679-07270

7. Plant engineering

FKuR Kunststoff GmbH

Siemensring 79

D - 47 877 Willich

Tel.: +49 (0) 2154 9251-26

Tel.: +49 (0) 2154 9251-51

Transmare Compounding B.V.

Ringweg 7, 6045 JL

Roermond, The Netherlands

Phone: +31 (0)475 345 900

Fax: +31 (0)475 345 910

Sukano Products Ltd.

Chaltenbodenstrasse 23

CH-8834 Schindellegi

Phone +41 44 787 57 77

Fax +41 44 787 57 78

1.7 reinforcing fibres/fillers

made from RRM

3.1.1 cellulose based films



Cumbria CA7 9BG


Contact: Andy Sweetman

Tel.: +44 16973 41549

Fax: +44 16973 41452

Uhde Inventa-Fischer GmbH

Holzhauser Str. 157 - 159

13509 Berlin


Tel.: +49 (0)30 43567 5

fax: +49 (0)30 43567 699

8. Ancillary equipment

9. Services

10. Research institutes /


bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/03] Vol. 2 39

Companies in this issue

Company Editorial Advert

Afvall Norge 36

Alcan Packaging 16

Amcor Flexibles 16

Arkema 8,17

BASF 9 2

Bayer Material Science 12

Biobag International 21

Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) 36

BioLog 11

Bioplastics24 31

Biostarch 18

Biotec 8 39

Braskem 9,16

Brückner 9, 25

Ciba 32

Clubbioplastique 14

Cobro 36

Coopbox Europe 16

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York) 7

Cortec 31

Crystalsev 10

Delhaize 17

DIN Certco 36

D-M-E 13

Dow 10,13, 16

Du Pont de Nemours 5, 12 39

Elastogran 10,17

ETH Zürich 33

European Bioplastics 14

European Plastics News 16

Excellent Packaging & Supply 17

FAS Converting Machinery 21

Finnish Solid Waste Assiciation (FSWA) 36

FkuR 39

Forapack 19

Gehr 10

Greenblue 5

Hallink 39

Huhtamaki 7

Innovia Films 39

Japan BioPlastics Association (JBPA) 36

Jemaco 21

Kareline 11

Keurmerk Instituut 36

Leoplast 16

Maag 39

Meredian 6

Merquinsa Mercados Quimicos 16

Mitsubishi Plastics 8

Company Editorial Advert

Mitsui Chemicals 8

natura 39,43

Natureworks 35

NEC Corporation 17

nova Institut 7

Novamont 6, 17, 20 44

Novomer 6

Pira International 33

Plantic Technologies 39

Plasticker 31

Plasticsuppliers 39

PolyOne 39

Procter & Gamble 6

Purac 22

R.O.J. Jongboom Holding B.V., Biopearls 39

Reifenhäuser 11

Reimelt Henschel MischSysteme 11

Rondol 13

Rural Industries Research and Development 5

Corporation (RIRDC)

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets 17

SAM-A C&I 11

Scion 28

Sidaplax 39

SIG Corpoplast 13 39

SIG Plasmax 13

Sistec 13

Sphere 8

Stanelco 8

Sukano Products 39

Tejin 16

The Composting Association 36

Timberland 13

Toray Industries 9

Transmare Compounding 39

Treofan 16

Treofan Germany 39

Uhde Inventa-Fischer 39

Vanetti Materbatches 13

Veriplast 39

Vinçotte 36

Vitasheet 12

VTT Technical Research Center 10

Wal-Mart 17

Wiedmer 16

WIP 17

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For the next issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE

(among others) the following subjects are scheduled:


Foamed bioplastics

End of life options



Logos (7)

Next issues:

01/08 January 2008

02/08 March 2008

03/08 April 2008

04/08 June 2008

05/08 September 2008

40 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/07] Vol. 2

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February, 18-20, 2008

Agricultural Film 2008

Fira Palace Hotel, Barcelona, Spain

March 3-4, 2008

3rd International Seminar on Biodegradable Polymers

Valencia, Spain

April 1-3, 2008

JEC Composites Paris

including biobasesd polymers and natural fibers

Paris, France

April 22-23, 2008

„Connecting comPETence“: PETnology Europe 2008

Düsseldorf/Neuss , Germany, prior to Interpack

April 24-30, 2008

Interpack - 2008

and here:

Bioplastics in Packaging

The interpack 2008 Group Exhibition

Düsseldorf, Germany

meet bioplastics MAGAZINE here

June 18-19, 2008

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Congress and Exhibition

Kongress Palais, Stadthalle, Kassel, Germany

42 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/07] Vol. 2

natura means


natura packaging develops and markets

innovative, 100% biodegradable

packaging solutions. Our Europewide

activities can be divided into three main


• Fruit and vegetable packaging

• Waste management

(including the MaxAir system)

• Shopping bags (including our

popular ‘happy bag’)

Let natura help you get the most

out of your business.

Call +49 (0)5975 30357

or send an e-mail to

Industriestraße 55 - 57 48432 Rheine Tel. : +49 (0)5975/303-57 Fax. : +49 (0)5975/303-42 Email :

w w w . n a t u r a p a c k a g i n g . c o m

A real sign

of sustainable


There is such a thing as genuinely sustainable development.

Since 1989, Novamont researchers have been working

on an ambitious project that combines the chemical

industry, agriculture and the environment: “Living

Chemistry for Quality of Life”. Its objective has been to

create products that have a low environmental impact.

The innovative result of Novamont’s research is the new

bioplastic Mater-Bi ® .The Mater-Bi ® polymer comes from maize starch and

other vegetable starches; it is completely biodegradable and compostable.

Mater-Bi ® performs like plastic, but it saves energy, contributes to reducing

the greenhouse effect, and at the end of its life cycle, it closes the loop by

changing into fertile humus. Everyone’s dream has become a reality.

Living Chemistry for Quality of Life.

Mater-Bi ® : certified and recommended biodegradability and compostability.

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