issue 04/2021


Basics: Bio-Polypropylene

Bioplastics - CO 2

-based Plastics - Advanced Recycling

bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 16

Cover Story

Great River:

Sustainable and


PLA Cups & Lids | 22


Thermoforming | 23

Toys | 10


Bio-PP | 54

... is read in 92 countries

... is read in 92 countries

04 / 2021

ISSN 1862-5258 Jul / Aug




Alex Thielen, Michael Thielen, Sam Brangenberg

These days the world is shaken by news from Canada about temperatures

around 50°C or severe floods coming from heavy rain in Germany, Belgium,

and the south of the Netherlands, just a few kilometres from our offices. The

water masses killed more than 170 people, with more than a dozen villages

partly or fully extinct. Our thoughts are with the victims. The Paris Climate

Agreement COP21 limits the increase of the average temperatures to 1.5°C

but we already are at 1.2°C. At this rate, it is silly to say that the big polluters

should start reducing their CO 2

emissions first because we small players

can’t do much about it by ourselves. The truth is, every tenth of a tonne of

saved CO 2

counts and with more than 370 million tonnes of new fossil-based

plastics every year (representing about a billion tonnes CO 2eq

), each tonne of

plastics made from renewable carbon contributes to the overall target.

It’s the older kids around Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for future

movement that clearly tell us what their concerns for their future are. And

they are joined by young parents who care for their small children. This

leads us to our first highlight – Toys and what is being done to make them

more sustainable. This issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE is full of toys made

from renewable carbon plastics, but it is a mere teaser for what is to come

later this year. Starting with some Toy News and a number of interesting

articles about toys, we look forward to our second bio!TOY conference in

Nuremberg, Germany on 7+8 September. We are still optimistic to hold

the event on-site with additional online options for both, speakers and


And there are more events to come with the 2 nd PHA platform World

Congress just a few weeks later in Cologne, Germany and the 4 th bio!PAC in

Düsseldorf, Germany, in early November – both are planned as hybrid events a


The second highlight in this issue is Thermoforming and in the Basics

section we have a closer look at biobased polypropylene. As always, we’ve

rounded up some of the most recent news items on materials and applications

to keep you abreast of the latest innovations and ongoing advances in the

world of plastics made from Renewable Carbon.

We are looking forward to meeting many of you in person this fall and, as

always, hope you enjoy reading bioplastics MAGAZINE


bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 16

Bioplastics - CO 2

-based Plastics - Advanced Recycling

Cover Story

Great River:

Sustainable and


PLA Cups & Lids | 22


Thermoforming | 23

Toys | 10


Bio-PP | 54

... is read in 92 countries

Follow us on twitter!

... is read in 92 countries

Like us on Facebook!



04 / 2021

ISSN 1862-5258 Jul / Aug

Michael Thielen

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 3



34 Porsche launches cars with biocomposites

32 Bacteriostatic PLA compound for 3D printingz

Jul/Aug 04|2021

3 Editorial

5 News

22 Cover Story

32 Application News

54 Basics

56 10 years ago

57 Brand-Owner

58 Suppliers Guide

62 Companies in this issue

Publisher / Editorial

Dr. Michael Thielen (MT)

Alex Thielen (AT)

Samuel Brangenberg (SB)

Head Office

Polymedia Publisher GmbH

Dammer Str. 112

41066 Mönchengladbach, Germany

phone: +49 (0)2161 6884469

fax: +49 (0)2161 6884468

Media Adviser

Samsales (German language)

phone: +49(0)2161-6884467

fax: +49(0)2161 6884468

Michael Thielen (English Language)

(see head office)


Kerstin Neumeister


Poligrāfijas grupa Mūkusala Ltd.

1004 Riga, Latvia

bioplastics MAGAZINE is printed on

chlorine-free FSC certified paper.

Print run: 3300 copies

Toy news

8 Ocean Barbie

8 Mattel PlayBack - recycling/toys


10 bio!TOY

28 PHA World Congress

38 bio!PAC


12 Game changer

14 Sustainability in the toy industry

18 Sustainable fleece and faux-fur

19 Commitment to sustainable toys

20 Sustainable toys from Sweden

21 Lego bricks made from recycled

PET bottles


24 Sustainable Packaging

made of natural fibres

26 Microalgae for thermoformed packaging

27 Chitosan keeps strawberries fresh


30 Sustainable adhesive tapes

36 Plant protection made by competitive

3D printing

From Science & Research

35 It depends where it ends

44 Catalysis - key for sustainable production

Carbon Capture

40 A change of tune for the chemical


42 Climate-friendly polyols and polyurethanes

from CO 2

and clean hydrogen


48 Biomimetics hold the key to the future

of multiuse plastics

50 Green additivation


24 Sustainable Packaging made of natural fibres

52 Improved coextrusion

53 Think big, build small

bioplastics magazine

Volume 16 - 2021

ISSN 1862-5258

bM is published 6 times a year.

This publication is sent to qualified subscribers

(169 Euro for 6 issues).

bioplastics MAGAZINE is read in

92 countries.

Every effort is made to verify all Information

published, but Polymedia Publisher

cannot accept responsibility for any errors

or omissions or for any losses that may

arise as a result.

All articles appearing in

bioplastics MAGAZINE, or on the website are strictly

covered by copyright. No part of this

publication may be reproduced, copied,

scanned, photographed and/or stored

in any form, including electronic format,

without the prior consent of the publisher.

Opinions expressed in articles do not necessarily

reflect those of Polymedia Publisher.

bioplastics MAGAZINE welcomes contributions

for publication. Submissions are

accepted on the basis of full assignment

of copyright to Polymedia Publisher GmbH

unless otherwise agreed in advance and in

writing. We reserve the right to edit items

for reasons of space, clarity or legality.

Please contact the editorial office via

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.


A part of this print run is mailed to the

readers wrapped bioplastic envelopes

sponsored by BIOTEC Biologische

Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG,

Emmerich, Germany


Great River Plastic Manufacturer Co., Ltd.

Follow us on twitter:

Like us on Facebook:

LyondellBasell and

Neste cooperate

LyondellBasell and Neste recently announced

a long-term commercial agreement under

which LyondellBasell will source Neste RE, a

feedstock from Neste that has been produced

from 100 % renewable feedstock from biobased

sources, such as waste, residue oils, and fats.

This feedstock will be processed through

the cracker at LyondellBasell’s Wesseling,

Germany, plant into polymers and sold under the

CirculenRenew brand name.

“We are delighted that our strategic relationship

with LyondellBasell is further strengthened with

this long-term commercial agreement. (...) We

made history together by joining forces in 2019

in the world’s first commercial-scale production

of biobased polypropylene and biobased

polyethylene with verified renewable content,”

says Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President,

Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste.

Through their collaboration, Neste and

LyondellBasell are jointly contributing to the

development of the European market for

more sustainable polymers and chemicals

solutions. By ensuring continuity with significant

industrial-scale volumes of renewable polymers

produced with renewable feedstock from

biobased sources, the companies wish to enable

sustainability-focused brands to develop more

sustainable products and offerings.

In April 2021, LyondellBasell launched the

Circulen family of products. LyondellBasell’s

CirculenRenew product line consists of polymers

linked to renewable-based feedstocks, while

polymers made from mechanically recycled

materials are marketed under the brand name

CirculenRecover and those linked to advanced

(molecular) recycling are called CirculenRevive. MT

Danimer production capacity

Bioplastics producer Danimer Scientific recently announced

the successful completion of debottlenecking initiatives within its

Winchester, Kentucky, USA, manufacturing facility. The company

will now be able to accelerate production of Nodax, its proprietary

polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) towards its expectation of reaching

100 % of the facility’s current annual run rate capacity of 9000 tonnes

(20 million pounds) of Nodax-based resins by the end of 2021.

“As expected, we have completed our debottlenecking initiatives on

time, which will enable us to significantly scale up production from

previous levels,” said Danimer Scientific CEO Stephen Croskrey. “After

taking steps to optimize our processes and equipment, the facility was

brought back online in late May, and we used early June to confirm

that both fermentation and downstream processing of our material

is running at the projected levels, which are higher than before these

initiatives. We look forward to delivering the high volumes of PHA our

partners and customers need to create products that will help reduce

the environmental impacts of plastics waste.”

Nodax is a PHA produced through natural fermentation processes

using plant oil from crops such as canola. The material is certified to

degrade in a variety of environments at the end of its lifecycle, including

industrial composting facilities, backyard compost units, and soil and

marine environments. It can be used in a wide range of applications

from drinking straws and flexible packaging to disposable cups and


“With our Winchester facility primed to reach the height of its current

capacity, we can further focus on expanding the facility over the next

year,” said Danimer Scientific COO Michael Smith. “As previously

noted, the second phase of our construction process is ongoing, and

we continue to expect the expansion to come online in the second

quarter of 2022. We look forward to continuing our work to deliver

sustainable solutions for the world’s plastic waste crisis.” MT


daily updated News at

Picks & clicks

Most frequently clicked news

Here’s a look at our most popular online content of the past two months.

The story that got the most clicks from the visitors to was:

EC Commission stands firm: PHA is a non-natural polymer

(03 June April 2021)

The Final Guidelines to Directive (EU) 2019/904, known as the Single Use

Plastics Directive (SUPD), struck a blow to Europe’s PHA industry by

qualifying PHA as a non-natural polymer.

In response, GO!PHA, the global organization for PHA, has issued a

statement, in which it calls the inclusion of polyhydroxyalkanoates in the

Directive inconsistent with both the law and science.

The organisation expresses its disappointment in this news.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 5


daily updated News at


milestones for

PLA plant in Thailand

NatureWorks (Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA)

announced in early June the completion of key

milestones in their global manufacturing expansion plan

for a new fully integrated Ingeo️ PLA production facility

that is anticipated to open in Thailand by 2024, subject

to shareholder approval. When fully operational the new

plant will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tonnes of

PLA and will produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades.

The manufacturing project will be located at the

Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex (NBC) in Nakhon Sawan

province. The NBC is the first biocomplex project

in Thailand established in accordance with theThai

government's bioeconomy policy.

NatureWorks recently completed the front-end

engineering design work with Jacobs (Dallas, Texas).

Jacobs was selected and managed in partnership with

IAG (Houston, Texas), who provided front-end project

management and project controls. Final detailed

engineering is currently underway, and NatureWorks

expects to announce further details on the new facility

later this year.

“We are pleased to share these significant

accomplishments as part of our next phase for global

manufacturing expansion,” said Rich Altice, President

and CEO of NatureWorks. “The approval and support

from the Thailand Board of Investment was a critical

milestone on our path toward opening our new facility

in Thailand. With both the recently announced capacity

expansion at our facility in Blair, Nebraska and this new

manufacturing complex, we can further address the

global market demand for sustainable materials and

continue leading the development of high-performance

applications that capitalize on Ingeo’s unique material


The new manufacturing complex will include

production for lactic acid, lactide, and polymer making

it the world’s first polylactide facility designed to be fully

integrated. NatureWorks will build and operate all three

facilities, having both process and energy integration to

increase the efficiency of the manufacturing operation

dedicated to Ingeo biopolymer production. MT

Swiss Bioplastics

looking for new


Some years ago Richard Bisig founded with his son

the company Swiss Bioplastics GmbH, the son being a

pharmacist and Richard a consultant. Their aim was to

create a beverage bottle made of 100 % biobased material.

Unfortunately, they were not successful in finding such

a material in Europe and therefore they decided to no

longer operate the company. They are now looking for

interested people, who want to operate in the field of

bioplastics using the name Swiss Bioplastics.

If you are interested to get in touch with Richard Bisig,

please contact the editor. MT

Capacity expansion at


Futamura (Wigton, UK) has announced investment

plans for an additional casting machine to expand

capacity in their thriving cellulose films business. The

investment plans come as Futamura celebrates its fiveyear

anniversary since acquiring the cellulose films

business in July 2016.

Futamura has enjoyed year-on-year sales growth, due

to rising demand for their renewable and compostable

NatureFlex films. Andy Sweetman, Sales & Marketing

Director EMEA said: “Consumer demand for sustainable

packaging has driven a steady increase in sales for us.

As the market demand grows, so do we. The new casting

machine will allow us to better serve our customers by

reducing lead times and increasing overall capacity.”

The machine build will commence in Q3 of this year.

At the successful close of their first five-year plan,

Futamura looks ahead to the next five years with the

appointment of Adrian Cave as Managing Director,

from 1 st July 2021. Adrian is currently Finance Director

for Futamura EMEA and takes the reins from exiting

Managing Director, Graeme Coulthard, who begins his

retirement at the end of June. Adrian said, “It is an

honour to have been appointed Managing Director and

I will be proud to lead an experienced, passionate, and

dedicated Futamura UK and Europe team. I would like to

thank Graeme for all that he has done for the company,

he leaves behind a strong legacy. The growth we have

seen over the past five years is set to continue and we

look forward to further investments in equipment, as

well as advancing our exciting R&D projects.”MT

6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Green Dot Bioplastics plant expansion

Green Dot Bioplastics held a groundbreaking ceremony

in early June, celebrating the start of construction on its

expansion project at the Green Dot facility in Onaga, Kansas,


Green Dot is known for creating the world's first

biodegradable elastomeric rubber, Terratek Flex, as well as

a variety of other biocomposites and biodegradable resins

to replace traditional plastics. Located in the heart of the

scenic Kansas Flint Hills, the company's mission to create

a new generation of plastic supports a biobased economy.

As Green Dot enters its second decade, the company is

preparing to introduce two new product categories for use

in compostable packaging applications, including film.

The expansion to the Onaga facility, adds floor space to

accommodate additional equipment and warehouse space

in order to double production capacity. The project is being

led by KBS Constructors, leaders in critical environment

construction, and is expected to be completed in September


People who symbolically broke ground include Green Dot

CEO Mark Remmert, Director of Research & Development

Mike Parker, Engineering Manager Amanda Childress,

Plant Manager Bill Barnell, and Dan Foltz, President of KBS

Constructors. Lydia Kincade, co-founder of iiM, and Dave

Nelson represented Green Dot's Board of Directors and

investors, respectively.

"Green Dot has enjoyed exceptional growth during our first

decade and we are poised for even bigger things in our next

decade," Remmert said. "This expansion comes in advance

of adding two new product categories to our portfolio of

sustainable plastics and effectively doubles our production

capacity. It's an exciting time to be in bioplastics!"

The project aligns with Green Dot's values of sustainability

and innovation. Partnering with KBS Constructors, another

Kansas-based firm committed to the same values, means

the expansion not only benefits Green Dot, but it also has a

positive impact on the local economy.

"We wanted to work with a local company who understands

our needs and the needs of the Onaga community. Dan Foltz

and his talented team at KBS are absolutely the right people

for this job," Remmert said.

"We are excited to put our 30+ years of experience to

work on this expansion project," Foltz said. "This is a great

example of innovation flourishing in rural Kansas and we are

thrilled to be a part of it."

Production at the facility will continue during construction

with expanded capacity coming online in fall 2021. MT


daily updated News at

Kimberly-Clark partners with RWDC

In pursuit of its 2030 ambition to reduce the use of fossil

fuel-based plastics by half before the end of the decade,

Kimberly-Clark (Dallas, Texas) announced a partnership

with RWDC Industries to advance sustainable technology for

consumer products that provides much-needed solutions to

the world's single-use plastics problem.

The collaboration brings together Kimberly-Clark's deep

experience in nonwoven technologies and resin development

with RDWC's innovative and cost-effective biopolymer

solutions. The partnership will provide Kimberly-Clark with

RWDC's polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) source material,

Solon TM , to develop additional products that are marine


"We've seen the growing demand from consumers and

governments for companies to provide more sustainable

solutions to single-use plastics," said Liz Metz, Vice President

of Kimberly-Clark's Global Nonwovens business. "Solving for

these challenges will take game-changing innovation as well

as collaboration with industry-leading partners like RWDC to

help speed these new materials to market."

The company is working to launch products featuring this

innovation over the next five years, focusing first on product

categories that address global demand for more sustainable


"We're thrilled to partner with Kimberly-Clark and play

an important role in the future development of its essential

products," said Daniel Carraway, Co-Founder and Chief

Executive Officer of RWDC. "This partnership showcases

how industry leaders can leverage the agility of emerging

technologies to deliver real change. Together, we are

demonstrating that we can alter the alarming growth

trajectory of plastic waste while retaining quality and enabling

environmental goals to be met."

RWDC, based in Athens, Georgia, USA and Singapore,

combines deep expertise in PHA properties and applications

with the engineering know-how to reach cost-effective

industrial scale.

RWDC uses plant-based oils to produce its proprietary

PHA, which can be composted in home and industrial

composting facilities. Should products or packaging made

with PHA find their way into the environment, they biodegrade

in soil, freshwater, and marine settings, preventing persistent

plastics from accumulating in the environment. MT |

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 7


daily updated News at

Barbies made from

ocean-bound plastics

Mattel (El Segundo, CA, USA) introduces Barbie Loves

the Ocean, its first fashion doll line made from recycled

ocean-bound plastic. The collection includes three dolls

whose bodies are made from 90 % recycled ocean-bound

plastic parts and an accompanying Beach Shack playset

and accessories, made from over 90 % recycled plastic.

Mattel’s high manufacturing standards ensure that this

line delivers the same quality of play that parents have

come to expect from Barbie.

“This Barbie launch is another addition to Mattel’s

growing portfolio of purpose-driven brands that inspire

environmental consciousness with our consumer as a

key focus,” said Richard Dickson, President and CEO,

Mattel. “At Mattel, we empower the next generation to

explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full

potential. We take this responsibility seriously and are

continuing to do our part to ensure kids can inherit a

world that’s full of potential, too.”

This is also shown by Barbie’s Forest Stewardship

Council (FSC) Goal, aiming to achieve 95 % recycled

or FSC-certified paper and wood fibre materials used

in packaging by the end of 2021. Another step is in

educating kids through an episode on Barbie’s popular

YouTube vlogger series with the episode Barbie Shares

How We Can All Protect the Planet, which teaches young

fans about the importance of taking care of our planet

and everyday habit changes they can make to create an


Additionally, Barbie’s new The Future of Pink is

Green brand campaign will leverage the brand’s iconic

association of pink – alongside the iconic association

of green with protecting the planet – to communicate

Mattel’s next step toward a greener future.

Barbie is further teaming up with 4ocean, to launch a

limited-edition 4ocean x Barbie bracelet in signature pink

made with post-consumer recycled materials and handassembled

by artisans in Bali. For every bracelet sold,

4ocean will pull one pound of trash from oceans, rivers,

and coastlines and contribute educational materials to

inspire and empower the next generation.

The Barbie program is

one of many launches

supporting Mattel’s

corporate goal to

use 100 % recycled,

recyclable, or

biobased plastic

materials in all

products and

packaging by 2030

(See bM 01/20,

03/21), Barbie is also

part of the Mattel

PlayBack program. AT



Speaker at



Mattel PlayBack for

more circular toys

Another recent program of Mattel (El Segundo, CA,

USA) to reach their sustainability goals is recently

announced Mattel PlayBack, a toy takeback program

that will enable families to extend the life of their Mattel

toys once they are finished playing with them. The new

program is designed to recover and reuse materials

from old Mattel toys for future Mattel products.

“Mattel toys are made to last and be passed on

from generation to generation,” said Richard Dickson,

President and CEO, Mattel. “A key part of our product

design process is a relentless focus on innovation, and

finding sustainable solutions is one significant way we

are innovating. Our Mattel PlayBack program is a great

example of this, enabling us to turn materials from toys

that have lived their useful life into recycled materials

for new products.”

To participate in the Mattel PlayBack program,

consumers can visit, print a free

shipping label, and pack and mail their outgrown Mattel

toys back to Mattel. The toys collected will be sorted and

separated by material type and responsibly processed

and recycled. For materials that cannot be repurposed

as recycled content in new toys, Mattel PlayBack will

either downcycle those materials or convert them from

waste to energy. At launch, the program will accept

Barbie ® , Matchbox ®, and MEGA ® toys for recycling with

other brands to be added in the future.

“At Mattel, we are committed to managing the

environmental impact of our products,” added Pamela

Gill-Alabaster, Global Head of Sustainability, Mattel. “The

Mattel PlayBack program helps parents and caregivers

ensure that materials stay in play, and out of landfills,

with the aim to repurpose these materials as recycled

content in new toys. It is one important step we’re taking

to address the growing global waste challenge.”

Mattel PlayBack will initially be available in the United

States and Canada. The program will extend to France,

Germany, and the United Kingdom through third-party

recycling partners. AT

8 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

2020 / 21

The Bioplastics Award will be presented

during the 15th European Bioplastics Conference

Nov 30 - Dec 01, 2021, Berlin, Germany





Call for proposals

Enter your own product, service, or development,

or nominate your favourite example from

another organisation

Please let us know until August 31 st

1. What the product, service, or development is and does

2. Why you think this product, service, or development should win an award

3. What your (or the proposed) company or organisation does

Your entry should not exceed 500 words (approx. 1 page) and may also be supported with photographs,

samples, marketing brochures, and/or technical documentation (cannot be sent back). The 5 nominees

must be prepared to provide a 30 second videoclip and come to Berlin on Nov. 30

More details and an entry form can be downloaded from

supported by

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 9


bioplastics MAGAZINE


Plastic is by far the most commonly used material for toys.

However, the widespread criticism of plastics has not left the

industry unscathed. Manufacturers such as Lego or Mattel

have announced that they will only use alternative materials

that do not come from fossil raw material sources in the future.

Recyclability, the use of recycled or renewable raw materials,

as well as significantly lower CO 2

emissions are important new

development goals.

After the first bio!TOY conference in 2019, which was successful

with almost 100 participants, manufacturers of sustainable

plastics and toys will once again exchange news and experiences

from 7 to 8 September. The meeting in Nuremberg (hybrid, i.e.,

on-site and online) is co-organized by Harald Kaeb (narocon)

and is supported by important industry platforms and interest

groups (such as DVSI, Spielwarenmesse, Agency for Renewable

resources FNR).




Tuesday, September 7, 2021

08:30 - 08:45 Registration, Welcome-Coffee

08:45 - 09:00 Michael Thielen, Bioplastics Magazine Welcome, Orga, and introduction

09:00 - 09:10 Ulrich Brobeil, DVSI Welcome remarks

09:10 - 09:20 Christian Ulrich, Spielwarenmesse Welcome remarks

09:20 - 09:45 Christopher vom Berg, nova Institute Renewable Carbon Concept for toys: #Biobased #Recycled #CO 2


09:45 - 10:10 Jörg Rothermel, VCI Climate-neutral chemistry and plastics: Study for Germany

Gabriele Peterek, Fachagentur

10:10 - 10:35

Nachwachsende Rohstoffe FNR

Bio-based toys - a playful introduction to the bioeconomy

11:20 - 11:45 Patrick Zimmermann, FKUR Sustainability and toys - a logical step or a contradiction?

11:45 - 12:10 Svend Spaabæk, Fabelab (t.b.c.) Soft toys from sustainable materials (t.b.c.)

12:10 - 12:35 Rafaela Hartenstein & Ben Kuchler, Hasbro Hasbro’s Sustainability Journey: More than Toys

14:00 - 14:25 Suny Martínez, AIJU TOY GREEN DEAL: A bio-path towards a sustainable model

14:25 - 14:50 François de Bie, Total-Corbion Luminy PLA and the breakthrough in higher heat, durable applications

14:50 - 15:15 Thomas Roulin, Lignin Industries Lignin-based thermoplastic materials for ABS products

15.15 - 15:40 Sven Riechers, INEOS Styrolution Styrenics Solutions for Toys - biobased & recycled

16:35 - 17:00 Jason Kroskrity, Mattel Mattel's vision and portfolio of sustainable toys

17:00 - 17:25 Elisabet Sjölund, Neste Neste's renewable and circular approach: Keeping plastics in play sustainably

17:25 - 17:50 Rafael Rivas, Miniland Small Initiatives with big impact, an example of European Sustainable management

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

09:00 - 09:25 René Mikkelsen, Lego The LEGO Group’s vision and achievements for sustainable toys

09:25 - 09:50 Pascal Lakeman, Trinseo A material suitable for toy manufacturing based on direct bio-based and recycled content

09:50 - 10:15 Sharon Keilthy, Jiminy Eco Toys A plastic-free toystore is possible...what will it look like in 10 years‘ time?

10:15 - 10:40 Michael Schweizer, Tecnaro Raw material shift in the plastics industry – Children’s toys made from tailormade blends

11:20 - 11:45 Marck Højbjerg Matthiasen, Dantoy dantoy – Delivering bio-based toys for children in a first-mover initiative

11:45 - 12:10 Marko Manu, Arctic Biomaterials Biobased material alternatives for Toys

12:10 - 12:35 Herbert Morgenstern, BASF New Plasticizers based on alternative raw materials

14:00 - 14:25 Caroline Kjellme, Viking Toys Toys from sustainable materials

14:25 - 14:50 Ruud Rouleaux, Helian ColorFabb PHA materials design and application development for IM and AM

14:50 - 15:15 Keiko Matsumoto, Miyama PLA faux fur for plush toys

15.15 - 15:40 Beatrice Radaelli, eKoala The (im)possibilities of bioplastic in the world of baby products

15:55 - 16:00 Harald Kaeb / Michael Thielen Summary Conclusions Farewell

This is still a preliminary programme. We are watching the development of the pandemic daily. We might have to do some changes.

If speakers from overseas cannot come, they will give their presentation digitally – in such a case we would move them to a timeslot

accommodating for the respective timezone. We still hope that we don’t have to postpone the event or hold it strictly online only.

Please visit the conference website for the most up-to-date version of the programme.

10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

한국포장협회로고.ps 2016.11.21 8:26 PM 페이지1 MAC-18


7 + 8 Sept.2021 - Nürnberg, Germany

Register now


2 nd Conference on toys from biobased plastics

Meet innovators from the supply chain, toy brands and networks

Hybrid - Event

Coorganized by

Innovation Consulting Harald Kaeb

organized by

Gold Sponsor

Media Partner

supported by



Game changer

Presentation Lego / Allan V. Rasmussen 01-2016

Environmental Impact Assessment

75 %

impact is

with our



and design

Address 85 % of our environmental impact

10 %

impact is

in our


Just two highlights from a survey done by narocon for a customer

What do you mainly associate with the

term „sustainability“? (multiple choice)

Environmentally friendly materials (16/21) 76%

Resource conservation, e.g. less plastic (12/21) 57%

Biologisch abbaubare Abfälle (5/21) 24%

Reduction of greenhouse gases (6/21) 29%

Circular and recycling systems for products (14/21) 67%

Comprehensive behaviour change (9/21) 43%

In which time frame do you consider sustainable

action indispensable?

Long overdue (17) 81 %

immediately (3) 14%

by 2025 (1) 5%

by 2030 (0) 0%

by 2050 (0) 0%

When do things start to change? Sounds like

an easy-to-answer question but hold on for a

minute and think. If you could answer quickly and

correctly, you’d be a billionaire, at least a multi-millionaire

with your huge pile of apple and amazon stocks in your

depot bought ten years back or longer. It is much easier

to detect and indicate the beginning of something when

looking back – years back. When Michael Thielen and I

were starting to organize the first bio!TOY conference back

in 2018 (see reports in bM issue 03/2019) we both had the

feeling the toy industry is up for material change. Not just

for the packaging which brands use

for transport or presentation of their

products, but for their games, soft

15 % impact

is in the

consumer &



toys, building bricks, hand puppets,

beach toys and whatsoever. Was it the

beginning? And what comes next?

The toy industry has been analysed

in a UN report to be the most plasticintense

consumer industry sector

worldwide. This links toys, as a product,

to higher risks if plastics would be charged to wear the

full environmental burden and cost or, as UN concluded,

“it would wipe out the profits of many companies.” At that

time plastic bashing wasn’t as prominent as it is today and

nobody had the toys industry in their crosshairs yet (service

packaging like plastic bags, however, were already under

fire). Nevertheless, a mega toy brand announced with a

loud PR bang in 2016: “By 2030 we will find and implement

sustainable alternatives to our current materials.” That

covered all polymers used! It was LEGO who kicked off the

initiative and took on a really big challenge to replace an

awesomely performing material: Lego’s target was and is

to replace more than 50,000 tonnes of ABS and more than

20 kt of other polymers per year for their very durable and

functional bricks.

And why all this? Because 75 % of their total environmental

footprint comes from raw material and polymer production.

This announcement could mark the start because it

created a wave of interest and occupation by many more

players. It inspired Michael and me to organize the first

business conference where about 90 representatives of the

biobased material manufacturers and toy brands would meet

in toy city Nuremberg, Germany, back in March of 2019. Now

I can proudly say that that event supported and triggered

many more initiatives. EU toy industry associations like

the German affiliation put sustainability as key priority on

their agenda and started with an educational membership

programme including meetings and lectures. Sustainability

surveys were researching the attitude, projects, and targets

of their members. These revealed that material substitution

and circular design have become key topics.

Platforms like the industry representations and the

Spielwarenmesse (Nuremberg toy fair) started initiatives

which will certainly fuel further engagement and

involvement. Industry leaders like DVSI managing director

Uli Brobeil (Deutsche Verband der Spielwarenindustrie

(German Association of the Toy Industry) recognized

12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16


Harald Kaeb

narocon InnovationConsulting

Berlin, Germany















Turnover of the largest toy manufacturers

worldwide 2019 in Millionen Euro












*Figure of 2018

Source: Statista, Company information

sustainability not as a trend but as an ongoing fundamental

change and long-term effort. The companies are searching

for new materials (biobased or recycled content), circular

solutions (recyclability), and check their supply chain for

energy consumption and green sources.

Biobased and biodegradable plastics are still quite new

to this industry which uses ABS, polyolefins, and PS at a

significant scale: Rough assumptions stand at around

half a million tonnes of plastics consumed for toys and

related items in Europe each year. The toy industry has

many durable products on the shelf. LEGO is not the big

exemption – companies like Mattel, Hasbro, Simba Dickie,

or Playmobil all serve generations of players, mostly kids

but also adults with their high-quality plastic products.

Toys are passed on from one generation to the next – thus

quality cannot be compromised, neither can safety. The use

of recycled content for toys is not a simple approach and

solution. Standards like EN 71, the producer responsibility,

and brand governance strictly demand highest safety levels

for toys, i.e. for babies and young children.

That’s where the biobased materials come in and

therefore attract an extra level of awareness and interest.

Biobased PE from Braskem and FKUR is already used in

several products of toy brands – amongst them are LEGO,

Hasbro, Playbox, BioBuddy, or Dantoy. PLA successfully

has entered the 3D printing market and one of the biggest

marketers ColorFabb Helian is selling all kinds of coloured

PLA filament for quite a few homemade toys and copied

play figures around the globe. Bioseries – a very early

adopter like LEGO – is successfully marketing PLA for baby

toys. Beach toys are one segment where biodegradable

materials like PHA and related copolyester compound

manufacturers will find new business opportunities. If lost

then no harm will happen to the fauna and flora.

It is amazing to see how more recent announcements

from Hasbro or Mattel on material substitution targets,

circularity, or greenhouse gas emission reduction have

created a visible momentum today. Their common goal is

a fundamental change of the material basis to deliver on

increased circularity, decrease greenhouse gas emissions,

and address their 2025 or 2030 sustainability goals.

Along with these toy brand giants smaller and mid-sized

businesses have entered and beautiful toys are in the


The toy industry still has a long way to go – and so has

the plastics industry. Biobased toys make up only a very

small percentage of the total consumption. The production

often is taking place in Asia and the supply chains are long

and complex. But if there is any product segment where

materials are perfect to carry the message of sustainability

and green innovation it is the plastic toy market. The current

generation of parents already understand the importance of

it – plastic bashing is just the flipside of the medal here. And

most likely the Greta Thunberg generation will not allow any

non-sustainable plastics and toys for their children at all.

So that’s how it started. At the 2 nd bio!TOY conference (see

pp.10) we’ll see where it stands today – and what comes in

the next years. Biobased plastics are a big part of the game

here. |

PLA baby toys (Foto: Bioserie)

PHA beach toys (Photo Zoë b Organic)

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 13



in the toy industry

Sustainability is a big challenge in the toy industry.

Since the launch of the very first plastic product to

the market, the relationship between plastics and

humans has been complex, yet until now it has always been

one that has been mutually beneficial. Today, the societal

benefits of plastic remain undeniable, but plastics are

also recognised as playing a central role in the presentday

throw-away society. The result is a waste crisis that is

becoming a significant problem for health and the natural

environment [1].

One of the organisations calling for the creation of circular

economy models in the toy industry is the Ellen MacArthur

Foundation [2]. Toys are prime examples of items that are

designed to “spark joy” (Marie Kondo first rule: “Does this

spark joy? If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it”). However,

toys often end up as waste when the child’s play interests

change. In 2019, the value of the global toy market exceeded

USD 90 billion. Considering that up to 80 % of all toys end

up in landfills, incinerators, or the ocean, the consequent

loss of value when toys are thrown away is huge. In France

alone, more than 40 million toys end up as waste each year,

and in the UK, almost a third of all parents have admitted to

throwing away toys that are still in good working condition

because their children have finished playing with them.

To address this issue, innovative strategies are needed

to enhance the sustainability of children’s toys. Possible

solutions include, for example, toy reuse & sharing, toy

subscription channels, using 3D printing to repair broken

toys, adoption of eco-design methods or exploring the use

of new biobased materials. The latter option is one that fits

well with the business model that prevails in the toy world,

where new toys are developed and produced every year in

line with parental requirements, attitudes, and new market


Can a toy produced from plastic be sustainable?

In the toy industry, one of the most commonly used raw

materials is plastic, mainly due to the freedom of shape

and form it offers, as well as its lightweight, mouldability

and wide range of properties, among others. Furthermore,

plastics can be fully coloured to be attractive to children.

Different sorts of plastic can be used: rigid materials for

toys that require toughness and flexible ones for toys that

are often dropped or thrown during use, thus preventing

these from becoming a hazard for the children playing with

them. In short, plastic is a versatile material, able to meet

a host of different toy requirements, including important

technical and safety specifications. Consumers and the

general public, however, generally fail to recognise these

advantages. This negative public perception of plastics

creates an evident inconsistency, which needs to be


Different options are available to make toys more

sustainable. These range from (i) the use of renewable

energy sources, (ii) eco-toy design, (iii) and promoting the

recycling of plastic toys at the end of life, to the use of

recycled materials to manufacture new toys and (iv) the use

of renewable raw materials, which would reduce the use of

fossil-fuel-based plastics and additives. All these solutions

might be combined in pursuit of the implementation of

more circular systems. In a circular system, waste has

value and is used as new feedstock for the manufacture

of new materials for new end products, reducing the

consumption of virgin resources as well as the amount

of generated waste. Circularity includes investing in ecodesign,

where toy manufacturers create toys with the end of

the life in mind, instead of just looking at the manufacturing

process and final use. This means considering such factors

as mono-material design where possible, and where not,

designing for easy disassembly to facilitate recycling, in

line with what today’s consumers want. From the product

concept to development & production – exploring the

recycled plastics, biobased materials, energy resources –

through to marketing and the communication around the

product: sustainability must be part of the strategy at every

stage, to promote the transition to circular plastics systems.

Innovations in bioplastics

Innovation in biopolymers, in collaboration with toy

companies, is one of AIJU’s four flagship research lines

(biopolymers & manufacturing, additive manufacturing,

IoT smart games, and consumer trends). During the past

5 years, AIJU has worked in close collaboration with 17 toy

and consumer goods manufacturers on the development and

incorporation of a wider range of more sustainable polymer

materials. Additionally, AIJU has created a Guide for the Use

of Biomaterials in single-use and consumer products (Fig.

1) [3] to help manufacturers to understand the different

concepts and requirements of the bioplastics industry.

Figure 1: AIJU’s guide in biomaterials Index

AIJU’s experience with biopolymers is summarized in

Figure 2. The projects illustrate the various sustainable

solutions using biopolymers that the company has explored,

including recyclability, bio-additives for conventional or

14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16


Speaker at




María Jordá, Asunción Martínez, Maria Costa

Technological Institute for Toy Industry and Leisure (AIJU)

Ibi, Spain


traditional plastics, fillers, or functional properties, and the

implementation of each in toy products that were studied

and promoted. All research projects were targeted at the

current industrial processes applied in the toy industry:

extrusion, injection, extrusion blow moulding, or rotomoulding.

Other new technologies, such as additive

manufacturing, have also been tested, to enable their use

in customized or personalized toys. The main objective

of these projects was to arrive at an improvement in both

mechanical and aesthetic properties, to evaluate the use of

bio-additives derived from controlled industrial waste from

agriculture, the improvement of toy properties (thermal,

mechanical, flame retardant, UV resistance, etc.) or to add

new features, such as antimicrobial properties.

Figure 2: Significant AIJUs research projects in bio-polymeric


AIJU established the biomaterials research line in

2008, when the Biotoys project started. In this project,

biodegradable and biobased biopolymers were tested. The

key objective was the evaluation of the use of biopolymers for

extrusion and injection technologies within the toy industry.

For this reason, mechanical and chemical properties were

evaluated in the light of the technical requirements of the

toys. This included all safety requirements for toys sold in the

European Union, as specified in European standard EN71.

The main result was the definition of the requirements for

biopolymers to be used in the toy industry.

The BioRot, Rotobiomat, and Rotelec projects studied

the addition of natural fibres such as almond shells in the

rotational moulding process. As the projects progressed,

the focus shifted from using conventional polymer

matrices to different biopolymers. The main innovation

here was the incorporation of natural fibres, creating a

biobased compound, reducing the amount of polymer used

and generating a new aesthetic aspect. The materials

were tested in Falca Toys and by Ebrim Rotomoulding,

a manufacturer of large-sized products. The FLEXIROT

project carried out within the context of this research line

focused on the doll industry. The project sought to replace

conventional petroleum-based plasticizers with other

substances of natural origin such as epoxidised vegetable

oils to obtain, in this case, flexible materials for use in soft

parts of dolls, such as heads and arms.

A success story was the development of new biobased

solutions for the cartridge sector. The objective was to

develop biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) materials

that could be used by the company to produce its

injection-moulded cartridge wads, to replace the current

conventional polymers. PVOH is water-soluble, which was

a key characteristic regarding the end of life of the product.

The main impact of the project is that the company has

successfully incorporated these materials into their product

range in the market.

Other research related to additives and masterbatches.

The Naturmaster and Mastalmond projects were carried

out in partnership with a masterbatch producer (IQAP), a

toy manufacturer (INJUSA), and a furniture company (Pérez

Cerdá). The main result obtained was the development at

industrial scale of a new range of masterbatches, in which

almond shell was incorporated as a natural filler. The

main properties of these new masterbatches were their

innovative aesthetic properties with eye-catching results

and mechanical properties that were similar to conventional

fillers, while offering an enhanced sustainability option for

the production of consumer products.

The Naturfitoplag project saw AIJU collaborate with

a company seeking to develop biodegradable films with

biocide properties, for use in the agricultural sector.

Calcium carbonate is one of the most commonly used

fillers in the plastic industry. The Ecoinnovation Ecoshell

project investigated the possibility of using industrial

residue from the agri-food sector to promote a more circular

approach to this waste. The project introduced calcium

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 15


carbonate from industrial eggshell waste into polyethylene

(PE) and polypropylene (PP) matrices. The main impact of

the project was the modification and improvement of the

mechanical properties and the physical appearance of the

materials. Regarding the environmental impact, this use

of the calcium carbonate from industrial eggshell residue

allowed a waste stream that had hitherto been considered

hazardous to be reduced and reused, while creating a new

business line for the relevant industrial company.

Research on new biomaterials changes constantly

from year to year. AIJU keeps a close watch on these

advancements and their relevance for the toy industry.

The company has been working on new developments

since 2019. A new biodegradable PHA polymer is being

synthesised through a new technology that uses sludge

from the wine industry in the B-PLAS Demo project funded

by Climate KIC. For this project, an Italian company (B-Plas)

was created, which is producing this new material. AIJU

has been validating this material for injection moulding and

3D printing technologies, bearing in mind its usability for

the toy sector, among others.

Finally, the Becoming Green project involved the

development of very interesting blends of different

biodegradable materials, which allowed the properties of

the materials to be tuned to the requirements of the toy,

single-use products- and household products industry.

This approach, using blends, made it possible to replace

conventional materials with biopolymers. To evaluate the

use of these new biobased blends, industrial partners have

been working closely together, with the ultimate goal of

designing new materials that meet the requirements to

launch a new product on the market.

Sustainable polymers, sustainable additives

In addition to these projects, AIJU continues to collaborate

on the BioMat4Future project, which is focused on the

development of biobased additives for use as colourants and

to enhance the performance of biodegradable and biobased

materials, in order to fully implement these materials in

the toy industry. The main objective is to obtain a product

made from 100 % biobased raw materials; in other words,

in which both the polymer and the additives used are

sustainable. These bio-additives, used in the polymers,

add specific properties or functionalities. The research was

focused on the extraction of natural substances to be used

as colourants, flame retardants, and antimicrobials.

In the first scenario, which related to colourants, different

extraction methods were used to obtain pigments from

horticultural agri-food industrial wastes, such as carrot

or lettuce leaves, broccoli, beetroot, cherries, or peaches.

These pigments were subsequently incorporated into

polymeric matrices of bio-PE, PLA, PBS, or a mixture of

PLA/PBS, creating formulations with different colours,

allowing the creation of final parts attractive for the enduser

of the toys.

The second line of research relates to flame retardancy.

Here, lignin-based materials were tested on their flame

retardant properties in bioplastics, for use as flame

retardant additives in the toy industry. Lignin is an organic

polymer component that comes from the woody part of

the plants and is obtained from wood, shells of different

nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or peanuts, and different

seeds or cereals. It is the second most abundant polymer

in nature, after cellulose [4-7] and it is often obtained from

non-profitable parts of different products used in the food

processing industry, such as the shells or peel of these nuts

or seeds. Furthermore, lignin is a residue from the pulp and

paper industry. Considerable research has already been

carried out, focused on producing different lignin sources for

use in plastics, resin, or the construction sector [8, 9]. One

of the properties that lignin provides is its good behaviour

against fire [5, 6], which led the researchers in this project

to study the effect of its addition to different biomaterials in

different quantities. On the other hand, lignin also provides

a brown appearance to the material that can vary from a

wood-like aspect to an attractive copper tone. For these

two reasons, the new formulations are being tested in toy


The final line of research is targeted at obtaining natural

additives with an antimicrobial effect, using essential oils

from citrus peels [8–10] from the juice industry in the

Valencia region of Spain. These agri-food companies obtain

the oils from the discarded peels of the fruit, a residue of

the juice production process itself. In this case, it is a byproduct

with a high value, useful in different industries such

as cosmetics or perfume preparation. The research to date

has addressed the characterization of the extracted oils, in

order to learn about the properties of these oils and how

to process them and at what temperature, to avoid their

degradation and to retain their properties after obtaining

the different formulations. The antimicrobial ability of these

developed biomaterials was evaluated. The outputs of this

project for toy manufacturers will include the creation of

new functional biobased additives that can be used in

combination with biopolymers for the production of new

sustainable toys.

Figure 3: Toy demonstrators achieved within the Biomat4future

Scientific innovation, innovation in business

Finally, the BioFCase project is also being developed.

The main objective is to bring the different advances in the

field of biomaterials closer to companies from different

sectors, including toy companies. AIJU is collaborating

with the companies to develop different products from

the biopolymers and formulations studied in the projects

described above, with the aim of transferring the advances

16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

and knowledge generated in these lines of research about

biomaterials to the toy industry. Companies will be able to

implement these materials through a complete study about

how to process, apply, and expand the business by fulfilling

the environmental expectations of the end consumers.

In addition to the work on biopolymers, AIJU works on

the recycling of multilayer PET packaging of pre- and

post-consumer origin, which can be recycled without the

need for delamination. As it is mechanical recycling, it is

feasible to give a second life to the material using existing

polymer processing technologies without making additional

investments. This novel procedure has been patented

together with researchers from the Polytechnic University

of Valencia.

This article summarizes some of the solutions that AIJU

provides to companies in the big challenge of sustainability.


[1] Oliver Smith, Avi Brisman, Plastic Waste and the Environmental Crisis

Industry, Critical Criminology 29 (2021)289-309


[3] AIJU, “Development and Improvement of Biomaterials for single-use

and continuous use consumer products [Toy, packaging and Homeware

sector]”, June 2020,

[4] R. Cerdcená, M. Mariano, and V. Soldi, “Flame retardant property and

Thermal Degradation of EPDM-AM/Lignin,” no. January, 2011.

[5] G. Jiang, D. J. Nowakowski, and A. V. Bridgwater, “A systematic study of

the kinetics of lignin pyrolysis,” Thermochim. Acta, vol. 498, no. 1–2, pp.

61–66, 2010, doi: 10.1016/j.tca.2009.10.003.

[6] S. Sen, S. Patil, and D. S. Argyropoulos, “Thermal properties of lignin in

copolymers, blends, and composites: a review,” Green Chem., vol. 17,

no. 11, pp. 4862–4887, 2015, doi: 10.1039/c5gc01066g.

[7] M. Chávez Sifontes and M. E. Domine, “Lignin, Structure and

Applications: Depolymerization Methods for Obtaining Aromatic

Derivatives of Industrial Interest / Lignina, Estructura Y Aplicaciones:

Métodos De Despolimerización Para La Obtención De Derivados

Aromáticos De Interés Industrial,” Av. en Ciencias e Ing. ISSN-e 0718-

8706, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2013, págs. 15-46, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 15–46, 2010.

[8] “Lignin is a Valuable Renewable Resource for Europe’s Bio-based

Industries”, [].

[9] Ligning Industries, “RenCom Announces Company Name Change to

Lignin Industries AB” [].

[10] M. Cerutti and F. Neumayer, “ACEITE ESENCIAL DE LIMÓN Mariano

Cerutti y Fernando Neumayer *,” Invenio, pp. 149–155, 2004.

[11] D. Moposita, “Obtención De Aceites Esenciales a Partir De Corteza De

Naranja “ Citrus Sinensis “ Variedad Valenciana,” no. July, 2019.

[12] P. P. D. Y. Yáñez Rueda X, Lugo Mancilla L. L and Facultad, “Estudio

del aceite esencial de la cascara de la naranja dulce (Citrus

sinensis,variedad Valenciana) cultivada en Labateca (Norte de

Santander, Colombia),”, no. 1, pp. 3–8, 2007.


Biobased toys - a

playful introduction

to the bioeconomy


With the help of toys made from renewable

raw materials, the Agency for Renewable Raw

Materials (FNR) wants to give German consumers an

understanding of the big world of the Bioeconomy.

With the National Bioeconomy Strategy, the

German Federal Government set the framework for

the expansion of the bioeconomy in the next few years

in January 2020. This expansion will only work if it

also succeeds in involving consumers and concretely

communicating to them how the bioeconomy works

and what advantages consumers have.

Therefore, the FNR has chosen i.a. the topic “Toys

made from renewable raw materials - RRM toys”.

With various communication measures, the FNR is

focusing on toys made of biobased plastics. What are

biobased plastics? What are they made of? What are

the environmental and consumer benefits of these

materials? What do biobased plastics have to do with

bioeconomy? - Consumers are informed about these

questions using the example of RRM toys.

In the coming months, the measures are to pick up speed and

reach a first peak at Christmas time under the slogan “Sustainable

gifts”. The aim is to make it clear that each individual can make a

small contribution to more sustainability with his or her purchasing

behavior. Consumers are addressed with traditional means of

communication such as press work and radio broadcasts, but also via

modern social media channels. Among other things, a cooperation

with various bloggers who are active in the field of child rearing and

toys is planned.

From the beginning of 2022, the measures will also reach educators

in nursery schools. A small competition is intended to encourage

nursery schools to deal with the subject of “toys made from renewable

raw materials”. FNR will provide background material and award a

corresponding prize.

The measures are financed by the German Federal Ministry of

Food and Agriculture (BMEL), for which the FNR acts as the project

managing agency.

Speaker at




bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 17


Sustainable fleece and faux fur

Miyama’s PLA staple fibre for more eco-friendly fabrics

An exciting new beginning for synthetic fibres is heralded

by Miyama’s PLA staple fibre. 100 % plant-based,

biodegradable and carbon neutral, it paves the way for

a new, much more eco-friendly range of fabrics.

Due to its low strength and flexibility, PLA is very difficult to

spin into clothing textiles. But textile trading company Miyama

based in Osaka, Japan, has succeeded in producing yarns and

blended fabrics using PLA staple fibre.

Biodegradable, whatever the colour

One challenge with PLA staple fibre is its low resistance to the

heat needed to complete the dyeing process. To overcome this

problem, Miyama has worked with a manufacturer to develop a

plant-derived additive that modifies PLA. This additive ensures

that PLA is resistant to high temperatures while also increasing

its durability. So, a key benefit of Miyama’s PLA yarn is that it

can be dyed and still retain its biodegradability.

Easy to blend with other fabrics

Miyama has also collaborated with textile manufacturers to

create fabric samples. Its PLA staple fibre can be blended with

many different types of fibres and fabrics such as cotton, silk,

wool, linen, polyester, polypropylene, nylon, and acrylic. This

gives the opportunity to create high-functioning fabrics that

make the most of each material in the blend, while also having

a reduced carbon impact.

Fleece and faux fur with less environmental impact

Fleece and faux fur fabrics are notoriously difficult to

produce, but Miyama has created samples to demonstrate the

potential of its PLA staple fibres. One of Miyama’s fleece fabrics

(see photo), for example, is made of 50 % PLA staple fibre and

50 % recycled polyester. While its other fleece is made of 50 %

PLA staple fibre and 50 % wool, and Miyama’s faux fur is made

of 20 % PLA staple fibre and 80 % acrylic.

Fleece and faux fur are often made from 100 % fossilresource

fibres. But Miyama’s samples show that, by creating

blends with PLA staple fibre, the fossil carbon footprint of

fabrics can be reduced by between 20 % and 50 %.

Reducing or eliminating microplastics

Typical 100 %-polyester fleece fabrics produce microplastics

while being washed, which are considered a major cause

of pollution in waterways. “Polyester is the material which

hardly decomposes in waterways and marine environments.

Although the speed of biodegradation depends on the water

temperature, pH, and the types of microorganisms present in

the water, the microscopical fibres of PLA that are shed during

washing is expected to eventually decompose in oceans and

other waterways,” as Dr. Terada of Bio Works explains.

If PLA staple fibre is used for blended fleece fabrics, it will

also reduce the amount of microplastics generated during the

production process.

Far lower water consumption

The lighter touch of producing PLA staple fibre has the

potential to make a remarkable impact on the climate-change

agenda. It is estimated that it takes 20,000 litres of water to

harvest 1 kg of cotton. While the amount of water needed to

grow 1 kg of corn, the main raw material for PLA, requires

just 6,000 litres of water. So, in comparison, PLA staple fibre

requires much less water than cotton and could contribute to

reducing the strain on water sources in growing areas.

Valuable functional properties

Not only is PLA staple fibre the most promising replacement

for fossil-resource fibres, but it is also highly functional. A

100 % natural material, that is antibacterial, deodorizing, water

absorbing, quick-drying, UV shielding, and flame resistant.

This means any fabric woven with PLA yarn will benefit from

these characteristics too.

Challenges can be addressed by blending

Although PLA yarn has a lot of potential, there are challenges

to overcome. Because of PLA yarn’s biodegradability, its

longevity hasn’t yet been fully determined. Currently, ordinary

garments made from 100 % PLA yarn can last from three to five

years, depending on the product design and how the garment

is stored. By blending PLA with other fibres the durability of the

final fabric and garment can be increased, however, this would

mean sacrificing the biodegradability of the fabric.

It is currently also difficult to produce and market a 100 %

PLA fabric due to, for example, the high price point compared

to fabrics produced from fossil resources. But, by blending PLA

with different types of fibres, it is possible to create new fabrics

that take on the characteristics and benefits of each material

and have less impact on the environment.

Hopes for widespread 100 % PLA yarn in the


With such blends, Miyama is in the transition stage of its

climate-change vision for PLA as it works towards the perfect

green stage. But it will keep working on the challenges and

hopes that, in the near future, fabrics made of 100 % PLA yarn

will be seen all over the world. MT

Example of of Miyama’s fleece

fabric, made of 50 % PLA

staple fibre and 50 % recycled



Most of the faux fur for plush

toys is made by 100 % polyester.

This teddy bear is made of a

blend of 50 % PLA staple fibre

and 50 % polyester. The faux fur

also shows good antibacterial


Speaker at



18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Commitment to

sustainable toys


Artsana (Italy), the Group to which Chicco brand belongs,

has a clear purpose: working for a world in which

giving birth and raising children are both desirable

and sustainable for everyone. That is why the company is

committed to building a better future through concrete and

responsible actions and choices every day. This willingness

is expressed by a strong focus on sustainability – actively

taking care of both people and the planet is one of Artsana’s

long-established commitments. With this aim, Artsana Group

signed the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in 2017,

the largest sustainability corporate initiative in the world. The

company has adopted the Ten Principles on Human Rights,

Labor, Environment and the Fight against Corruption, deciding

to incorporate them into its strategy.

Chicco ECO+ Line

Taking care of children also means taking care of the world

in which they will grow up. This is why Chicco is working every

single day to safeguard the future of the world with concrete

actions. This concrete commitment to act respectfully to

people and the environment, for a better world, is supported

by the new ECO+ toy line. The line was originally designed for

babies in the first months of life, ten products belong to the

categories of rattles and first toys. The clear intention is to

also apply this approach to new categories in a sustainable

and evolutionary development path for all children, from the

first sensory stimuli to cognitive educative toys. The Chicco

ECO+ toys were designed with responsibility and attention to

product quality in mind, while respecting the environment.

For these reasons the company is proud to guarantee a great

playing experience for the family, making ECO+ toys designed

and produced in Italy. The ECO+ line features refined and

contemporary design combined with ergonomic and easy

shapes perfect for the little ones. Its fresh colours are close to

the natural world and they accompany kids to look positively

to the future. All the toys have been designed to offer a total

experience that includes the senses of children through visual

and tactile perceptions aligned with the ECO+ line’s mission.

The modernity and purity of the shapes help to develop the

first manual skills, the material pigments make the toys

attractive and natural, while the soft colours instil calm and

tranquillity during playtime.


In line with this commitment, Chicco developed the ECO+

toy range: products made of bioplastic or recycled plastic

limiting the use of fossil resources. Teethers are made of at

least 50 % bioplastic from plant sources; details about the

bioplastic material were not disclosed. Sorter and stacking

toys are made of 80 % recycled plastic from industrial

residues. This allows us to give a second life to something

that would otherwise be discarded, avoiding waste. The

packagings are recyclable and the paper used comes from

responsibly managed forests. MT

The ECO+ range is now available from specialist retailers:

• Burt Teether – ECO+

• Owly Teether – ECO+

• Charlie Teether – ECO+

• Molly Teether – ECO+

• Owly Rattle – ECO+

• 2 in1 Stacking Cups – ECO+

• Stone Balance – ECO+

• Baobab shape sorter – ECO+

• 2 in 1 Rocking Dino – ECO+

• 2 in 1 Transform-a-Ball – ECO+

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 19


Speaker at




Sustainable toys

from Sweden

Viking Toys is a small family-owned and family run toy

business based in Torsås, Sweden. Starting in 1974

and selling toys in over 40 countries the core of the

company has always been: family, play (toys) that lasts

generations & quality. bioplastics MAGAZINE spoke to the

sisters Magdalena (Marketing and Creativity) and Caroline

Kjellme (CEO), daughters of founder Gösta Kjellme.

bM: “The sixth S” – what is that all about?

Magdalena: The five S: Safe, Soft, Silent, Simple and

Strong are the foundations of our toys. The design, the

purpose, the production, the material, the qualities, the

characteristics. They are all being based on these 5 words.

We have worked hard to be able to extend the 5 S family with

an extra S in 2018: The 6 th being Sustainable

This is when we launched our assortment made of

bioplastic. We call it ECOLine and this line is produced out

of bioplastic, mainly LDPE, from sugar cane made by the

Brazilian company Braskem. The start of the line was an

assortment of our vehicles in mixed sizes and a dining set.

We add more toys to the line every year. The goal would be

in the future to have the entire line in biobased plastics or

alternative materials.

bM: You said the cost is an important factor?

Caroline: The reason to use bioplastics for us is obvious.

We love toys and we don’t believe the production of toys

should stop. But if there is a way to make production more

sustainable, then that is what we want to try to do in order

to continue producing toys and take our responsibility.

Our first challenge has always been the cost of biobased

plastics. When your material costs twice as much as oil/

fossil fuel based plastics it can be very difficult to justify

using bioplastics. Although this is a very heavy argument

for most companies out there, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a

solution. But this then directly correlates with our second

biggest challenge.

bM: How do you manage these challenges?

Magdalena: The communication to the customer. We

need to justify the price to the end consumer. We know

the toys are made of sugar cane and we know why.

Without understanding the production of plastics and

manufacturing, the challenge is in conveying the benefits

to the customer with just one look or gaze. Therefore

everything from the overall design, choice of colours and

textures, how the packaging is designed and how it looks to

even your social media presence and look, word of mouth

especially online – it all matters.

bM: What are your future prospects?

Caroline: Through all the challenges we face, we see a

positive trend in the end consumers. Every year we see a

growing market for the ECOLine. People are getting more

aware of the state of the world every year. They educate

themselves more about what is offered on the market

and demand more. Although we see differences between

markets, we do see an overall positive global change.

Hopefully growing even stronger in the coming years.

20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

LEGO bricks made from

recycled PET bottles


Speaker at




The LEGO Group (Billund, Denmark) recently unveiled a

prototype LEGO ® brick made from recycled plastic, the

latest step in its journey to make Lego products from

sustainable materials.

The new prototype, which uses PET plastic from discarded

bottles, is the first brick made from a recycled material to

meet the company’s strict quality and safety requirements.

A team of more than 150 people are working to find

sustainable solutions for Lego products. Over the past three

years, materials scientists and engineers tested over 250

variations of PET materials and hundreds of other plastic

formulations. The result is a prototype that meets several

of their quality, safety, and play requirements – including

clutch power.

Vice President of Environmental Responsibility at the Lego

Group, Tim Brooks said: “We are super excited about this

breakthrough. The biggest challenge on our sustainability

journey is rethinking and innovating new materials that are

as durable, strong, and high-quality as our existing bricks

– and fit with Lego elements made over the past 60 years.

With this prototype we’re able to showcase the progress

we’re making.”

Uncompromised quality and safety

It will be some time before bricks made from a recycled

material appear in Lego product boxes. The team will

continue testing and developing the PET formulation and

then assess whether to move to the pilot production phase.

This next phase of testing is expected to take at least a year.

Brooks said: “We know kids care about the environment

and want us to make our products more sustainable. Even

though it will be a while before they will be able to play with

bricks made from recycled plastic, we want to let kids know

we’re working on it and bring them along on the journey

with us. Experimentation and failing is an important part

of learning and innovation. Just as kids build, unbuild, and

rebuild with Lego bricks at home, we’re doing the same in

our lab.”

The prototype is made from recycled PET sourced from

suppliers in the United States that use US Food & Drug

Administration (FDA) and European Food Safety Authority

(EFSA) approved processes to ensure quality. On average,

a one-litre plastic PET bottle provides enough raw material

for ten 2 x 4 Lego bricks.

Journey towards more sustainable products

The patent-pending material formulation increases the

durability of PET to make it strong enough for Lego bricks.

The innovative process uses a bespoke compounding

technology to combine the recycled PET with strengthening


The recycled prototype brick is the latest development

in making the Lego Group’s products more sustainable. In

2020, the company announced it will begin removing singleuse

plastic from its boxes. In 2018, it began producing

elements from bio-polyethylene (bio-PE), made from

sustainably sourced sugarcane. Many Lego sets contain

elements made from bio-PE which is perfect for making

smaller, softer pieces such as trees, branches, leaves and

accessories for minifigures. Bio-PE is not currently suitable

for making harder, stronger elements such as the iconic

Lego bricks.

Brooks said: “We’re committed to playing our part in

building a sustainable future for generations of children.

We want our products to have a positive impact on the

planet, not just with the play they inspire, but also with the

materials we use. We still have a long way to go on our

journey but are pleased with the progress we’re making.”

The Lego Group’s focus on sustainable material innovation

is just one of several different initiatives the company has in

place to make a positive impact. The Lego Group will invest

up to USD 400 million over three years to 2022 to accelerate

its sustainability ambitions. MT


See a video-clip at:


bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 21

Cover story


Sustainable and Sophisticated

PLA Cups & Lids

Great River’s view on plastics and the circular


Plastics are cheap, convenient, ultra-versatile, and have

drastically increased our standards of living since

the 1950s. However, for years, we have been warned

with statistics and numbers on why disposable plastics are

unsustainable. Commonly cited figures stem from the 2017

paper from Geyer et al. named “Production, Use, and Fate

of All Plastics Ever Made,” which called to our attention that

on a global average 79 % of all plastics ever made ended

up in landfills or the natural environment, while only 9 % of

plastics are recycled. It is one thing to declare total plastics

abstinence, yet another to actually commit to it at the expense

of consumer convenience and cost. By now, most of us are

aware that relying on plastics derived from fossil fuels is

unsustainable since (1) it increases our dependence on

nonrenewable resources, (2) they remain in our environment

or landfills for centuries, or (3) they are incinerated for energy

recovery and thus the create greenhouse gas CO 2


In our efforts to pursue a circular economy as well as tackle

the issues of unsustainable plastic consumption, there have

also been great efforts around the globe to promote recycling.

However, recycling alone cannot solve our unsustainable

plastics consumption since (1) a mere two out of the seven

types of plastics are viable and make economic sense to

commonly recycle (namely PET and HDPE), (2) one cannot

recycle the same plastic forever due to downcycling, and (3)

eventually, the plastic still ends up in incineration or landfills

or the environment since there is a lack of an end-of-life

option designed for it. Recycling is good and it certainly helps;

however, it cannot be the only solution we rely on. If we are

serious about creating a circular economy and tackling the

issues of the unsustainable consumption trends of plastics,

then we must approach this complex problem with a

multifaceted approach. In other words, such a complex issue

requires more than a single simple solution of recycling.

Great River Plastic Manufacturer Company Limited

(hereinafter referred to as Great River) believes that

businesses have an important role to play in the reduction of

unsustainable plastics consumption. Great River considers

high-quality bioplastics that are certified to international

standards to be a vital solution to tackle our world’s plastics


Sam Liu, marketing manager at Great River said, “It is

an honour to be part of this issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE

because we see the impactful work they do in raising

awareness and educating people about bioplastics, which

would only become more important as various countries

and governments around the world look for alternatives

to replace petroleum-derived plastics. However, what I

appreciate most is the platform this magazine has provided

for information about bioplastics that span across the globe.

They even have issues in the Chinese language!”

Great River’s commitment to PLA:

Great River is a leading global manufacturer of

plastic, cellulose materials, and bioplastics; it is also

known for the quality and consistency of its products. Its

manufacturing facilities are located in China with its head

office in Shanghai. For the past decade, Great River devoted

surmountable amounts of research, time, and focus to

developing polylactic acid (PLA) food packaging products.

However, straws or cutlery are extremely easy to make and

hold low barriers to entry; therefore, Great River positioned

the company to innovate in a direction where others have

not at the time. They sought the task of specializing in

plant-based PLA lids used for high heat applications (e.g.,

hot coffees or soups).

Vincent Fan, Vice General Manager of Great River,

explained that, “creating hot drink PLA lids is not an easy

task. There are two main challenges. The first is that PLA,

naturally, is a material with a relatively low melting point.

22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Second, PLA is also known to be quite brittle, so in order to

make our lids not brittle but tight-fitting, we spent a lot of

time getting it right.”

Great River’s PLA hot lids are crystalized and are often

referred to as crystalized PLA (CPLA). What makes Great

River’s lids stand out is that (1) they have high heat resistant

capacities, making them suitable for hot coffee and soups,

(2) the lids are gentle and smooth to the touch, (3) they are

not brittle, and (4) the lids are tight and exact fitting, which

prevents leaks. “Overall, I think our CPLA hot lids are the

best on the market, and I would really encourage those who

are interested to try them out for themselves,” explained


It should be noted that Great River’s plant-based PLA

products are renewable, 100 % biobased, compostable, and

sustainable, thus making it an ideal bioplastics product.

Great River’s products are DinCertco and Biodegradable

Products Institute certified (to the international standards

of EN13432 and ASTM D6400) with testing done as well

from Belgium’s Organic Waste Systems.

Furthermore, all of Great River’s operations and

manufacturing facilities have fulfilled the requirements of

ISO 9001, Global Standard for Packaging Materials Issue 6,

and the Amfori BSCI Code of Conduct.

Great River’s 2021 launch of PLA cold cup and

lids series and increased production capacities:

Currently, bioplastics represent around 1 % of total

global plastics production. However, bioplastics production

is expected to grow as demand for them rises because of

increased awareness, education, and needs for alternatives

to conventional plastics. In line with this and being true to

its commitment to a greener future, Great River has (1)

doubled its production capacities this year and (2) will also

launch its highly anticipated PLA cold cup and lids series.


Michael Thielen

Vincent exclaimed, “we are really excited for this year’s

launch of our PLA cold cup and lids series. For a long

time, Great River has dedicated its time and resources to

perfecting its CPLA hot lids. This year, due to demand and

our increased production capacities, we will launch our

PLA cold cup and lids series. The future has never looked

brighter for Great River.”

Moving Forward:

Currently, Great River has found much success in the

exporting of its PLA products worldwide. Great River works

with over 50 brands around the world which includes

innovative industry leaders in the eco-friendly food packaging

industry. Moving forward, Great River wishes to continue its

mission to advocate for bioplastics as part of an array of

solutions to combat the increasingly problematic behaviours

of our modern plastics consumption.

“As Russel Crowe said in the movie Gladiator, ‘what we do

in life echoes in eternity,” said Sam with a smile. “Plastics

have raised our standards of living immensely, and we’re

accustomed to this lifestyle; however, what we choose to do

today matters. Hopefully, we can live in a world where future

generations retain the opportunity to enjoy our Earth’s

resources and its environments as we have, without making

it imperative for the current generation to gravely sacrifice

its own needs of their accustomed and modern standards

of living. I believe part of the solution is shifting away from

conventional plastics and using alternative materials such

as PLA in our everyday lives.”


bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 23


Sustainable packaging made

of natural fibres

Plastics know-how shapes the future of

cellulose packaging

As a technology partner in the various areas of the plastics

and packaging industry, KIEFEL (Freilassing, Germany), also

supports its customers in the development of biodegradable

materials and products. With Fibre Thermoforming,

the company has opened up a complementary field of

technology utilising natural fibres incorporating decades of

know-how from plastics processing into the development of

the Fibre Thermoforming machines.

New material – various opportunities

In addition to classic recyclable plastics, the company can

now process fibre-based as well as recycled (e.g. rPET) and

biobased (e.g. PLA) materials. Virgin fibres (unprocessed

cellulose) can be used to comply with food industry

regulations for packaging solutions made from paper.

This means that Kiefel can provide the optimal product

development and production technology, regardless of

which material the customer chooses.

The raw material for fibre products is pulp or paper

dissolved in water. This is shaped, pressed, dried, and

converted into dimensionally stable packaging that can be

recycled in the paper cycle or even composted. This means,

depending on the application, they offer an alternative to

plastic packaging made from renewable raw materials and

with a low CO 2


This is possible by an extensive machine portfolio for

the production of fibre packaging: The NATUREPREP KFP

series for high-quality natural fibre pulp stock preparation

and the NATUREFORMER KFT series systems, on which

various fibre products, including bowls, cups, secondary

packaging for electronics, coffee capsules, or flower pots

can be manufactured. Matching coating concepts make the

products grease and water-repellent, and suitable for warm

drinks, hot food, or persistent moisture.

Discovering the potential of natural fibres

In its own Material R&D Center, Kiefel researches,

analyzes, and categorizes various natural fibres and

designs coating concepts for packaging made from natural

fibres. These are then tested on pilot systems and optimized

for the manufacturing process. The Material R&D Center

complements Kiefel’s Applied Polymer Research Center in

the Netherlands, which focuses on materials research into

recycled and biobased plastics.

In the adjacent Packaging Technology Center, the

company tests materials under real conditions: it tests tools

on the systems, carries out machine tests and small batch

sample production. Prototype testing also takes place here.

Kiefel offers turnkey solutions for Fibre Thermoforming.

The engineering in Fibre Thermoforming

The pulpers of the Natureformer KFP series process

fibres common in the paper industry (primary or secondary

fibres), e.g., CTMP (chemi-thermomechanical pulp), NBSK

(northern bleached softwood kraft), UKP (unbleached kraft

pulp), ONP (old newsprint or old newspaper), OCC (old

corrugated cardboard or old corrugated containers).

The Natureformer KFT series processes the raw

cellulose pulp in batches to a 1 % fibre content. Flow

simulations ensure that the fibres are evenly distributed

over the container volume. The aluminium suction tool with

V2A stainless steel mesh is immersed in the suspension.

The vacuum applied sucks up liquid and the cellulose fibres

remain in the tool, similarly to a filter cake. A spray bar

removes excess pulp and defines the edge of the product at

regular intervals.

The suction tool then moves into a flexible counter tool

of the pre-pressing station. Richard Hagenauer heads the

Fibre Thermoforming project at Kiefel. He explains: “These

steps guarantee even fibre distribution across the entire

tool geometry, excellent dimensional accuracy and a very

high-quality surface.”

After this step, the dry content reaches approximately

40 %. The suction tool then transfers the component to

the hot press. Any remaining moisture is eliminated by

24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16


Product diversity of formed fibre products

temperatures around 200°C in the upper and lower tools

and a clamping force of up to 600 kN. Hagenauer explains:

“Our technology allows us to achieve drawing depths of up

to 250 mm on the Natureformer KFT 90 Flex. We work with

cavities directly heated by heating cartridges integrated into

the tool. This enables us to achieve optimal heat transfer,

reduce energy consumption, and achieve high product


Fast tool change

The suction tool is mounted on the handling robot and

transfers the component from station to station. The KFT

90 Flex is equipped with a fully automatic rapid tool change

system. Hagenauer describes the benefits: “The heated tool

can be changed within 15 minutes. This makes it possible

to quickly reconfigure the machine from one product to the

next.” The handling robot traverses to tool positions for

maintenance, cleaning, and tool change.

Automation and Quality Management

The sophisticated Natureformer KFT series automation

solutions include a tilting and stacking function, Flex-Picker,

sleeving station and automation up to and including packing

into cartons. Quality control and inspection systems can be

integrated, as well as peripherals for printing, labelling

or similar intermediate steps. These various automation

modules and their ability to be linked allow the Freilassingbased

company to meet specific customer needs.

The machines are experiencing high demand – several

have already been delivered to Europe and the USA, and

many more are already on order. This makes Kiefel the first

manufacturer of plastic thermoforming machines to also

offer highly automated systems for fibre thermoforming. MT

Natureformer KFT 90

Kiefel explores the potentials of different natural fibres

in its Material R&D Center (all photos: Kiefel)

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 25



thermoformed packaging

Microalgae are used in products for food, animal

health, human health, etc., and also for tertiary

wastewater treatment where the biomass produced

can be valorized. Success stories are accumulating on their

production in cohabitation with agri-food or industrial plants

whose wastewater is used as a source of nutrients for their

cultivation while the algae-based products can be consumed

on-site or locally. The cohabitation approach allows for a

steady supply of cheap nutrients (wastewater, potentially

mixed with other cheap local nutrient sources) as well as

energy (waste heat from the plants), which contributes

to the profitability of the microalgal biomass products

produced. This strategy of cohabitation and valorization of

co-products on-site or locally fits harmoniously with the

concept of circular economy in a given territory.

It is in this perspective that Simon Barnabé’s team from

the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières (UQTR) (Quebec,

Canada) and his collaborators (Innofibre, Oléotek) had

started the VERTECH project in 2014 in Victoriaville in the

Fidèle-Édouard-Alain Industrial Park. Wastewater from

the Parmalat Victoriaville and Canlac Group – Abbott

Laboratories plants and from the Sani-Marc plant, available

in this industrial park, was mixed and used as a culture

medium to produce a lipid-rich microalgae biomass. Shortchain

C12:0 and C14:0 fatty acids were then extracted and

chemically converted into amine oxides for Sani-Marc’s

industrial cleaning product formulations. The postextraction

biomass could be converted thermochemically

into biofuels for the heavy vehicle fleets of the City of

Victoriaville and Gaudreau Environnement.

At the end of the project, it was demonstrated that it was

possible to produce microalgae in the wastewater of the

Victoriaville industrial park (Bélanger-Lépine et al., 2018,

2019), but the low extraction and chemical conversion yields

of C12:0 and C14:0 resulted in significant costs that did not

justify the continuation of the project. At the same time, the

team at Innofibre, the college centre for technology transfer

of the Cégep de Trois-Rivières, succeeded in incorporating

algal biomass into a thermoformed cellulose fibre pulp

as part of the activities of its NSERC College Industrial

Research Chair in Eco-design for a Circular Economy of

Thermoformed Cellulose Pulp Packaging EcoPACT.

Indeed, thermoformed cellulose fibre ecoproducts are

a way to replace plastic containers in a circular economy

perspective, for example, thermoformed pulp bottles are

currently being developed by the EcoPACT Chair for the

packaging of solid or liquid products marketed by Sani-

Marc. In order to find a product that can make the production

of microalgae in the wastewater of the Victoriaville

industrial park profitable, the Municipal Research Chair

for Sustainable Cities of the UQTR and the EcoPACT Chair

of Innofibre are working in synergy to explore the circular

economy scenario of using microalgae, cultivated in Sani-

Marc’s wastewater, in the recipe of cellulose pulp. This

recovery pathway does not require extraction steps and

thus could contribute to the profitability of the process.

The development of thermoformed cellulosic fibre

products to replace plastic containers is an avenue in

which many companies around the world wish to position

themselves. However, the manufacturing processes for

these types of containers still need to be optimized. In

Quebec, Innofibre has this know-how and is the only college

centre for technology transfer to have a pilot machine for

manufacturing thermoformed fibre products on a semiindustrial

scale (45 kg/h) for the development of innovative

products and the advancement of fibre thermoforming

technology. It features:

• A heating and recirculation system for the fibrous


• A server-controlled rotary head moulding system with

vacuum system

• A server-controlled y-axis and z-axis adjustable transfer

system with suction and blowing

• An adjustable multi-area heating system for

thermoforming moulds

• A server-controlled multiposition z-axis thermoforming

system with vapour suction

The Innofibre team is currently working in collaboration

with Sani Marc to develop environmentally friendly

thermoformed cellulose and microalgae packaging for

their products. AT |

(Photos courtesy: Innofibre)

26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Chitosan keeps

strawberries fresh

Films made of shellfish shells, essential oils,

and nanoparticles protect fruit from microbes


Québec produces more strawberries than any other

Canadian province. Strawberries are delicate and

difficult to keep fresh. In response to this challenge,

Monique Lacroix, a professor at the Institut national de la

recherche scientifique (INRS), and her team have developed

a packaging film that can keep strawberries fresh for up

to 12 days. The team’s findings on how this film protects

against mould and certain pathogenic bacteria have been

published in Food Hydrocolloids [1].

The innovative film is made of chitosan, a natural

molecule found in shellfish shells. This food industry byproduct

contains key antifungal properties that curb mould

growth. The packaging film also contains essential oils

and nanoparticles, both of which possess antimicrobial


“Essential oil vapours protect strawberries. And if the

film comes into contact with strawberries, the chitosan and

nanoparticles prevent mould and pathogens from reaching

the fruit’s surface,” Monique Lacroix, said.

Versatile protection

The formula developed for this packaging film has the

added advantage of being effective against several types

of pathogens. The team tested the film on four microbial

cultures. “Our work has shown the film’s effectiveness

against Aspergillus niger, a highly resistant mould that

causes substantial losses during strawberry production,”

said Lacroix.

This type of bioactive packaging also showed antimicrobial

efficacy against the pathogens Escherichia coli, Listeria

monocytogenes, and Salmonella Typhimurium, which come

from contamination during food handling and are a major

source of concern for the food industry.

Benefits of irradiation

Monique Lacroix and her team also combined the

packaging film with an irradiation process. When the

packaging film was exposed to radiation, team members

noted longer shelf life, cutting the level of loss in half

compared to the control (without film or irradiation). On day

12, the team recorded a 55 % loss rate for the control group

of strawberries, 38 % for the group with the film, and 25 %

when irradiation was added.

Irradiation not only extended shelf life, but it also helped

preserve or increased the quantity of polyphenols in the

strawberries. These molecules give strawberries their

colour and have antioxidant properties. MT

[1] Shankar, S.; Khodaei, D.; Lacroix, M.: Effect of chitosan/essential oils/

silver nanoparticles composite films packaging and gamma irradiation on

shelf life of strawberries,

Colour up your biopolymers!

Colours also available for home-compostable products

Bio-based, home-compostable

bioplastics in the latest trend colours?

Learn more!

LIFOtrend web seminar:

Colour up your biopolymers!

Information and registration:

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 27


September 22-23, 2021,

Renault Strategie –

Cologne, Germany

Sustainable Mobility for all

organized by

Co-organized by Jan Ravenstijn

Preliminary Programme: 2 nd PHA platform World Congress

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

PHA-platform industrialization

08:45-09:15 Jan Ravenstijn The PHA-platform, moving up the S-curve

09:15-09:40 Blake Lindsey, RWDC-Industries Moving Past Recycling: Can We Stem the Microplastics Crisis?

09:40-10:05 Erwin LePoudre, Kaneka

Market expansion of Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer Green Planet️

through sustainable application developments.

10:05-10:30 Rick Passenier, GO!PHA GO!PHA: a collaborative effort to PHA-platform industry growth: status & activities

Technology developments

11:10-11:35 George Chen, Tsinghua University New Generation Industrial Biotechnology as a basis for PHABuilder.

11:35-12:00 Jeff Uhrig, Novomer Economic considerations of 100 million tons of PHA.

12:00-12:30 Stefan Jockenhoevel, AMIBM Cross-border opportunities for the biobased value chain

12:30-12:55 Eligio Martini, MAIP The compounding will be the success of the sleeping Giant!

Application developments

14:05-14:30 Bas Krins, Senbis Effect of PHA-material structure on yarn and filament spinning

14:30-14:55 Lenka Mynarova, Nafigate PHB in cosmetic applications

14:55-15:20 Ruud Rouleaux, Helian Polymers/colorFabb Designing PHA-materials for 3D-printing applications

Environmental, legislative & regulatory matters

15:55-16:20 Anindya Mukherjee, GO!PHA The effect of legislation on innovative PHA-material design for a circular economy

16:20-16:55 Bruno DeWilde, OWS Biodegradation : one concept, many nuances

16:55-17:20 Michael Carus, nova Institute For which end-products is biodegradation a justified need?

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Application developments

08:40-09:05 Guy Buyle / Lien Van der Schuere, Centexbel The use of PHA in the textile industry

09:05-09:30 Jesse Hui, Tianan Biologic Material PHA for denitrification purposes

09:30-09:55 Sun-Jong Kim, CheilJedang Possibility of amorphous PHA and current development

09:55-10:20 William Bardosh, TerraVerdae Bioworks Industrial applications for PHA materials

Environmental, legislative & regulatory matters

10:55-11:20 Liusong Hue, MedPHA Corp. Ltd. The latest P3HB4HB developments for medical applications

11:20-11:45 Marcus Eriksen, 5Gyres Ocean Plastic reduction and PHA

11:45-12:10 Ramani Narayan, Michigan State University

Kinetic model to estimate lifetime in ocean environments for

biodegradable polymers using PHBV and cellulose as models

12:10-12:35 Teng Li, Bluepha Historic opportunity of PHA with surging demand of biodegradable polymers in China

PHA-platform industrialization

13:50-14:15 Phil Van Trump, Danimer Scientific TBD

14:15-14:40 Maximilian Lackner, Circe Feedstock considerations for world-scale PHA production: Methane as viable option

14:40-15:05 Manfred Zinn, ISBP - HES-SO Valais-Wallis Customized PHA during biosynthesis

Technology developments

15:40-16:05 Scott Trenor, Milliken

Enhancing the Properties of PHAs via Nucleation: Translating 40 years of Polyolefin

Innovation to PHAs

16:05-16:30 Pablo Ivan Nikel, Novonordisk Foundation

16:30-17:05 Edvard Hall, Bioextrax

Synthetic Biology strategies for the biosynthesis of new-to-nature

PHA-based polymers containing xeno-atoms

Can a bio-based downstream process reduce cost and improve

the polymer properties?

This is still a preliminary programme. We might have to do some changes. Even if we had to postpone the event again to September 22 and

23, due to the development of COVID-19, we will try to keep changes to the programme minimal.

Sadly we cannot offer more speaker slots, yet we cannot deny how the massive interest of potential speakers fills us with pride, as

significantly more people are interested to speak at our PHA platform World Congress than we could possibly accommodate in just two days.

Please visit the conference website for the most up-to-date version of the programme. Here you will also find more information on the

speakers as well as abstracts of all presentations.

28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

organized by

2 nd PHA platform World Congress

September 22+23, 2021: Cologne, Germany

and Jan Ravenstijn

Diamond Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Supported by

Media Partner

Platinum Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

…from Embryonic to Early Growth

PHA (Poly-Hydroxy-Alkanoates or polyhydroxy fatty acids)

is a family of biobased polyesters. As in many mammals,

including humans, that hold energy reserves in the form

of body fat there are also bacteria that hold intracellular

reserves of polyhydroxy alkanoates. Here the microorganisms

store a particularly high level of energy reserves

(up to 80% of their own body weight) for when their

sources of nutrition become scarce. Examples for such

Polyhydroxyalkanoates are PHB, PHV, PHBV, PHBH and

many more. That’s why we speak about the PHA platform.

This PHA-platform is made up of a large variety of

bioplastics raw materials made from many different

renewable resources. Depending on the type of PHA, they

can be used for applications in films and rigid packaging,

biomedical applications, automotive, consumer electronics,

appliances, toys, glues, adhesives, paints, coatings, fibers

for woven and non-woven andPHA products inks. So PHAs

cover a broad range of properties and applications.

That’s why bioplastics MAGAZINE and Jan Ravenstijn are

now organizing the 2 nd PHA-platform World Congress

on 22-23 Sep 2021 (new date) in Cologne / Germany.

This congress continues the great success of the

1 st PHA platform World Congress and the PHA-day at

the Bioplastics Business Breakfast @ K 2019. We will

again offer a special “Basics”-Workshop in the day before

(Sep 21) - if there are sufficient registrations...

The congress will address the progress, challenges and

market opportunities for the formation of this new polymer

platform in the world. Every step in the value chain will

be addressed. Raw materials, polymer manufacturing,

compounding, polymer processing, applications,

opportunities and end-of-life options will be discussed by

parties active in each of these areas. Progress in underlying

technology challenges will also be addressed.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/21] Vol. 16 29



adhesive tapes

A contribution to the

reduction of the

carbon footprint


Ingo Neubert

R&D, Backings and Film Development

tesa SE

Norderstedt, Germany

Adhesive tape applications are all around us. Tape

applications well known to the public include packaging

tapes, office tapes as well as DIY tapes. However,

approximately 75 % of the most important applications are

specialized industrial applications. Today, such industrial

adhesive tapes are widely used in consumer electronics,

automotive, aeroplanes, trains, medical and hygiene sectors.

Industries like wind and solar, constructions, white goods as

well as paper and print use adhesive tapes in manufacturing

and mounting processes. The adhesive tape market has

a total volume of 7 billion m² (67 % packaging tapes, 10 %

consumer and office tapes, 8 % masking tapes, 15 % specialty

tapes) [1].

The current trend towards more sustainability also has a

big impact on the adhesive tape market. Adhesive tapes can

improve sustainability as enabler aids for

production processes or product

designs. An additional contribution

to sustainability comes from

the design of the adhesive tape

itself, thanks to measures like

downgauging, reusability, and

incorporation of recycled or

biobased raw materials.

tesa (Norderstedt, Germany),

one of the leading tape

manufacturers worldwide, strives

to reduce the carbon footprint of

its products and its manufacturing

processes for many years. For example,

new technologies were developed for solvent-free processing

with natural rubber and acrylic adhesive. In total, solvent

consumption was reduced by 40 % between 2001 and 2019.

Furthermore, more than 10 years ago tesa launched the

sustainable ecoLogo ® product assortment for consumer

applications: It includes, for example, the first office and

packaging tape based on a 100 % post-industrial recycling

backing film.

For the redesign of existing products and the development

of new products, new sustainable raw materials will be

necessary for the adhesive tape product designs. However,

currently, only a limited choice of sustainable raw materials

and plastics are commercially available (see bioplastics

MAGAZINE 03/2021) [2]. Most of them have only low relevance

for adhesive tape applications because the properties are

not matching the requirements. Therefore, intensified R&D

efforts will be necessary to make do with the available raw

materials and to meet the requirements of the many different


One big focus of the current development at tesa is on the

largest part for adhesive tape applications – the packaging

tape market. In April 2021, tesa launched a new sustainable

packaging tape – tesapack ® Bio & Strong. The product

is certified by DIN Certco and TÜV

Austria with a biobased content

of 98 % (as measured according

to ASTM D6866 and EN 11640).

This packaging tape is based on

a special biaxially-oriented PLA

film coated with solvent-free

natural rubber adhesive. The

special biaxially-oriented PLA

film consists of PLLA resin that

guarantees better heat stability

in the production process. The

replacement of the conventional

fossil-based OPP or PVC backing by

a BO-PLA film from renewable resources

in tesapack Bio & Strong results in a reduction of CO 2


emission of 15–20 % CO 2

eq. (compared to OPP) and 30–35

% CO 2

eq. (compared to PVC). This reduction is related to the

backing material only. The carbon footprint calculation is

based on a cradle-to-grave approach regarding IPCC AR5

GWP100 (incl. land-use change) and with respect of generic

information of the film manufacturing process.

30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Other interesting developments for sustainable adhesive

tapes at tesa are taking place with a focus on tape backings

and release liners – both may make a significant contribution

to the reduction of carbon emission. Besides the mentioned

biobased plastics, recycled plastics could be an interesting

option too. The plastics get a second life instead of being

incinerated and replace the use of virgin material, thus saving

resources and CO 2

emissions. PP and PET are very common

materials used in tape design, in form of films, cloth, or nonwoven.

For both materials, circular recycling processes for

post-consumer waste are established. PP on the one hand is

currently available as PCR PP material mainly for moulding

applications but unfortunately not in grades suitable for film

applications. Therefore, it is currently only possible to produce

an adhesive tape based on e.g., PIR* but not PCR* OPP film

(* see separate box).

Due to the worldwide established recycling of PET bottles a

mature circular economy around PET waste is being created.

Mechanical as well as chemical PCR PET grades based on

waste streams are available in reliable quantities to produce

biaxially-oriented PET films. PET films with up to 100 %

chemical PCR content are commercially available from some

PET film manufacturers. With cross-functional development

efforts, such films with 70 % up to 100 % PCR content could

be successfully incorporated into new sustainable adhesive

tapes, performing equivalently to analogue fossil-based

products in terms of processability, adhesive anchorage,

tensile strengths, elongation, resistance, and targeted

applications. The PCR PET can be widely used as backing and

liner for different kinds of adhesive tapes e.g.:

• (a) double-sided mounting tapes based on 10–40 µm PCR

PET film

• (b) single-side carton sealing tapes with 20–50 µm PCR

PET film

• (c) single-side strapping tapes with e.g., 36 µm PCR PET

backing (the use of PCR films is highly significant for such

single-use products)

• (d) thick PCR PET films (70–200 µm) for hole covering in

automobile applications (in this case, the sustainability

factor is high due to the high thickness of the PET film)

• (e) paint or pre-bond masking tapes based on 25–80 µm

PCR PET films

• (f) release liners with a release coating to protect the

adhesive before final usage (normally, the customer throws

the release liner away when using the adhesive tape,

such processing aids could be ideally made from recycled


• (g) PCR PET woven and non-woven adhesive tape backings

for repairing or wire harnessing applications

Currently, there are many developments for sustainable

raw materials with potential relevance for adhesive tape

applications. One central topic is the mass-balance approach

for drop-in standard polymers like polyethylene and

polypropylene based on bio-naphtha. Bio-naphtha is produced

from organic waste like tall oil or vegetable oil. The newest

development uses this concept in combination with chemical

recycling of mixed plastic waste via a pyrolysis process. The

mass-balance approach offers the opportunity to produce

polymeric films like OPP films e.g., as adhesive tape backing

with reduced carbon footprint.

Furthermore, some new sustainable materials are in

the scaling-up pipeline. Prime candidates to produce

polymeric films and probably tape backings could be

biobased polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) polymers and

polyethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate (PEF) polymers. PEF

is a new polyester based on biobased ethylene glycol and

biobased 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) as a sustainable

replacement to PET.

There are many interesting developments happening in the

plastic market that strive to increase the sustainability factor

and reduce the carbon footprint. That will have an impact on

industries like the adhesive tape industry. In the next couple

of years, there will be many new adhesive tapes based on

biobased, recycled, or biodegradable materials with a lower

carbon footprint on the market. The transition processes have

started already.

[1] AWA Alexander Watson Associates, Global Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive

Study 2021

Recycled plastics are differentiated between post-industrial

(PIR) and post-consumer (PCR) recycled material.

PIR plastics are much cleaner and better usable because of

their single source. However, the availability of PIR plastics

is limited.

On the other hand, it is an abundant source of post-consumer

plastic waste(PCR). Unfortunately, the post-consumer

plastic waste is a wild and contaminated mix, exudes a

strong smell, consist in multiple plastic grades and is often

laminated with materials like cardboard or aluminium foil

that disturb the recycling process. Recycling this type of

multi-component post-consumer plastic waste is quite

difficult. The most common use for post-consumer plastic

waste is incineration, downcycling to low-quality products,

and landfill.

But many technological developments took place to increase

the recycling process to obtain qualitative high-value

PCR plastics with the opportunity to use them in high-quality

products. Some PCR plastic fractions like LDPE, HDPE,

PP and PET are available in good quality today. But all

those mechanical recycled plastics have lower performance

compared to virgin plastics due to their multiple processing

and lifetime.

As an alternative to the mechanical recycling processes,

there are established chemical recycling processes for

some polymers like PET. The chemical recycling process

splits the polymer into monomers and builds up new


Cleaning processes of the monomers are possible. The big

advantage of the chemical recycling process is that the new

polymer is indistinctive from the original virgin polymer

except for a much lower carbon footprint.


bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 31

Application News

New applications for

water-soluble plastic

Lactips (Saint-Jean-Bonnefonds, France), specialized in

producing a soluble plastic with zero environmental traces,

has developed new product applications to further address

the issue of polluting plastics on multiple levels.

CareTips Natural Pearls

Developed with Givaudan (Vernier, Switzerland), the

CareTips Natural Pearls TM are scented beads that combine

Lactips water-soluble material with fragrances. Already

known to the market, these solutions are manufactured

with PVA or PEG (polyethylene glycol), which leaves

microplastics in the environment. Lactips is providing an

alternative for professionals and consumers: these ecofriendly

laundry fragrance diffusers are made with Lactips’

100 % natural material.

The new scented beads are placed directly in the

washing machine drum, where they dissolve during the

washing process, leaving a fresh and delicate fragrance on

the clothes even after they have dried. This unique solution

offers a natural, plastic-free fragrance product for laundry

and is biodegradable in water.

Single-dose salt sticks

Oopya, an ecological disinfectants manufacturer, is

removing plastic from the packaging for its single-dose

salt sticks thanks to Lactips.

Focused on detergents, Oopya has developed an

effective, safe, and ecological cleaning solution, produced

using water, salt contained in a natural, water-soluble

plastic packaging, and electricity.

This innovation aims to reduce the use of chemical

products and their plastic packaging. It was therefore a

natural choice for Oopya to use the water-soluble films

made with Lactips pellets to create the packaging for

its “salt sticks”, replacing the previous generations of

packaging. The products are sold in chains of organic

stores or directly to consumers online. MT

Alpla launches

Blue Circle Packaging

The ALPLA Group (Hard, Austria), a global packaging

producer and specialist in recycling, is consolidating its

developments in relation to biodegradable packaging

solutions under its new Blue Circle Packaging label. Homecompostable

coffee capsules are the first product available on

the market.

Under the Blue Circle Packaging label (,

Alpla will offer its customers packaging

solutions that are all biodegradable and thereby contribute

to sustainability. This is based on plastics made of renewable

raw materials. “We see the establishment of our own label

which includes all of our products made from biodegradable

materials as a clear commitment to our activities in this

future market. They are a recyclable addition to our existing

packaging solutions,” says Nicolas Lehner, CCO of the Alpla

Group and responsible for global sales.

In line with the circular economy

The establishment of Blue Circle Packaging goes hand in

hand with the holistic approach taken by Alpla, whereby all

product areas and packaging solutions should be developed

with a view to a functioning circular economy. One important

field of research involves the use of alternative materials

made of renewable raw materials.

Home-compostable coffee capsules

With the first product from the Blue Circle range, Alpla is

offering its customers home-compostable coffee capsules.

The coffee capsules produced using injection moulding

are characterised by their technical and aroma-preserving

properties – and on top of that, they are also compostable at

home. With the TÜV certificates OK Compost HOME and OK

Compost INDUSTRIAL, they are suitable for disposal in home

compost as well as in the organic waste bin (where allowed).

Joint venture for coffee

In conjunction with the coffee roaster Amann Kaffee and

the agency Silberball, Alpla founded the start-up Blue Circle

Coffee ( It offers roasting houses and

smaller coffee suppliers extensive expertise in roasting,

filling, packaging, and marketing coffee in home-compostable

coffee capsules. Consumers can also order three varieties of

the company’s own Blue Circle coffee line via an integrated

webshop. MT

32 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Organic honey candy packaging

Muria BIO (El Perelló, Tarragona, Spain) the organic honey brand of the

company Miel Muria, belonging to the Horeca Channel, launches the first line

of organic honey candies with 100 % compostable packaging from Europe.

A range of honey candies with 4 flavours (honey and lemon, honey and

eucalyptus, honey and propolis and honey and ginger) that do not contain any

stabilizers and that are made with totally natural products.

The packaging of the new product and the wrappers of the Muria Bio sweets

are made of NATURFLEX TM NK and can be disposed of together with organic

waste as it complies with the EN 13432 regulation on compostable products.

In addition, the company has designed display boxes of 12 bags of 65 g so

that each establishment can choose the format that interests them the most.

The boxes are made from FSC cardboard, sourced from sustainably managed

forests. Muria BIO also sells boxes of 10 bags of 1,000 g single flavour bulk sale.

Miel Muria‘s business policy maintains a faithful social and environmental

commitment and carries out numerous actions to maintain biodiversity

beyond the care of bees. With the help of PEFC Spain, the company has

recently certified the first honey from forests certified in Sustainable Forest

Management in Europe and the first to be exported worldwide. MT

Application News

Ohmie, the 3D-printed orange lamp

After years of research into new biomaterials, Milan-based start-up Krill Design has created Ohmie The Orange Lamp. By

transforming Sicilian orange peels into a 100 % natural and compostable lamp, this product combines design and sustainability

in a completely Made in Italy supply chain. Born from a Circular Economy paradigm, each lamp contains the peels of 2–3

oranges. The material is a formulation of about 40 % of the biopolymer PHB which is enriched with 60 % micronized orange

peels (powder-like material), as the Krill-team told bioplastics MAGAZINE.

Ohmie was launched in a Kickstarter campaign on 28 June 2021 which is still on until 5 August 2021 16:00 CEST.

Ohmie addresses the problem of over-exploitation of natural resources by transforming a product that is often mistaken as

waste into a valuable material. Krill Design specializes in the research and development of organic materials as a precious

resource that offers new material experiences and builds the potential for circular design. Krill Design clients include Enel,

Autogrill, and San Pellegrino, who rely on the start-up both for its innovation and expertise in sustainable design.

Ohmie is the first lamp of its kind, as its rich colour and texture transforms orange peels into sleek, natural lines and surfaces

that offer a distinct design and ambience, but also tell the story of its origin, evoking nature’s memories and sensations.

Another building block in the circular design movement,

Ohmie The Orange Lamp is a revolutionary and innovative

product that marks a clear step towards a future where

reclaimed materials are the norm and the line between

design and eco-design is erased.

Choosing Ohmie promotes innovation of materials and

production methods, thanks to 3D printing. Digital printing,

the technique used to create The Orange Lamp, makes it

possible to create products that are light, both visually and

in terms of weight, and avoid any form of waste during


Ohmie is much more than a product: it is the symbol of

a much-needed renewal that brings greater synergy with

nature into everyone’s lives, without having to compromise

on aesthetics or quality. MT


bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 33

Application News

Watches from ocean plastic

The Swedish company TRIWA (Stockholm) introduced the

world’s first collection of watches made completely from

recycled ocean plastic. These watches

are designed to be part of the solution,

highlight the issue of ocean plastic

pollution and become a statement for

each customer’s wrist, a symbol for

change. All plastic used in manufacturing

these watches is ethically collected from

oceans and shores, and, with the help

of solar power, properly cleaned and

recycled by their official partner, Tide

Ocean Material.

Together with social enterprise Tide

Ocean (Basel, Switzerland) collects

ocean-bound plastic in Southeast

Asia, coordinated by their subsidiary

in Ranong, Thailand. On five islands in the Andaman Sea,

local fishermen are being trained and paid to gather and

sort plastic waste. The material is registered, washed, and

shredded in a social enterprise which is being implemented

by the Swiss non-profit Jan & Oscar Foundation and the

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Different kinds of plastic are collected,

such as PET, PP, or PE. With Swiss precision

and know-how and powered by renewable

energy, the plastic waste threatening our

oceans is upcycled into a versatile granular

raw material.

The granular material is tested and

produced in partnership with the Institute

for Materials Technology and Plastics

Processing (IWK), a branch of the University

of Applied Sciences (Hochschule für Technik)

in Rapperswil, Switzerland. Together, IWK

and Tide have developed a method that

regenerates the plastic and reverses the

damage caused by the UV rays and salt

water the plastic waste was exposed to while floating in the

ocean or washed ashore.MT

(Photo: TRIWA) | |

Puma starts using I’m green EVA

PUMA (Herzogenaurach, Germany), one of the world’s

largest sporting goods manufacturers, is looking to increase

its use of more sustainable materials in production, reducing

the carbon footprint of its products as much as possible.

Braskem (São Paulo, Brazil) is part of this strategy because

with their I’m green TM EVA made of sugarcane, they provide

Puma with an important raw material in the development of

sustainable plastic elements in their products.

The result is “Better Foam,” a Puma-developed midsole

based on 35 % sugarcane-based I’m green EVA that will be

used in footwear products starting this summer. It will start

with the “Emerge” model, a training shoe that has been

available since July 1st.

The “Emerge” is part of Puma’s plans to use more

sustainable materials in 9 out of 10 products by 2025.

Braskem will be supporting PUMA with I’m green EVA –

and for good reason. Their I’m green EVA is specifically suited

for products like footwear and sporting goods: It delivers the

same flexibility, lightness, and resistance as the usual plastics

used, and offers a negative carbon footprint to boot. This is

because the sugarcane used is both renewable and absorbs

carbon as it grows.

It’s another important step for Braskem into the sports

world. Their plastic is receiving more and more attention

in the sporting goods industry, allowing them to build many

successful partnerships in this segment, just like the current

one with Puma. AT |

34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

It depends

where it ends

How biodegradable

plastics perform

in the marine



Christian Lott


HYDRA Marine Sciences

Bühl, Germany

From Science & Research

Miriam Weber from Hydra Marine Sciences is checking biodegradable plastic film samples exposed at 20 metres depth in the open water of

Indonesia (Photo Hydra Marine Science)

Biodegradable polymers and their applications are being

widely and also controversially discussed across sectors

but their behaviour in the open environment such as in

soil, freshwater, and the ocean remains largely unknown. This

gives rise to rather myths and uncertainty than solid facts to base

decisions on. In order to create scientifically sound baseline data,

HYDRA Marine Sciences has been active in the fields of testing,

method development, and collaborative material research since


In a global study, researchers from Germany, the Netherlands,

and Indonesia investigated the behaviour of selected biodegradable

plastic materials in different coastal scenarios in two climate

zones: the warm-temperate Mediterranean Sea and tropical

Southeast Asia. They exposed sheets of polyhydroxybutyrate

(PHB), polybutylene sebacate (PBSe), polybutylene sebacateco-terephthalate

(PBSeT) and LDPE film under natural marine

conditions at the beach, on the seafloor and in the open water (see

photo), and observed the biodegradation performance for several

years. Additionally, they also conducted tank and laboratory tests

where the test materials were exposed in natural seawater and

sediment, determining specific half-lives for each of the scenarios.

“The main question to be answered was: How long does it take?”,

says Miriam Weber, the senior author of the study and director of

Hydra Marine Sciences. “To replace guessing about persistence

times of biodegradable plastics in the marine system with facts

from real-world experiments we made a huge effort travelling half

the globe, doing countless dives. Now, we have concrete numbers

which allow us to directly compare materials and habitats. We also

can start to mathematically model the fate of a plastic item that

ends up in the ocean.”

As described in the publication in Frontiers in Marine Biology, all

three bioplastics tested showed substantial biodegradation in the

marine environment. However, the biodegradation rates differed

according to the material, the temperature, and other habitat

conditions, i.e. whether the material was in contact with seawater

only or also with sand. The bacteria-derived PHB showed the

highest degradation rate with half-lives ranging from 54 days on

the seafloor in SE Asia to 1247 days in tank tests with seawater,

for an 85 µm thick film. The aliphatic polyester PBSe and the

aliphatic-aromatic co-polyester PBSeT performed similarly with

half-lives ranging from 99 days on the tropical seafloor to 2614

days in sediment tank tests for 25 µm thick films.

The half-life as a measure for the biodegradation rate in a

specific environmental scenario can now be used to estimate a

persistence time for such materials, compare them numerically

with each other, and also to slow- or non-biodegradable plastic

materials. These results start to fill the knowledge gap on the

biodegradation rate of bioplastics in the marine environment and

will inform decision making and strategies on the meaningful

application of these materials, legal aspects in regulation and

exemption as well as life cycle (impact) assessment, and risk and

benefit analyses.

The complementary testing at lab, tank, and field level

comprehensively demonstrates that it is well possible to gain

environmentally relevant results on the behaviour of biodegradable

polymers and products in the marine environment in a combined

three-tier approach. This approach is currently further applied in

other open environment scenarios such as freshwater.

The research received partial support from the EU FP7

programme for the project Open-Bio, BASF (Germany) and

NOVAMONT (Italy). The original research article can be accessed

at [1] .

[1] Lott, C., Half-Life of Biodegradable Plastics in the Marine

Environment Depends on Material, Habitat, and Climate Zone; https://

Hydra Marine Sciences is a renowned research and test

centre with testing labs, indoor and outdoor testing facilities

and access to field sites nearby and worldwide. Hydra has

developed several test methods and has been involved in

standardization on ISO and ASTM levels since many years.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 35


Plant protection made by competi

Biofibre is a mid-sized compounder for biopolymers and

biocomposites based near Munich in Germany. The

company produces customised bioplastic compounds

for different applications and processing technologies.

In 2020, the compounding capacity was increased. Since

then, the company has striven for sustainable growth of the

business through the development of new applications and

partnerships. The main focus is on biobased, biodegradable

natural fibre-reinforced compounds. One truly successful

project was, for example, its EcoSpacer product, which was

recognized with the Biopolymer Innovation Award in 2019.

EcoSpacer is a wood-fibre filled compostable compound

called Silva, which can replace the use of LDPE granulate

to separate concrete slabs during transport.

For the present, project Biofibre partnered with Yizumi

Germany (Alsdorf). The companies share a common

goal, i.e., to achieve sustainable growth with the smallest

possible impact on the environment. Yizumi has developed

a robotic flexible additive manufacturing system called

SPACE A offering as key characteristics energy reduction

and fast production cycles. Using energy-efficient additive

manufacturing technology, small to midscale production

can be realized in a simple, fast, and competitive way

compared to other additive manufacturing or established

plastic processing processes. The system features a screwbased

plasticising unit mounted on a 6-axis robot. Thanks

to the large build volume, large-scale plastic parts can be

produced using the Space A technology. The main advantage

of the use of a screw extruder in 3D printing is the option

to process conventional plastic resin. In comparison to the

use of very expensive filaments, it can, on the one hand,

reduce costs and on the other, it allows the utilisation of

Figure 1: Plant protection printed with Biofibre Silva SI2900


Nicolai Lammert

Head of Additive Manufacturing

Yizumi Germany GmbH

Christoph Glammert, CEO

Jörg Dörrstein, Head of R&D

Biofibre GmbH

Altdorf, Germany

Figure 2: Yizumi Space A

highly filled and fibre reinforced compounds. The optional

use of a conveyer belt results in a machine system set-up

that is able to print parts non-stop.

An ideal combination

The partnership between Biofibre and Yizumi Germany

arose after a number of very promising trials were completed.

Silva SI2900 demonstrated a large processing window in

printing trials compared to other compostable plastics.

Furthermore, a good printability was seen compared to

other fibre filled plastic compounds. In comparison to

other compostable compounds, no fast degradation during

processing was observed. The uncoloured printed surface

of Biofibre Silva has a wood-like appearance with a silk

matt surface. The mechanical performance is comparable

to stiffer polypropylene (PP). Depending on the die diameter,

the material offers space for a wide range of individual part


Based on the processing and performance profile shown

in these initial printing runs, the team discussed potential

applications. One of the ideas was the development and

production of a flat, large-sized mesh structure, intended

for use to protect seeded plants from grazing and nibbling

animals. This type of mesh protection is commonly used in

vineyards to shield new wine plants after planting.

Producing these mesh structures via injection moulding

is a challenge. Only easily flowing polymers without fillers

can be used to fill the mould. On the other hand, production

36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

tive 3D printing

based on an extruded flat sheet, which is subsequently

trimmed, is highly complicated. Using biodegradable

plastics to produce mesh structures with these dimensions,

given the limitations of these materials, is especially difficult

using either of these technologies. Biodegradable polymers

tend to lack either the mechanical stiffness or elongation

required for this application. In short, for injection moulding,

the flowability of compostable compounds is one limiting

factor, while the need for suitable reinforcement imposes

distinct limitations on the flat sheet extrusion option, as

well. Overall, Yizumi’s Space A additive manufacturing

technology offers a good alternative for the production of

such a flat mesh structure in the requisite dimensions for

vinery applications. The 20 % wood fibre reinforced Biofibre

biopolymer provides a stiff mesh structure that is bendable

enough for this application. The use of natural fibres as

filler material allows the biodegradability to be tuned.

After adjusting the processing speeds and establishing

the required temperature profiles, it took 3 minutes to

produce one part. Continuous production was simulated by

printing the products directly on a conveyor belt. Tests with

wine farmers revealed that the parts were easy to apply and

provided sufficient protection from rabbits and hares, due to

the tailored design and the inherent mechanical properties

of the biocomposite material.

In summary, this plant protection application shows how

a clever combination of new biomaterials and innovative

machine technology can open up new potential for part

designs. Joint efforts are currently being directed at

furniture applications. Further prints will be expected to be

displayed at the Fakuma fair in October later this year. |




Join us at the

16th European

Bioplastics Conference

– the leading business forum for the

bioplastics industry.

30 NOV - 1 DEC 2021

Mercure Hotel MOA

Berlin, Germany

Figure 3: Side wall of a printed part made of Biofibre Silva SI2900

@EUBioplastics #eubpconf2021

For more information email:

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 37


bioplastics MAGAZINE presents:

The fourth bio!PAC conference on biobased packaging in Düsseldorf,

Germany, organised by bioplastics MAGAZINE together with Green Serendipity,

is the must-attend conference for anyone interested in sustainable packaging

made from renewably-sourced materials. The hybrid (on-site and online)

conference offers expert presentations from major players in the packaging

value chain, from raw material suppliers and packaging manufacturers

to brand owners experienced in using biobased packaging. bio!PAC offers

excellent opportunities for attendees to connect and network with other

professionals in the field.

A preliminary programme of the conference is provided below. Please visit

our conference website for full details and information about registration.

bio PAC

biobased packaging


03-04 Nov. 2021

maritim düsseldorf

Preliniary Programme

Maija Pohjakallio, Sulapac

Microplastics and packaging

Caroli Buitenhuis, Green Serendipity The world of retail packaging in 2050

Bineke Posthumus, Avantium

Jojanneke Leistra, Superfoodguru

Bastin Pack - Speaker unknown yet

Erwin Vink, NatureWorks

Thijs Rodenburg, Rodenburg Biopolymers

Lise Magnier, TU Delft

Jane Franch, Numi Organic Tea

Patrick Gerritsen, Bio4pack

Lars Börger, Neste

Albertro Castellanza, Novamont

Constance Ißbrücker, European Bioplastics

t.b.c., Taghleef Industries

Patrick Zimmermann, FKuR

Remy Jongboom, Biotec

Vincent Kneefel, TIPA

t.b.c., Sidaplax - PSI

Avantium’s plant-based solutions to realize a fossil-free and circular economy

PLA bottles, brand owner perspective

Biobased Pouches for Food


Starch based compounds for packaging applications

Insights in consumer behaviour in relation to sustainable packaging


Asked for Sponsoring, he promised to bring brand-owners as speakers.

Renewable carbon solutions for packaging applications (t.b.c.)








This is a preliminary programme. A few speaking slots are still available. Please contact or for your proposals.

We are continuously watching the development of the pandemic. We still hope that we don’t have to postpone the event or hold it strictly

online only.

Even if together with the Maritim Airport Hotel a sphisticated hygiene concept is beeing elaborated and by November significantly more

people will be fully vaccinated, this conference will in any case be held in a hybrid format. Speakers and/or attendees that may not /

cannot / do not want to come to Düsseldorf can participate online.

Please visit the conference website for the most up-to-date version of the programme.

bio!PAC 2019

38 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 14

ioplastics MAGAZINE presents:

bio PAC


Conference on Biobased Packaging

03 - 04 Nov 2021 - Düsseldorf, Germany

Most packaging is only used for a short period and therefore give rise to large quantities of waste. Accordingly, it is vital to

make sure that packaging fits into natures eco-systems and therefore use the most suitable renewable carbon materials and

implement the best ‘end-of-life’ solutions.

That‘s why bioplastics MAGAZINE (in cooperation with Green Serendipity) is now organizing the 4 th edition of the

bio!PAC - conference on packaging made from renewable carbon plastics, i.e. from renewable resources. Experts from all

areas of renewable carbon plastics and circular packaging will present their latest developments. The conference will also

cover discussions like end-of-life options, consumer behaviour issues, availability of agricultural land for material use versus

food and feed etc.

The full 2-day conference is planned to be held on 03-04 Nov 2021 in Düsseldorf, Germany (Maritim Airport Hotel).

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

Coorganized by

supported by

Media Partner

Carbon Capture


A change of tune for the chemical industry:

The European Union has awarded EUR 7 million to the

VIVALDI project to transform the biobased industry into

a new, more environmentally friendly and competitive


To reach climate targets, industries need to accelerate

the transition towards a low-carbon, resource efficiency,

and circular economy. The chemical sector is one of the

most challenging, but also a very promising one, in that

context. At the forefront of waste reutilization, biobased

industries (BIs) have the potential to lead the way and create

a new and more sustainable sector based on the principle

of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) also called CO 2

recycling. Based on this circular concept, BI’s will reduce

their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, their dependency on

fossil carbon import and the exploitation of key resources

such as energy, raw materials, land, and water.

Starting from June 2021, the EU Horizon 2020 project

VIVALDI (innoVative bIo-based chains for CO 2


as aDded-value organIc acids) will develop a set of

breakthrough biotechnologies to transform real offgases

from key BI sectors (Food & Drinks, Pulp & Paper,

Bioethanol, and Biochemicals) into novel feedstock for

the chemical industry. The core of VIVALDI solution is

to capture, enrich, and transform in a two-steps process

(electrochemical and biological) the CO 2

captured into four

platform organic acids. These resulting compounds have

various applications: they can be used in the same site,

enhancing the sustainability and circularity of BIs processes

and products, or open new business opportunities as

building blocks for novel biomaterial (e.g., bioplastics and

animal feed). By integrating this concept, industries will “kill

two birds with one stone”: not only BI’s carbon emissions

will be reduced, but the production of organic compounds

that today is very energy-intensive will become cheaper

and more sustainable. Replicability will be a key aspect of

VIVALDI solutions, allowing other biorefineries and other

industrial sectors to become more circular and reduce their

environmental impact.

The success of the project will be ensured by a

multidisciplinary and international consortium led by

the GENOCOV research group of Universitat Autònoma

de Barcelona (Spain). The 16 partners range from BIs

(SunPine, Damm, and Bioagra) and technology developers

(VITO, UFZ, LEITAT, Processium, Avantium, Universitat

Autònoma de Barcelona, University of Natural Resources

and Life Sciences (Vienna), Luleå University of Technology)

to end-user (Nutrition Sciences). Novamont will research

how to use CO 2

along its entire value-chain: from the

capture of their CO 2

emissions to the conversion of it into

new biochemicals. The team is complemented by three

knowledge hubs: the sustainability and circularity expert

group (BETA from Universitat de Vic, Barcelona, Spain),

the technology and innovation consultancy (ISLE Utilities,

London, UK), and the European Association representing

the Carbon Capture and Utilisation community in Europe

(CO 2

Value Europe, Brussels, Belgium).

The consortium is ready to transform biorefineries,

envisioning a new CO 2

-based industrial sector that

contributes to largely decrease the carbon footprint of the

industry and boost the EU’s economy. The VIVALDI project

has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon

2020 research and innovation programme under grant

agreement No 101000441. AT

Drivers for regulation changes

CO 2

Negative GHG emissions


& conversion

Formic Acid

Ground-breaking technologies

Policy makers


Acid (3-HP)







of organicacids



Lactic Acid (LA)

Succinic Acid (SA)


Raise awareness

Less pollutedwastewater

New business models

More sustainable products

New biopolymers

Easy replicability

Itaconic Acid (IA)

40 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16


available at

available at


Use of renewable feedstock

in very first steps of

chemical production

(e.g. steam cracker)







Utilisation of existing

integrated production for

all production steps










Allocation of the

renewable share to

selected products


© | 2021

© | 2021






Vinyl chloride


Unsaturated polyester resins

Methyl methacrylate




Building blocks

Natural rubber

Aniline Ethylene

for UPR




Building blocks

for polyurethanes



Lignin-based polymers






Furfuryl alcohol

Waste oils

Casein polymers


Natural rubber






1,3 Propanediol

polymer compounds





Non-edible milk








Plant oils

Fatty acids

Castor oil


Glucose Isobutanol



























Superabsorbent polymers

Epoxy resins









2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2024

All figures available at

Adipic acid (AA)

11-Aminoundecanoic acid (11-AA)

1,4-Butanediol (1,4-BDO)

Dodecanedioic acid (DDDA)

Epichlorohydrin (ECH)


Furan derivatives

D-lactic acid (D-LA)

L-lactic acid (L-LA)


Monoethylene glycol (MEG)

Monopropylene glycol (MPG)


1,5-Pentametylenediamine (DN5)

1,3-Propanediol (1,3-PDO)

Sebacic acid

Succinic acid (SA)

© | 2020





diphenolic acid


H 2N



5-aminolevulinic acid





levulinate ketal




levulinic ester








succinic acid










Thermal depolymerisation











© | 2020



BY 31 AUGUST 2021

CODE: novaSumSpec20



for Ecology and Innovation

Bio-based Naphtha

and Mass Balance Approach

Market and Trend Reports



Bio-based Building Blocks and

Polymers – Global Capacities,

Production and Trends 2020–2025




Carbon Dioxide (CO 2) as Chemical

Feedstock for Polymers


Chemical recycling – Status, Trends

and Challenges


Status & Outlook, Standards &

Certification Schemes


Technologies, Polymers, Developers and Producers

Technologies, Sustainability, Policy and Key Players

Plastic recycling and recovery routes

Principle of Mass Balance Approach




Primary recycling


Virgin Feedstock





Product (end-of-use)

Renewable Feedstock

Secondary recycling


Tertiary recycling


Quaternary recycling

(energy recovery)




CO 2 capture






Authors: Michael Carus, Doris de Guzman and Harald Käb

March 2021

This and other reports on renewable carbon are available at

Authors: Pia Skoczinski, Michael Carus, Doris de Guzman,

Harald Käb, Raj Chinthapalli, Jan Ravenstijn, Wolfgang Baltus

and Achim Raschka

January 2021

This and other reports on renewable carbon are available at

Authors: Pauline Ruiz, Achim Raschka, Pia Skoczinski,

Jan Ravenstijn and Michael Carus, nova-Institut GmbH, Germany

January 2021

This and other reports on renewable carbon are available at

Author: Lars Krause, Florian Dietrich, Pia Skoczinski,

Michael Carus, Pauline Ruiz, Lara Dammer, Achim Raschka,

nova-Institut GmbH, Germany

November 2020

This and other reports on the bio- and CO 2-based economy are

available at


Bio- and CO 2

-based Polymers & Building Blocks

Production of Cannabinoids via

Extraction, Chemical Synthesis

and Especially Biotechnology

Commercialisation updates on

bio-based building blocks

Levulinic acid – A versatile platform

chemical for a variety of market applications

Succinic acid – From a promising

building block to a slow seller

Current Technologies, Potential & Drawbacks and

Future Development

Global market dynamics, demand/supply, trends and

market potential

What will a realistic future market look like?

Genetic engineering

Plant extraction

Plant extraction


Chemical synthesis

Biotechnological production

Production capacities (million tonnes)

Bio-based building blocks

Evolution of worldwide production capacities from 2011 to 2024




levulinic acid





Acidic ingredient for denture cleaner/toothpaste



Engineering plastics and epoxy curing

Calcium-succinate is anticarcinogenic


Efferescent tablets

Herbicides, fungicides, regulators of plantgrowth

Intermediate for perfumes

Intermediate for lacquers + photographic chemicals

Pharmaceutical intermediates (sedatives,

Plasticizer (replaces phtalates, adipic acid)

antiphlegm/-phogistics, antibacterial, disinfectant) Polymers

Preservative for toiletries

Solvents, lubricants

Removes fish odour

Surface cleaning agent

Used in the preparation of vitamin A



Food Acid


Bread-softening agent


Flavouring agent and acidic seasoning

in beverages/food

Microencapsulation of flavouring oils

Preservative (chicken, dog food)

Protein gelatinisation and in dry gelatine

desserts/cake flavourings

Used in synthesis of modified starch

Anodizing Aluminium

Chemical metal plating, electroplating baths

Coatings, inks, pigments (powder/radiation-curable

coating, resins for water-based paint,

dye intermediate, photocurable ink, toners)

Fabric finish, dyeing aid for fibres

Part of antismut-treatment for barley seeds

Preservative for cut flowers

Soil-chelating agent

Authors: Pia Skoczinski, Franjo Grotenhermen, Bernhard Beitzke,

Michael Carus and Achim Raschka


Doris de Guzman, Tecnon OrbiChem, United Kingdom

Authors: Achim Raschka, Pia Skoczinski, Raj Chinthapalli,

Ángel Puente and Michael Carus, nova-Institut GmbH, Germany

Authors: Raj Chinthapalli, Ángel Puente, Pia Skoczinski,

Achim Raschka, Michael Carus, nova-Institut GmbH, Germany

January 2021

This and other reports on renewable carbon are available at

Updated Executive Summary and Market Review May 2020 –

Originally published February 2020

This and other reports on the bio- and CO 2-based economy are

available at

October 2019

This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at

October 2019

This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at

Standards and labels for

bio-based products

Bio-based polymers, a revolutionary change

Comprehensive trend report on PHA, PLA, PUR/TPU, PA

and polymers based on FDCA and SA: Latest developments,

producers, drivers and lessons learnt


Bio-based polymers,

a revolutionary change

Market study on the consumption

of biodegradable and compostable

plastic products in Europe

2015 and 2020

A comprehensive market research report including

consumption figures by polymer and application types

as well as by geography, plus analyses of key players,

relevant policies and legislation and a special feature on

biodegradation and composting standards and labels


Brand Views and Adoption of

Bio-based Polymers

Jan Ravenstijn

March 2017


Mobile: +31.6.2247.8593

Picture: Gehr Kunststoffwerk











Authors: Lara Dammer, Michael Carus and Dr. Asta Partanen

nova-Institut GmbH, Germany

May 2017

This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at

Author: Jan Ravenstijn, Jan Ravenstijn Consulting, the Netherlands

April 2017

This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at

Authors: Harald Kaeb (narocon, lead), Florence Aeschelmann,

Lara Dammer, Michael Carus (nova-Institute)

April 2016

This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at

Author: Dr. Harald Kaeb, narocon Innovation Consulting, Germany

January 2016

This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 41

Carbon Capture


polyols and polyurethanes


CO 2

and clean



VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, together with

several Finnish companies and organizations are developing

a proof-of-concept for a new value chain from carbon dioxide

emissions and clean hydrogen to sustainable chemicals and

materials. The work is carried out in an ongoing Business

Finland cooperative project called BECCU. The partners

involved include Valmet, Kiilto, CarbonReUse Finland, Helen,

Neste, Mirka, Metener, Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto, Top Analytica,

Finnfoam, Kemianteollisuus, Kleener Power Solutions, and


CO 2

-based polycarbonate- and polyether polyols as well as

polyurethanes have been chosen as the main target products

of the project for their great market potential. Prior interest is

towards polycarbonate polyols, which are specialty chemicals

that can be used as coatings, adhesives, or building blocks for

polyurethanes. So far, the industrial production of polyols has

relied on the use of fossil raw materials, whereas the BECCU

concept presents a sustainable route based entirely on carbon

originating from CO 2



Miia Nevander,

Janne Kärki,

Juha Lehtonen,

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Espoo, Finland

A novel process route to fully CO 2

-based specialty


VTT studies a process where up to 100 % of carbon in polyol

is originating from carbon dioxide, when it has been at most

50 % in other proposed polyol production concepts based on

CO 2

utilization. The studied concept applies CO 2

captured from

biomass utilization, such as biomass combustion or biogas

production. Hydrogen can originate from water electrolysis

or from industrial side-streams. First, reverse water-gas

shift (rWGS) and Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reaction steps produce

olefins from CO 2

and H 2

. The formed light C2-C4 olefins

are oxidized with peroxides to epoxides, which are then copolymerized

to polycarbonate polyols using CO 2

. The process

is illustrated in Figure 1.

Promising profitability indicated by technoeconomic

assessment (TEA)

The Polycarbonate polyol production process was simulated

with the Aspen Plus software tool. The process was sized

based on a 100-megawatt alkaline electrolyser producing

16 kilotonnes of hydrogen per year. Corresponding annual

carbon dioxide demand is 100,000 tonnes, and annual

production of polycarbonate polyols is 38 kt. The price for

electricity and other key parameters were estimated for the

year 2030. Key assumptions used in calculations are listed in

Table 1.

Techno-economic assessment of the process and

sensitivity analyses were carried out to evaluate the economic

performance and profitability of the concept. The main

results can be seen in Figure 2. The calculated production

cost of polycarbonate polyols was 2,180 EUR/tonne. If all byproducts

of the process, excess oxygen and heat produced by

the electrolyser and cyclic carbonates, were assumed to be

valorised, the production cost decreased to 1,980 EUR/tonne.

Most of the production cost originated from the electricity

needed for electrolysis.

According to market information, the price of polycarbonate

polyols could be over 4,500 EUR/tonne. Some estimates predict

Figure 2. Results of techno-economic assessment and sensitivity analysis.

42 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Figure 1. Process route

from captured carbon

dioxide and green

hydrogen to



Carbon Capture

a product price as high as 6,000 EUR/tonne. As the production

costs identified in the techno-economic assessment are

low compared to the expected selling price, the production

appears very attractive. The BECCU production route presents

a promising option to turn carbon dioxide emissions into

specialty chemicals profitably. However, the market size of

polycarbonate polyols is quite limited which was identified as

a challenge for the commercialization of the process. On the

other hand, polycarbonate polyols may have significant growth

potential as a green polyol source, e.g., for polyurethane


Polyol applications: polyurethanes

Polyurethanes are an important application of polyols.

They are typically used as adhesives, coatings, or elastomers.

Polycarbonate polyols are suitable as building blocks for

high -performance applications of polyurethanes, especially

when high thermal, hydrolytic, and UV stability are required.

So far, polycarbonate polyols from C3 and C4 epoxides with

different molecular weights have been synthesized. The next

steps will be to produce larger quantities of polyols with

appropriate molecular weight for the targeted polyurethane

applications and to optimize the product yields. The application

tests of the polyols will be performed together with the

industrial project partners.

Next steps

The BECCU project continues until the end of 2021. The

BECCU concept and the techno-economic assessment

will be updated based on the additional findings from the

ongoing experiments. The recognized improvements will be

carried out together with a heat integration for the process.

The assessment will be complemented by analysing different

CO 2

capture options and electrolyser comparisons. Based on

the techno-economic feasibility and life cycle assessments

(LCA) of the value chain, business opportunities, future

demonstrations, and impact of policy framework will be

evaluated together with the project partners from the industry.

Inputs Price Outputs Price





CO 2


45 EUR/


550 EUR/


50 EUR/



900 EUR/








20 EUR/


40 EUR/









Annual plant









(20 years

and 8 %

WACC for




Table 1. Main assumptions used in techno-economic calculations.

Figure 2. Results of technoeconomic

assessment and

sensitivity analysis.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 43

From Science & Research

Catalysis: key for sustainable



Catalysts are indispensable in the chemical industry.

In more than 80 % of all industrial chemical conversions

one or more catalysts are involved. A catalyst lowers the

activation energy of a reaction. In practice this means it

speeds up a reaction. Therefore, catalysed reactions are

more energy-efficient compared to non-catalysed reactions.

Thus, catalysts contribute to the sustainable production of

chemicals, materials, and fuels.

Traditionally, catalysts are divided into three different

categories i.e., heterogeneous catalysts (often solid

materials with reactants/products in gas phase or liquid

phase), homogeneous catalysts (often solutions containing

both the catalysts and the reactants/products), and

biocatalysts (either homogeneous or heterogeneous; they

include enzymes (see bM 01/21) and microbes).

All of these catalysts have their own pros and cons as

summarized in Table 1. In general, the heterogeneous

catalysts are very robust and can operate at high

temperatures which results in high productivity per reactor

volume. The homogeneous and biocatalysts are often more

selective and operate at lower temperatures (which is not

necessarily and advantage for exothermic reactions, see

note at Table 1). A major disadvantage of homogeneous

catalysts is their cumbersome separation from the

reaction mixture. Often energy-intensive processes such

as distillation are needed. Nevertheless, all those catalysts

have their own merits and are used depending on the

molecules (and their value) which need to be made.

Table 1: Generalized overview of pros and cons of different types

of catalysts (++: clear strength, -- clear weakness)

Activity per

reactor volume

Activity at low







++ + -

-/+ + ++

Selectivity - + ++

Separation ++ - - +

Note: performing reactions at low temperatures is not necessarily

a holy grail. When exothermic reactions are performed at low

temperatures it is very difficult to cool away the produced heat

since heat exchangers are not efficient at low temperatures.

Challenges for catalysis

Currently, most bulk industrial processes use fossil

feedstocks i.e., coal, oil, and gas to make our needed

chemicals, materials, and fuels. The current catalysts

are optimized for converting these feedstocks. However,

for sustainability reasons, new feedstocks like biomass

and recycled materials such as polymers/plastics become

more important. Since these feedstocks are often more

functionalized with, for example, oxygen and nitrogen

functionalities new catalysts are needed to deal with these

feedstocks as the traditional feedstocks contain mainly

carbon and hydrogen (hydrocarbons).

In addition, reactions are traditionally driven by heat input

which means the burning of fossil fuels. Alternatives like

renewable electricity and light as energy inputs are emerging.

This also requires new catalysts that can deal with these new

forms of energy input.

From a chemical point of view, noble metals are preferred

as catalysts since they are in general stable under different

reaction conditions. However, these metals are scarce and

not well available, especially when considering industrial

scale productions. Therefore, readily available alternatives

are sought for as catalytic active materials.

Replacement of noble metals from Pd to

W-carbide and Mo-carbides

An example where new biobased feedstocks and new

catalysts based on non-noble metals are combined is the

deoxygenation of lipid-based feedstocks to alkanes and

alkenes [1, 2, 3]. Especially the alkenes are interesting

since they can serve as building blocks for surfactants and


Already since the 70s of the last century [4], it was known that

tungsten carbide has similar catalytic properties as platinum.

Therefore, this carbide as well as molybdenum carbide can

potentially serve as a replacement for noble metals.

In the research at Wageningen University (The Netherlands)

supported tungsten and molybdenum carbides were used to

replace palladium (Pd) in the deoxygenation of lipid-based

feedstocks. Figure 1 (top) shows a typical activity plot of

a carbon-supported tungsten carbide catalyst during the

deoxygenation of the model compound stearic acid. In addition,

Figure 1 (bottom) shows a macroscopic and microscopic view

of such a catalyst. One of the key features of this catalyst is the

fact that it produces alkenes even in the presence of hydrogen.

Thus, this catalyst is selective towards products, the alkenes,

which cannot be made under the same conditions using noble

metals. In the latter case only fully hydrogenated products, the

alkanes, were observed. This shows the potential of this kind

of catalyst, though further optimization and understanding of

the catalyst is needed to make an industrially viable process.

Stabilization of non-noble metals

One of the major challenges when using non-noble metals

as catalysts, especially under conditions relevant for biomass

conversion i.e., in water, is the stability of the catalyst. Nonnoble

metals can easily oxidize in water forming metal oxides

44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Figure 1: left: typical product distribution of stearic acid (a C18

carboxylic acid) deoxygenation over a carbon supported W2C catalyst

in a batch reactor (T=350oC, 30 bar H2); middle: macroscopic view

of a carbon-based catalyst; right: Transmission electromicrograph

of a carbon supported W2C catalyst (dark spots are the tungsten







0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800



Wageningen University,

Biobased Chemistry and Technology

However, it was shown [5] that the reaction conditions can

have a significant stabilizing effect on the nickel particles

even in aqueous conditions. Figure 2B shows that adding

hydrogen to the gas phase does to a certain extent stabilize

the nickel particles i.e., the surface area does not decrease,

during the aqueous phase processing of ethylene glycol.

This is because adding hydrogen keeps the nickel reduced

and reduced metals do not dissolve as discussed above:

a hydroxide or oxide is needed for that. Figure 2B also

shows that adding a base to the solution also stabilizes

nickel particles. This is because at higher pH levels nickel

hydroxide is less soluble and therefore less leaching occurs

and as a result less growth of the metal particles via

Ostwald ripening is observed. This clearly shows that nonnoble

metals have great potential also for aqueous phase


Use of electricity

With the expected increased availability of renewable

electricity, the field of electrochemistry and electrocatalysis

regained interest. A prime example of the use of

electrocatalysis is the production of bulk chemicals and fuels

from CO 2

. However, also in the field of chemicals produced

from renewable or recycled feedstocks electrochemistry

and electrocatalysis can play an important role. For

example, Kwon et al. [6] showed that paired electrolysis

From Science & Research

Figure 2 A: Ni particle growth during aqueous processing; B:

Stabilizing effects of H 2

in gas phase or base in solution during

aqueous phase processing of ethylene glycol.

and metal hydroxides which have a low though significant

solubility. When that happens the heterogeneous catalyst

slowly dissolves a process which is called metal leaching.

While this often leads to the deactivation of the catalyst it

is important to note that dissolved metals can also have

catalytic activity. However, one of the major advantages

of using a heterogeneous catalyst i.e., that it is easy to

separate from the reaction medium is lost in that case.

Therefore, catalyst leaching is undesired. Figure 2 shows

electron micrographs of a nickel (Ni) on carbon catalyst

before and after use in the aqueous phase conversion of a

polyol (in this case ethylene glycol (EG)) to hydrogen and CO 2

(this is a way to produce biobased hydrogen). Clearly, the

nickel particles were increased in size during reaction. This

is what is generally observed for non-noble metals under

aqueous conditions [5].






500 nm

10 % EG / Water

230 °C

200 nm

In liquid-phase reactions, the growth of metal particles

often proceeds via a mechanism called Ostwald ripening.

The metal dissolves from the smaller Ni particles as

hydroxide and precipitates on the larger particles. In that

way, the surface tension of the metal particles is decreased

which is thermodynamically favourable.




bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 45

From Science & Research

of furanic compounds is possible. In that approach both at

the anode of the electrochemical cell and at the cathode a

relevant reaction takes place (Figure 3). The span of this

approach is currently under investigation. For example,

the research at Wageningen University indicates that it is

possible to oxidize larger biopolymers such as starch in

such a paired electrolysis cell. They focus on oxidation in

this case which will result in oxidized starch which can act

as a replacement of fossil-based polyacrylates and be used

for example as super absorbers.


Catalysis will remain at the heart of the chemical industry

also in the future and is key to sustainable production. But

the nature of the catalysts will need to change. Catalysts

have to deal with new feedstocks (biomass, CO 2

, recycled

polymers, etc.) and energy inputs might change from heat

to alternatives like light and electricity. This requires new

catalysts and catalytic processes. In addition, the scarcity

of certain elements, most notable noble metals, will require

the development of new catalysts based on readily available



[1] Gosselink R.W., D.R. Stellwagen and J.H. Bitter, Tungsten-Based

Catalysts for Selective Deoxygenation, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Eng., 2013,

52(19), 5089-5092

[2] Souza Macedo L., R. R. Oliveira Jr., T. van Haasterecht, V. Teixeira da

Silva and J.H. Bitter, Influence of synthesis method on molybdenum

carbide crystal structure and catalytic performance in stearic acid

hydrodeoxygenation, Appl.Catal.B: Environmental, 241 (2019) 81-88

[3]Fuhrer M., T. van Haasterecht and J.H. Bitter, Molybdenum and tungsten

carbides can shine too., Catal. Sci. Technol., 2020, 10, 6089-6097

[4] Levy R.B., M. Boudart, Platinum-like behavior of tungsten carbide in

surface catalysis, Science, 1973, 4099(181), 547-549

[5] Haasterecht van T., C.C.I. Ludding, K.P. de Jong, J.H. Bitter, Toward

stable nickel catalysts for aqueous phase reforming of biomass-derived

feedstock under reducing and alkaline conditions, J.Catal., 319 (2014)


[6]Kwon Y., K.J.P. Schouten, J.C. van der Waal, E. de Jong and M.T.M. Koper,

electocatalytic conversion of furanic compounds, ACS Catalysis, 2016,

6, 6704-6717.

Figure 3: left: schematic representation of a paired electrolysis cell

(Kwon 2016); right: experimental cell as used in the lab.


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46 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16












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bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 47


Biomimetics hold the key to

the future of multiuse plastics

How the human immune system can inspire innovation


ravelling up to 360 kilometres an hour, the

Shinkansen is among the world’s fastest trains.

However, its rapid speeds caused a problem. When

travelling through tunnels, compressed air would create

a loud, disruptive boom. The solution? Biomimetics.

Redesigning the train to resemble a kingfisher, a bird evolved

to plunge into water at speed, the train became faster,

quieter, and more powerful than before. Here, Michaël

van der Jagt, CEO of antimicrobial additive developer, Parx

Materials, explains potential applications for biomimicry in

antimicrobial applications.


Biomimicry, literally meaning imitation of the living, takes

inspiration from natural selection and translates this into

science, engineering and ultimately, product design. The

concept is based on the idea that, throughout history, nature

fixes most of its problems itself. In fact, you could argue

that animals, plants and microorganisms — including the

kingfisher — are the world’s most experienced engineers.

Despite the clear argument for biomimetics, many of

today’s products are working in stark contrast to how

nature intended. Plastics, and the antimicrobial additives

increasingly used in plastics, are prime examples of this.

Additives for antimicrobial plastics

Most of today’s antimicrobial plastics, and specifically, the

additives used in these materials to ensure efficacy against

bacteria, are made by using silver ions. These heavy metals

are incredibly effective at killing bacteria, but they are not

sustainable, safe, and importantly, they work in a way that is

fighting against nature.

Consider how these additives work. To be effective, ions

are transported into the cells of bacteria to prevent cell

division. This is achieved by binding to their DNA, blocking

the bacterial respiratory system, destroying energy

production and essentially suffocating the bacteria. There

is no way of achieving this without the ions leaching from

the material.

Thankfully, there is a biomimetic alternative. The human

skin provides an ideal example of how a material could

naturally protect against bacteria. Rather than leaching out

metal, healthy skin will simply not allow bacteria to attach

or proliferate – it is this proliferation that leads to infection.

Instead, bacteria live out a typical lifecycle and die naturally.

Scientific research suggests this can be attributed to an

element naturally found in the human body, zinc. Specifically,

a trace element of zinc.

But isn’t zinc a metal too?

Unlike silver ions that leach out of materials and into the

environment, a trace element of zinc can be used to change

the mechanism of a material entirely. Rather than the zinc

itself killing the bacteria, the material’s characteristics

are manipulated to ensure bacterial attachment and

proliferation is not possible.

New additive mimics the behaviour of human


Parx Materials has developed Saniconcentrate️ based on

this method. Containing no biocides, silver, harmful or toxic

substances, the additive mimics the behaviour of human

skin and prevents bacterial attachment. Tests carried out

by an authorised laboratory evidenced that Saniconcentrate

reduced the amount of Covid-19 on surfaces by 99 % [1] in

just 24 hours. Other tests confirmed efficacy against MRSA,

listeria, salmonella, and Escherichia coli.

The technique achieves this without the migration of heavy

metals, something that could be leading us to disastrous

consequences for public health. When a holistic approach

is available, it is alarming that metal-containing additives

are commonly used in a wide range of consumer goods –

like children’s toys. What’s more, their use is accelerating

48 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16



Leading compounding technology

for heat- and shear-sensitive plastics


Michaël van der Jagt, CEO

Parx Materials

Rotterdam,The Netherlands

with increasing demand for antimicrobial materials amid

the pandemic.

Saniconcentrate can also be added to polymer materials,

including recycled plastics and bioplastics. It changes

their intrinsic properties to ensure safe, effective, and

long-lasting antimicrobial action. With a proven >99.9 %

reduction [2] in bacterial growth and effectiveness against

fungi and biofilms, it has some diverse and important

potential applications.

Testing has shown that Saniconcentrate can keep food

fresher for longer [3] and minimise the risk of bacterial

contamination. Using it in clothing manufacture [4] can

tackle issues with odour or microbial colonisation. In clinical

settings [5], Saniconcentrate offers a unique approach to

wound healing and medical implants that can combat the

challenging issues of antimicrobial resistance and biofilm


And as the kingfisher’s streamlined beak solved the

problems of the Japanese bullet train, the human skin has

the potential to inspire the future of antimicrobial plastics.

More so, the biomimetic method could steer us away from

the potentially dangerous consequences of overusing heavy

metal ions and put us back into alignment with nature. After

all, nature knows best.

[1] Saniconcentrate️ proven to reduce coronavirus on surfaces by up to

99% without harmful toxins,

[2] Preventing bacteria and keeping surfaces hygienic,


[3] Food fresher for longer,

[4] Anti-odor technology that does not wash out,

[5] Reducing infection risk and improve wound healing,


Uniquely efficient. Incredibly versatile. Amazingly flexible.

With its new COMPEO Kneader series, BUSS continues

to offer continuous compounding solutions that set the

standard for heat- and shear-sensitive applications, in all

industries, including for biopolymers.

• Moderate, uniform shear rates

• Extremely low temperature profile

• Efficient injection of liquid components

• Precise temperature control

• High filler loadings

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 49


Green additivation

Expanding material suitability, evolving process interests, and

extending sustainability benefits

The efficiency of bioplastics and the role of additives is

well documented in current literature, nevertheless, it

is still an area of high interest for material processors.

This may be due to the extensive selection process involved in

finding the right additives concerning various performance

parameters. It can be challenging, for example, to maximize

the benefits and desired properties of a base polymer, while

exploring the possibility of recycling – the right additive

is needed. Thus, the purpose of this article is to present

various aspects pertaining to additives and representative

strategies to help the users pick the most suitable additives

for their end process.

Additive identification

Literature indicates the potential

approaches of additive development to

consist of: traditional (synthetic) additives

with minimum health and environmental

concerns, renewable additives (may or may

not be biodegradable), and green additives

(principally biobased and biodegradable).

The FINE Green additives are the

oleochemicals prepared from raw materials

derived from refined vegetable oils. These

are potentially the most suitable additives

for a variety of polymers as they can lower

the carbon footprint and impart excellent

end-properties. Fine Green additives can

assist the polymer processors to effectively

resolve the processing challenges by

rendering the required functionality.

Additive surface migration is influenced by various

molecular interactions between an additive phase, base

polymer phase, and other components. The migration is

typically controlled by a concentration gradient, competing

thermodynamic effects (polarity), and kinetic factors

(prominent during and after processing) such as melt flow,

crystallinity/amorphous domains (amorphous domain

facilitates migration, whereas crystalline domain may

retard the rate of migration), and the presence of fillers

(interaction with the additive may influence migration rate

– adsorption/absorption). The process, therefore, is an

evident interplay of multiple parameters, which are to be

evaluated concurrently.

Expanding material suitability

Bioplastics (both biobased and biodegradable), like

conventional polymers, typically demand excellent melt

flow properties, tuning of rheology, and lubrication to

minimize any undesired effect on intrinsic base polymer

properties. These demands are applicable to plastics

designed with the focus on sustainability that goes beyond

the material’sorigin, as well as to reprocessing/recycling

processes. Biopolymers can be divided into different

classes including biopolyesters, polysaccharides, biobased

polyamides/polyolefins, and so on. In all of them, the additives

are critically required to achieve optimum processing and

end-properties. For example, like the process limitations

of PVC (due to the presence of -Cl in polymer backbone),

the class of polyesters/polysaccharides can also be

difficult to process due to the presence of -OH/other polar

hydrophilic functionalities. This can be increased during

the melt-blending processes in the presence of shear.

Green additives can offer excellent flow properties, surface

functionalization, after-melt processing (in

the end-application) and thus, can be wellsuited

for all the abovementioned base

polymers and melt blending processes.

Evolving process interest

Additives are known to complement

the base polymers in their corresponding

areas of shortcoming. In the case of PVC,

effective lubricants have been known to

offer improved melt flow, which leads to

extended heat stability and thus provide a

wider processing window. Further, the role

of slip additives is fairly critical to attain

high process-efficiency and quality in

polyolefin films. A similar rationale can be

applied to bioplastics, where the inherent

chemical properties may lead to processing


The key to optimization lies in considering what the most

critical factors during the processing phase are and then

selecting the most suitable additive to enhance the process.

Extending sustainability benefits

Various articles by bioplastics experts have also

mentioned the advantages offered by green additives. They

can be the first step to include sustainability in various

applications typically made from fossil-based polymers or

they can replace fossil-based additives in polymers based

on renewable sources, which would increase the amount

of biobased carbon and thus contribute to an even more

sustainable recipe. While additives typically constitute a

relatively small fraction of the material, they can positively

contribute to the bigger picture as they are a part of a

holistic approach to protecting the environment. Thus, the

Fine Green additives can potentially be the most suitable

additive solutions to address the requirements of the

various polymer processes. MT

50 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16


Amrita V. Poyekar

Senior Technical Manager – Product Application

Fine Organics

Mumbai, India


End-process Additive FINE Green Additives Function

Film blowing

Sheet extrusion

Slip additive

Finawax E

Reduced co-efficient of friction on film surface

Hydrophobic surface (better protection from moisture)

Improved scratch resistance

Effective processing in extrusion Can control shear-induced premature

Extrusion Lubricant & Melt Finawax B


flow enhancers

Moulding Finawax S Good mould release/denesting

Sheet extrusion

Injection moulding



Film/sheet extrusion


Antiscratch &

Mould release

Finalux PET 350

Minimized surface scratching, superior aesthetic

Better mould release

Plasticizer FinaFlex 1200 Optimum melt-flow during processing




Film/sheet extrusion

FinaSperse DT 500 N

additives & MPAs


dispersion of pigments/fillers

Processing benefits


Stay in the loop!


for free!



for free!



for free!


bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 51


Improved coextrusion

Biopolymer extrusion coating with edge encapsulation

increases line speed and reduces coat weight

SAM North America uses an EDI ® feedblock from

Nordson to more than double the line speed in extrusion

coating of PLA and reduce coat weight by 40 %

Technologies developed by Sam North America (Phoenix,

New York, USA) and Nordson Corporation (Chippewa

Falls, Wisconsin, USA) have made it possible to increase

throughput and reduce coat weight in the extrusion coating

of biopolymers such as PLA by encapsulating the edges of

the coating with LDPE.

While conventional coextrusion yields two or more

materials in horizontal layers, special encapsulating

inserts developed by Nordson for its coextrusion feedblock

make it possible to extrude additional material along either

edge of this horizontal structure. Using this technique,

Sam North America has found that encapsulating a PLA

coextrusion with edges of LDPE makes it possible to offset

deficiencies of PLA – in particular, its low melt strength –

that have limited its melt curtain stability, draw-down ratio,

line speed, and coat weight.

“Using LDPE edge encapsulation on our pilot line, we

have achieved line speeds in excess of 366 mpm (metre per

minute) (1200 fpm) with PLA, as against less than 183 mpm

(600 fpm) with PLA alone,” said Ed Lincoln, V.P. Extrusion

Sales of Sam North America. “We have seen coat weight

reduced from 16 gsm (gram per square metre) to less than

10 gsm.”

The high melt strength of LDPE has helped make this

polymer by far the most widely used in extrusion coating.

“For processors wishing to replace some portion of their

LDPE usage with biopolymers, a main obstacle has been

that their lower melt strength causes extreme neck-in

and edge instability at desirable line speeds,” said Sam

Iuliano, Chief Technologist for Nordson’s EDI extrusion

die and feedblock business. “By introducing a higher-melt

strength material on each edge of the melt curtain, edge

encapsulation minimizes the processing limitations posed

by many biopolymers.”

Neck-in is the tendency of the polymer web to become

narrower as tension is applied when it exits the die. The

result is a build-up of material along the edges of the web,

or edge bead, that must subsequently be trimmed away as

scrap. To ensure that this edge bead consists of the lowestcost

polymer in the coextruded structure, Nordson has

developed customizable feedblock inserts that introduce

flow of the low-cost polymer only at the edges of the

structure. The combined materials are then distributed to

the final target width in the flow channel or manifold of the


While the encapsulation inserts can be readily retrofitted

into existing EDI feedblocks, Nordson offers new EDI

dies equipped with the EPC️ deckle system, which can

be adjusted to reduce edge bead formation, and a melt

flow system in which the edge encapsulation polymer is

introduced in the die rather than in the feedblock. The port

for introducing the encapsulation polymer moves in concert

with the deckle mechanism.

“By introducing the encapsulation polymer at this point in

the process, the interface between it and the core structure

is more defined and the transition overlap between the

encapsulation material and the biopolymer material is

reduced,” said Sam Iuliano. “The die limits the formation of

edge bead and reduces the amount of edge trim.”

Sam North America has also developed coextrusion

techniques for encapsulating biopolymer structures with

LDPE that permit rapid change-over between conventional

and biopolymer coatings. The technology addresses the

wide differences in processing properties between the two

materials. Andy Christie, managing director of Sam North

America, will introduce the technology at the Extrusion 2021

Conference, September 21 – 23 at the Donald E. Stephens

Convention Center, Rosemont, Illinois, USA. MT |

actual die width

extruded film width

chill roll

Schematic above, with upper die and feedblock halves removed,

shows encapsulation achieved with Nordson feedblock insert

(circled); schematics below show a new EDI EPC die, with

encapsulating polymer introduced in the die rather than in the


52 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Think big, build small

Sulzer’s processing technologies enable effective small-scale

bioplastic manufacturing



he demand for sustainable bioplastics is booming,

offering unique opportunities to manufacturers

entering this market. Small-scale facilities are ideal

for new players in the industry as they represent low capital

investments with quick returns. When a business in China

wanted to develop one of the first fully integrated sugar-to-

PLA (polylactic acid) plants in the country, Sulzer (Winterthur,

Switzerland) delivered a customized project. This allowed

the manufacturer to swiftly begin producing 30,000 tonnes of

biobased, recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable PLA

bioplastic annually.

PLA can be obtained from sugar-rich crops, such as corn

and cassava. More precisely, these are used to produce lactic

acid and raw lactide, which are then purified and polymerized

to obtain high-quality plastics.

Thanks to its characteristics, the demand for innovative

sustainable bioplastics, such as PLA, has skyrocketed in

recent years with the global market size expected to register

a double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of

16 % from 2020 to 2027. The expansion of this sector is

also shaping manufacturing activities in China, the world’s

leading producer of plastic, which is responsible for 31 % of

the global production of plastic materials.

Businesses interested in manufacturing PLA bioplastics

and entering this growing market can benefit from a product

with applications in a wide range of industries. To quickly

enter this sector, while minimizing any capital risk, smallscale

facilities and infrastructures are ideal. Moreover, these

can be built closer to where raw materials are sourced,

supporting the creation of localized manufacturing and

supply centres.

When good things come in small … plants!

These are some of the reasons why a company interested

in building one of the first fully-integrated sugar-to-PLA

plants in China took this approach. To quickly create an

infrastructure with an annual PLA capacity of 30,000 tonnes,

the company selected Sulzer as its partner. With over

25 years of experience in lactic acid and PLA-related

processes, Sulzer was responsible for the design, basic

engineering packages, supply, commissioning, and start-up.

The customer appreciated Sulzer’s ability to provide a

comprehensive solution for the purification of crude lactide,

polymerization into high-quality PLA and downstream

processing. In addition to the creation of a commercial

small-scale plant, the producer was interested in setting

up a flexible and scalable system that could provide highquality

materials at a competitive price for a wide range of

downstream applications, including food packaging and


Optimizing capital investments

To address these requirements, Sulzer proposed both stickbuilt

or skid-mounted, modular, fully-integrated designs.

This comprised distillation and crystallization units, static

mixer reactors (SMRs) for polymerization as well as degassing

(devolatilization) and pelletizing technologies. More precisely,

the combination of distillation and crystallization methods

allowed the manufacturer to achieve high purity levels while

preserving the chemical, physical, and mechanical properties

of lactide as well as optimizing energy usage.

The use of Sulzer’s SMRs created a highly homogeneous

melt to obtain high-quality, consistent PLA polymer products

while cutting the volume of waste and off-spec materials.

Moreover, as they do not have any moving parts, the SMRs

consume less energy and require less maintenance than

alternative solutions, considerably reducing operational


The system design also supported the mixing of additives in

the melt for pre-compounding PLA prior to the pelletization

stage. This further lowered energy utilization and reduced

the risk of thermal degradation while limiting the number

of processing units on the line, minimizing capital and

operational expenses.

Sulzer collaborated with MAAG Group (Oberglatt,

Switzerland), which provided its specialist, state-of-the-art

vacorex ® x6 class extraction gear pump technology for the

polymerization and devolatilization stages. In the degassing

units, the melt pumps were used to create the necessary

pressure to process the melt through the downstream

equipment up to the underwater pelletizer.

In addition to fulfilling the key system requirements, Maag

Group’s technology helped Sulzer and therefore the customer

to further reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide

emissions. As a result, the plant could leverage an extremely

sustainable setup to produce PLA bioplastic.

The power of a leading technology partner

In less than two years, Sulzer’s specialized teams were able

to complete the entire project from design to the start-up of

the crude lactide to PLA and downstream line. One of the main

advantages of the partnership with Sulzer reported by the

Chinese company was the ability of the process technology

specialist to act as a full-service provider and take care of the

entire project, allowing the manufacturer to focus on other

areas of its business. This streamlined the development of

a highly effective fully integrated PLA plant and enabled the

company to quickly enter the bioplastic market.

While the current setup allows the PLA manufacturer to

produce 30,000 tonnes of bioplastic per year, the modular

system that was developed by Sulzer can be easily scaled

up, supporting future expansion projects. As a result, the

bioplastic manufacturer can adapt to future market demands

and grow its business effectively as well as sustainably. Details

about the Chinese customer were not disclosed. MT

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 53





Michael Thielen

CH 3


| |

— C — C —

| |




Among the most important and most commonly

used plastics are polyolefins (polyethylene PE and

polypropylene PP). They are easily recognised by the

fact that their density is less than 1 g/cm³ – i.e. they float

in water. Both PE and PP can be produced from renewable


Polypropylene has a wide range of applications,

spanning automobile parts to medical care products, home

appliances, housing and food products [1]. The annual

production capacity worldwide is about 80 million tonnes

(2018) [2].


There are several possibilities for producing the

monomer propylene C 3

H 6

from renewable resources [1].

In 2008 and at the K-fair 2010, Braskem (Brazil)

announced they were planning a propylene plant using

sugarcane as a feedstock resource, fermented to ethanol.

Although the company has not revealed the renewable

source of its bio-PP, Braskem has been working on making

PP from biomass, such as the leftover sugarcane stalks

and leaves [3, 4] .

Another route, as published by Neste (Espoo, Finland)

is to use biobased raw materials - primarily waste and

residue oils and fats, such as used cooking oil to produce

renewable feedstock called Neste RE️. Neste RE is

suitable to replace conventional fossil resource-based

feedstock at existing polymers and chemicals production

facilities. Neste is cooperating with several companies to

produce bio-based and renewable polymers and chemicals

such as bio-based PP and bio-based PE from their Neste


Neste collaborated with German LyondellBasell

to produce bio-based polypropylene and bio-based

polyethylene for the first time in the world on a commercial

scale. The production took place at LyondellBasell’s

Wesseling plant (near Cologne, Germany) as announced

in June 2019 [5, 8, 9, 10]. In April 2021, LyondellBasell

launched the Circulen family of products, and in June

2021 LyondellBasell and Neste announced a long-term

commercial agreement under which LyondellBasell will

source Neste RE to be processed into polymers and sold

under the CirculenRenew brand name.

LyondellBasell offers potential customers an approx.

30 % biobased PP variant made from Neste’s raw material.

With growing demand, higher contents of biogenic raw

materials are also possible, and the volumes can potentially

become significantly larger. Depending on how these

processes and approaches develop, biobased contents of

up to approx. 75 % are possible in the next years. Depending

on the biobased content and market conditions, a significant

price premium (in the order of 50–100 %) can be expected.

In the future, however, the additional costs could be offset

by a CO 2

-tax [12].

Another cooperation partner of Neste using a different

production approach is Borealis (headquartered in

Vienna, Austria) [11]. In 2020 Borealis started to produce

polypropylene (PP) based on Neste RE renewable feedstock

in its production facilities in Kallo and Beringen, Belgium.

After producing renewable propane using its proprietary

NextBTL️ technology (BTL = biomass to liquid), Neste

sells the renewable propane to the Borealis propane

dehydrogenation plant in Kallo. Here it is converted to

renewable propylene, then subsequently to renewable PP.

The third processing route to produce bio-PP was

announced in 2019 by Japanese Mitsui Chemical

(headquartered in Minato, Prefecture Tokyo, Japan) in

cooperation with Kasei (Tokyo, Japan) [1].

Their production route involves the fermentation of

various types of biomass – mainly non-edible plants –

to produce isopropanol (IPA), which is then dehydrated

to obtain propylene in a first-of-its-kind IPA method.

Compared to other biomass production approaches studied

by other companies thus far, Mitsui assumes this route

could prove to be a more cost-effective way to manufacture

bio-PP. It was announced that Kaisei would cultivate

biomass raw materials used by Mitsui Chemicals, collect

wastes generated from biomass raw materials, and supply

electricity to manufacturing facilities and manufactures

fertilizers through its effective use.

In May 2021, Mitsui Chemical also launched a

cooperation with Neste and Toyota Tsusho, introducing

Neste-produced bio-based hydrocarbons as feedstock

for their crackers to eventually produce plastics such as

polyethylene and polypropylene. In addition to these, Neste

is also collaborating with LG Chem to develop and grow the

biopolymers and biochemicals market globally, and more

specifically, in LG Chem’s home market South Korea.

Early adopters

Continuing a partnership established in 2016, Neste and

Ikea (Sweden) announced plans for commercial-scale pilot

production of biobased polypropylene in 2019. The partners

said the facility would be the first large-scale production of

renewable PP globally and be able to also produce renewable

PE. Both polymers would have a renewable content of about

20 %. Initially, Ikea planned to use the new plastic in a few

products in its current range, such as storage boxes. By

2030, the retailer wants all plastic products sold in its stores

to be made of recycled or renewable materials.

54 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

Download the free

bioplastics MAGAZINE













Crude oil

Raw biomass materials

biodiesel by-product,

sustainably produced

vegetable oils,

or used cooking oils

Raw biomass materials


Bio Ethanol

renewable cracker feed


Bio Isopropanol

(Bio IPA)


Bio Propylene

Bio propylene

Bio Propylene


Bio Polypropylene

Bio Polypropylene

Bio Polypropylene


[1] N.N.: Mitsui Chemicals working on commercialisation



[2] N.N.: Global Propylene Market and Polypropylene Market, https://,

Internet access Oct. 2019



[5] Lipponen, K.: Pionierarbeit auch bei biobasierten Kunststoffen,,

Internet access Sept. 2019

[6] N.N.: Kunststoff aus altem Öl und Reststoffen soll zu

Lebensmittelverpackungen werden,


Internet access Sept. 2019

[7] Lipponen, K.: IKEA and Neste take a significant step towards a

fossilfree future,

Internet access Sept.


[8] N.N.: Polyolefins from bio-naphtha / Commercial-scale pilot plant

to start-up in autumn,

NESTE_t240099/, Internet access Sept. 2019

[9] Lipponen, K.: IKEA and Neste take a significant step towards a fossilfree


Internetzugriff März 2020

[10] Stark, A.: Neste und Lyondell Basell starten kommerzielle

Produktion von biobasierten Kunststoffen, https://www.process.,


März 2020

[11] N.N: Borealis produziert zertifiziertes, erneuerbares Polypropylen in



März 2020


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Years ago


This is the short version of a

much more comprehens

article, which can be dow



‘Biodegradable-compostable’ packaging must have the

following characteristics:

• Biodegradability, namely microbial conversion into CO 2


Test method: ISO 14855. Minimum level: 90%. Duration:

less than 6 months. This high CO 2

conversion level must

not be taken as an indication that organic recycling is a sort

of ‘cold incineration’ which therefore does not contribute

to the formation of compost. Under real conditions the

process would also produce substantially more biomass

(compost). Another question: why 90% rather than 100%?

Does this leave a residue of the remaining 10%? The answer

is that experimental factors and the formation of biomass

make it hard to reach 100% accurately; this is why the limit

of acceptability was established at 90% rather than 100%.

• Disintegratability, namely fragmentation and invisibility

in the final compost. Test method: EN 14045/ ISO 16929.

Samples of test materials are composted together with

organic waste for 3 months. The mass of test material

residue larger than 2 mm must be less than 10% of the

initial mass.

• Levels of heavy metals below pre-defined maximum limits

and absence of negative effects on composting process

and compost quality. Test method: a modified OECD 208

and other analytical tests.

Each of these points is necessary for compostability, but

individually they are not sufficient.


The Role of Standards for

Biodegradable Plastics


Francesco Degli Innocenti

Novamont S.p.A. S

Novara, Italy

‘Home composting’ namely the treatment of grass

cuttings and material from the pruning of plants, is out of the

scope. Home composting takes place at low temperatures

and may not always operate under optimal conditions. The

characteristics defined by Standard EN 13432 do not ensure

that packaging added to a home composter would compost

satisfactorily and in line with the user’s expectations.

All photos: Novamont

56 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16


Published in

bioplastics MAGAZINE

Other Standards

ISO 17088 - Specific ations for Compostable Plastics

ISO has drawn up a standard which specifies the procedures and requirements

for identifying and marking plastics and plastic products suitable for recovery

by aerobic composting. In a similar way to EN 13432, it deals with four aspects:

a) biodegradation; b) disintegration during composting; c) negative effects on

composting; d) negative effects on the resulting compost quality, including the

presence of metals and other compounds subject to restrictions or dangers. It

is important to note that the standard makes explicit reference to the European

Packaging Directive in the event of application in Europe: “The labelling will, in

addition, have to conform to all international, regional, national or local regulations

(e.g. European Directive 94/62/EC)”.

ASTM D6400 - Standard Specific ation

for Compostable Plastics

ASTM D 6400 produced by ASTM International was the first standard to

determine whether plastics can be composted satisfactorily and biodegrade at a

speed comparable to known compostable materials. ASTM D6400 is similar to EN

13432 but: (1) the limit of biodegradation which is otherwise 90% is reduced to 60%

for homopolymers and copolymers with random distribution of monomers (2) test

duration, which is set at 180 days, is extended to 365 days if the test is conducted

with radioactive material in order to measure the evolution of radioactive CO 2


EN 14995 Plastic materials - Assessment of

compostability - Test and specific ation system

It is complementary to EN 13432. Indeed, EN 13432 specifi es the characteristics

of packaging that can be recycled through organic recovery and therefore excludes

compostable plastic materials not used as packaging (e.g. compostable cutlery,

compostable bags for waste collection). EN 14995 fi lled this gap. From a technical

perspective EN 14995 is equivalent to EN 13432.



tandardisation plays a crucial role for bioplastics. Biodegradability, bio-based

content, carbon-footprint etc. cannot be noted directly by consumers. However,

the commercial success of these products rests precisely on claims of

this kind. In order to guarantee market transparency, normative instruments are

needed to link declarations, which are used as advertising messages, and the actual

characteristics and benefits of the products. Standards are necessary to consumers,

companies competing on the market, as well as public authorities. Standardisation

is not science. In some debates these two sectors become dangerously

confused. Science aims to find, describe, and correlate phenomena, independent

of the time scale and their actual importance to daily life. Standardisation seeks to

instil order and find technical solutions to specific practical problems with a social,

political and scientific consensus. The question of biodegradability is complex and

can give rise to significant debates. Key point is time scale. At academic level even

traditional ‘non-biodegradable’ plastics can be shown to biodegrade, over a very

long period of time. However, such biodegradation rates are clearly unsuited to

the needs of society. Biodegradable materials are an attempt to find solutions to a

problem of our society: waste. Waste is produced at a very high rate and therefore

the disposal rate must be comparable, in order to avoid accumulation. Incineration

is widely adopted precisely because it is a fast process. There would be no interest

in a hypothetical ‘slow combustion’ incinerator because waste does not wait, and

quickly builds up. The same principle applies to biodegradation, which must be fast

in order to be useful.

Standard EN 13432 has been fully applied in Europe

also in the certification sector. It recently became of great

importance in Italy with the entry into force of the ban on the

sale of non-biodegradable carrier bags on 1 January 2011.

Indeed, the law establishes the ban on bags that are not

biodegradable according to criteria established by Community

laws and technical rules approved at a Community level.

The term ‘biodegradable’ has led to a number of debates

owing to the clear commercial implications arising out of the

interpretation of this term. It is true that from an academic

perspective ‘biodegradability’ is a different concept from

‘compostability’ and ‘organic recycling’ (biodegradability

is necessary but not sufficient in itself for compostability).

However, the legal reference in Europe for packaging (and

carrier bags are packaging) must be the Directive that in fact

considers biodegradability as the necessary characteristic

for the biological recovery of packaging (organic recycling),

as noted above.

It is therefore through the application of harmonised

European standard EN 13432, in light of the definitions of

the Packaging Directive, that we can differentiate between

biodegradable packaging (which can therefore be recovered

by means of organic recycling) and non-biodegradable


It should be noted that harmonised standards (such as

EN 13432) are voluntary. However, companies that place

packaging on the market which uses harmonised standards

already enjoy presumed conformity. If the manufacturer

chooses not to follow a harmonised standard, he has the

obligation to prove that his products are in conformity with

essential requirements by the use of other means of his own

choice (other technical specifications). Alternatives to the EN

13432 are described in the next section, even if, as noted, they

do not automatically grant the presumption of conformity.

Harmonised Standard EN 13432

The origin and regulatory framework

Only packaging materials that meet the so-called ‘essential requirements’

specified under the European Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/

EC) can be placed on the market in Europe. The verification of conformity to

such requirements is entrusted to the application of the harmonised European

standards prepared by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN),

following the principles of the so-called ‘new approach’ [1]. European lawmakers

specified their intentions regarding organic recycling (“the aerobic (composting)

or anaerobic (biomethanization) treatment, under controlled conditions and using

micro-organisms, of the biodegradable parts of packaging waste, which produces

stabilized organic residues and methane. Landfill shall not be considered a form

of organic recycling.”) albeit in a somewhat convoluted manner, in Annex II to the

Directive, when they provide the definitions of essential requirements. CEN was

appointed to draw up “the standard intended to give presumption of conformity

with essential requirements for packaging recoverable in the form of composting

or biodegradation” in line with ‘Annex II § 3, (c) Packaging recoverable in the form

of composting and (d) Biodegradable packaging’ of the Directive. The outcome was

standard EN 13432 ‘Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting

and biodegradation - Test scheme and evaluation criteria for the final acceptance of

packaging’. It is interesting to remark that composting, biodegradation and organic

recycling are used synonymously when applied to packaging.

The fi rst plastics to be sold in Italy under the term ‘biodegradable’, at the end of

the 1980s, were made from polyethylene to which small amounts of biodegradable

substances (ca. 5% starch) or ‘pro-oxidants’ had been added. These products

were most widespread during the period in which a 100 lira tax was levied on

carrier bags made from non-biodegradable plastic (minimum biodegradation:

90%). To avoid the tax, many plastic bag producers switched to ‘biodegradable’

plastics. The lack of standardised definitions and measuring methods gave

rise to a situation of anarchy. The market for these biodegradable plastic bags

immediately dried up when, having clarifi e d the real nature of the materials

on sale, the tax was extended to all plastic bags, thereby bringing an end to an

unsuccessful project. In this case the government had anticipated a future period

of technical and scientifi c progress and standardisation. Nowadays the situation

is different. We now have a clear legal framework, standard test methods and

criteria for the unambiguous defi nition of biodegradability and compostabi

The complete, and above all enduring, commerci

applications, such as biodegradable plast

quality and transparency. Sta

importance in th

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/11] Vol. 6 37

In July 2021 Francesco Degli Innocenti,

Director Ecology of Products,

Novamont said:

Ten years ago, there was some

confusion about the role of standards

on compostable packaging. This is

nothing new someone will think smiling…

Following the ban in Italy of noncompostable

shopping bags, a heated

discussion had arisen that would have

led, four years later, to EU Directive

2015/720 on the consumption of lightweight

plastic carrier bags.

The discussions were very confused because

it seemed that many interlocutors

had forgotten the origin and value of the

EN 13432 standard. It seemed important

to me to explain the genesis of the standard

that I had been able to follow since the

first discussions in 1991 and to shed light

on some apparently bizarre choices but in

reality, linked to specific legislative constraints.

The standard, in fact, derives from

the 1994 packaging directive and serves

to demonstrate compliance

with the essential

requirements of the

packaging directive.

After ten years, we

are awaiting the revision

of the packaging

directive and, overall,

this article from 2011 is

still interesting, because

it shows us where the

compostable sector started

from. After 25 years, the

legislative and regulatory

framework must certainly be

improved to keep up with the

times but with targeted interventions

and respect for the

roots, which are embedded in

fertile pioneering European policies

that must not now be sold off

to other continents (actually very

interested to the sector), for hasty


Polylactic Acid

Uhde Inventa-Fischer has expanded its product portfolio to include the in

of-the-art PLAneo ® process. The feedstock for our PLA process is lactic ac

be produced from local agricultural products containing starch or sugar.

The application range of PLA is similar to that of polymers based on fossil r

its physical properties can be tailored to meet packaging, textile and othe

Think. Invest. Earn.

Brand-Owner’s perspective

on bioplastics and how to

unleash its full potential

French-based, zero waste cosmetics brand Lamazuna launched in the UK

last year following a decade of pioneering sustainable products in Europe since

2010. Founded by Laëtitia Van de Walle, Lamazuna was the first French brand

to offer solid toothpaste and deodorant back in 2014, since then they have

continued to innovate with their range of plastic-free products that are naturally

derived, made with organic ingredients and certified Cruelty-Free and Vegan

by PETA, as well as offering circular return programmes for select products.

While bioplastics are not yet suitable for all uses and cannot yet replace

all plastics, its environmental advantages are clear: no use of petroleumbased

material, the end of life is more easily controlled in the future and its

mechanical properties are very similar.

Laëtitia Van de Walle, comments: “We trust in the future of this new

material, but it’s still far from perfect. The increase in the use of bioplastics

could have an impact on land use for plant-based crops such as corn or sugarcane, so

it would be relevant to promote biobased materials from so-called 2 nd and 3 rd generation

waste instead. While we must be aware that any material produced has an impact on

the environment, controlling the life cycle of a product, even in bioplastics, is extremely

important. This is our belief and has influenced our work at Lamazuna for over 11 years.”

Laëtitia Van de Walle,

Founder of Lamazuna

Brand Owner












phone: +49 2161 6884463

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 57

1. Raw Materials

Suppliers Guide



Conrathstraße 7

A-3950 Gmuend, Austria

Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe

Polyester Co., Ltd.

No. 316, South Beijing Rd. Changji,

Xinjiang, 831100, P.R.China

Tel.: +86 994 22 90 90 9

Mob: +86 187 99 283 100

PBAT & PBS resin supplier

Global Biopolymers Co.,Ltd.

Bioplastics compounds


194 Lardproa80 yak 14

Wangthonglang, Bangkok

Thailand 10310

Tel +66 81 9150446

39 mm

Simply contact:

Tel.: +49 2161 6884467

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 listed among top suppliers in the

field of bioplastics.

For Example:

Polymedia Publisher GmbH

Dammer Str. 112

41066 Mönchengladbach


Tel. +49 2161 664864

Fax +49 2161 631045

Sample Charge:

39mm x 6,00 €

= 234,00 € per entry/per issue

Sample Charge for one year:

6 issues x 234,00 EUR = 1,404.00 €

The entry in our Suppliers Guide is

bookable for one year (6 issues) and extends

automatically if it’s not cancelled

three month before expiry.


Ludwigshafen, Germany

Tel: +49 621 60-99951

Gianeco S.r.l.

Via Magenta 57 10128 Torino - Italy


PTT MCC Biochem Co., Ltd. /

Tel: +66(0) 2 140-3563

MCPP Germany GmbH

+49 (0) 211 520 54 662


+33 (0)2 51 65 71 43

Microtec Srl

Via Po’, 53/55

30030, Mellaredo di Pianiga (VE),


Tel.: +39 041 5190621

Fax.: +39 041 5194765

Tel: +86 351-8689356

Fax: +86 351-8689718

Jincheng, Lin‘an, Hangzhou,

Zhejiang 311300, P.R. China

China contact: Grace Jin

mobile: 0086 135 7578 9843


contact(Belgium): Susan Zhang

mobile: 0032 478 991619

Mixcycling Srl

Via dell‘Innovazione, 2

36042 Breganze (VI), Italy

Phone: +39 04451911890

1.1 bio based monomers

1.2 compounds

Cardia Bioplastics

Suite 6, 205-211 Forster Rd

Mt. Waverley, VIC, 3149 Australia

Tel. +61 3 85666800


1000 Chesterbrook Blvd. Suite 300

Berwyn, PA 19312

+1 855 8746736



BioCampus Cologne

Nattermannallee 1

50829 Cologne, Germany

Tel.: +49 221 88 88 94-00

Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co., Ltd.

No.33 Kefeng Rd, Sc. City, Guangzhou

Hi-Tech Ind. Development Zone,

Guangdong, P.R. China. 510663

Tel: +86 (0)20 6622 1696

FKuR Kunststoff GmbH

Siemensring 79

D - 47 877 Willich

Tel. +49 2154 9251-0

Tel.: +49 2154 9251-51


Waldecker Straße 21,

99444 Blankenhain, Germany

Tel. +49 36459 45 0

Green Dot Bioplastics

527 Commercial St Suite 310

Emporia, KS 66801

Tel.: +1 620-273-8919

Plásticos Compuestos S.A.

C/ Basters 15

08184 Palau Solità i Plegamans

Barcelona, Spain

Tel. +34 93 863 96 70

58 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

1.6 masterbatches

4. Bioplastics products

NUREL Engineering Polymers

Ctra. Barcelona, km 329

50016 Zaragoza, Spain

Tel: +34 976 465 579

Sukano AG

Chaltenbodenstraße 23

CH-8834 Schindellegi

Tel. +41 44 787 57 77

Fax +41 44 787 57 78

Biofibre GmbH

Member of Steinl Group

Sonnenring 35

D-84032 Altdorf

Fon: +49 (0)871 308-0

Fax: +49 (0)871 308-183

Natureplast – Biopolynov

11 rue François Arago

14123 IFS

Tel: +33 (0)2 31 83 50 87

Zhejiang Hisun Biomaterials Co.,Ltd.

No.97 Waisha Rd, Jiaojiang District,

Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, China

Tel: +86-576-88827723


- Sheets 2 /3 /4 mm – 1 x 2 m -


Mannheim / Germany

Tel: +49-621-8789-127

1.4 starch-based bioplastics


Biologische Naturverpackungen

Werner-Heisenberg-Strasse 32

46446 Emmerich/Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 2822 – 92510

Plásticos Compuestos S.A.

C/ Basters 15

08184 Palau Solità i Plegamans

Barcelona, Spain

Tel. +34 93 863 96 70


Waldecker Straße 21,

99444 Blankenhain, Germany

Tel. +49 36459 45 0

Albrecht Dinkelaker

Polymer- and Product Development

Talstrasse 83

60437 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Tel.:+49 (0)69 76 89 39 10

Treffert GmbH & Co. KG

In der Weide 17

55411 Bingen am Rhein; Germany

+49 6721 403 0

Treffert S.A.S.

Rue de la Jontière

57255 Sainte-Marie-aux-Chênes,


+33 3 87 31 84 84

Bio4Pack GmbH

Marie-Curie-Straße 5

48529 Nordhorn, Germany

Tel. +49 (0)5921 818 37 00

Plant-based and Compostable PLA Cups and Lids

Great River Plastic Manufacturer

Company Limited

Tel.: +852 95880794


45, 0,90, 0

10, 0, 80,0


C, M, Y, K

50, 0 ,0, 0

0, 0, 0, 0

12, Jalan i-Park SAC 3

Senai Airport City

81400 Senai, Johor, Malaysia

Tel. +60 7 5959 159

Suppliers Guide


Bustadt 40

D-74360 Ilsfeld. Germany

Tel: +49 (0)7062/97687-0

P O L i M E R


Ege Serbest Bolgesi, Koru Sk.,

No.12, Gaziemir, Izmir 35410,


+90 (232) 251 5041

1.3 PLA

Total Corbion PLA bv

Stadhuisplein 70

4203 NS Gorinchem

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 183 695 695

Fax.: +31 183 695 604


Parque Industrial e Empresarial

da Figueira da Foz

Praça das Oliveiras, Lote 126

3090-451 Figueira da Foz – Portugal

Phone: +351 233 403 420

1.5 PHA

Kaneka Belgium N.V.

Nijverheidsstraat 16

2260 Westerlo-Oevel, Belgium

Tel: +32 (0)14 25 78 36

Fax: +32 (0)14 25 78 81

TianAn Biopolymer

No. 68 Dagang 6th Rd,

Beilun, Ningbo, China, 315800

Tel. +86-57 48 68 62 50 2

Fax +86-57 48 68 77 98 0

2. Additives/Secondary raw materials


Waldecker Straße 21,

99444 Blankenhain, Germany

Tel. +49 36459 45 0

3. Semi finished products

3.1 Sheets

Customised Sheet Xtrusion

James Wattstraat 5

7442 DC Nijverdal

The Netherlands

+31 (548) 626 111

Minima Technology Co., Ltd.

Esmy Huang, COO

No.33. Yichang E. Rd., Taipin City,

Taichung County

411, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Tel. +886(4)2277 6888

Fax +883(4)2277 6989

Mobil +886(0)982-829988

Skype esmy325






Natur-Tec ® - Northern Technologies

4201 Woodland Road

Circle Pines, MN 55014 USA

Tel. +1 763.404.8700

Fax +1 763.225.6645

bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 59

9. Services

10. Institutions

10.1 Associations

Suppliers Guide


Via Fauser , 8

28100 Novara - ITALIA

Fax +39.0321.699.601

Tel. +39.0321.699.611

6. Equipment

6.1 Machinery & Molds

Buss AG

Hohenrainstrasse 10

4133 Pratteln / Switzerland

Tel.: +41 61 825 66 00

Fax: +41 61 825 68 58

6.2 Degradability Analyzer

MODA: Biodegradability Analyzer


143-10 Isshiki, Yaizu,



Fax: +81-54-623-8623

7. Plant engineering

Osterfelder Str. 3

46047 Oberhausen

Tel.: +49 (0)208 8598 1227

Innovation Consulting Harald Kaeb


Dr. Harald Kaeb

Tel.: +49 30-28096930

nova-Institut GmbH

Chemiepark Knapsack

Industriestrasse 300

50354 Huerth, Germany

Tel.: +49(0)2233-48-14 40


Bioplastics Consulting

Tel. +49 2161 664864

BPI - The Biodegradable

Products Institute

331 West 57th Street, Suite 415

New York, NY 10019, USA

Tel. +1-888-274-5646

European Bioplastics e.V.

Marienstr. 19/20

10117 Berlin, Germany

Tel. +49 30 284 82 350

Fax +49 30 284 84 359

10.2 Universities

Institut für Kunststofftechnik

Universität Stuttgart

Böblinger Straße 70

70199 Stuttgart

Tel +49 711/685-62831

Michigan State University

Dept. of Chem. Eng & Mat. Sc.

Professor Ramani Narayan

East Lansing MI 48824, USA

Tel. +1 517 719 7163

IfBB – Institute for Bioplastics

and Biocomposites

University of Applied Sciences

and Arts Hanover

Faculty II – Mechanical and

Bioprocess Engineering

Heisterbergallee 12

30453 Hannover, Germany

Tel.: +49 5 11 / 92 96 - 22 69

Fax: +49 5 11 / 92 96 - 99 - 22 69

10.3 Other Institutions


Rick Passenier

Oudebrugsteeg 9

1012JN Amsterdam

The Netherlands

EREMA Engineering Recycling

Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH

Unterfeldstrasse 3

4052 Ansfelden, AUSTRIA

Phone: +43 (0) 732 / 3190-0

Fax: +43 (0) 732 / 3190-23

Green Serendipity

Caroli Buitenhuis

IJburglaan 836

1087 EM Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 6-24216733

Our new



Bioplastics related topics,

i.e., all topics around

biobased and biodegradable

plastics, come in the familiar

green frame.

All topics related to

Advanced Recycling, such

as chemical recycling

or enzymatic degradation

of mixed waste into building

blocks for new plastics have

this turquoise coloured


When it comes to plastics

made of any kind of carbon

source associated with

Carbon Capture & Utilisation

we use this frame colour.

The familiar blue

frame stands for rather

administrative sections,

such as the table of

contents or the “Dear

readers” on page 3.

If a topic belongs to more

than one group, we use

crosshatched frames.

Ochre/green stands for

Carbon Capture &

Bioplastics, e. g., PHA made

from methane.

Articles covering Recycling

and Bioplastics ...

Recycling & Carbon Capture

We’re sure, you got it!

As you may have already noticed, we are expanding our scope of topics. With the main target in focus – getting away from fossil resources – we are strongly

supporting the idea of Renewable Carbon. So, in addition to our traditional bioplastics topics, about biobased and biodegradable plastics, we also started covering

topics from the fields of Carbon Capture and Utilisation as well as Advanced Recycling.

To better differentiate the different overarching topics in the magazine, we modified our layout.

60 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16



now at

the next six issues for €169.– 1)

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for students and

young professionals

1,2) € 99.-

2) aged 35 and below.

Send a scan of your

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or similar proof.

Event Calendar

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by bioplastics MAGAZINE

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2 nd PHA platform World Congress (Hybrid event)

by bioplastics MAGAZINE

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06.10. - 07.10.2021 - Paterna (Valencia)

China International Biodegradable Material Exhibition

18.10. - 20.10.2021 - Shanghai, China

bio!PAC (Hybrid event)

by bioplastics MAGAZINE

03.11. - 04.11.2021 - Düsseldorf, Germany

The Greener Manufacturing Show

10.11. - 11.11.2021 - Colone, Germany


daily updated eventcalendar at



15 th European Bioplastics Conference

30.11. - 01.12.2021 - Berlin, Germany


Bioplastics - CO 2 -based Plastics - Advanced Recycling

Cover Story


Jojanneke Leistra | 20

... is read in 92 countries

... is read in 92 countries

03 / 2021

ISSN 1862-5258 May/Jun



Bottles / Blow Moulding | 14

Joining Bioplastics | 35

bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 16

Carbon Capture | 54

Bioplastics - CO 2 -based Plastics - Advanced Recycling

Cover Story

Great River:

Sustainable and


PLA Cups & Lids | 22


Thermoforming | 23

Toys | 10


Bio-PP | 54

... is read in 92 countries

... is read in 92 countries

04 / 2021

ISSN 1862-5258 Jul / Aug

8 th European Biopolymer Summit

03.02. - 04.02.2022 - London, UK

Plastic beyond Petroleum 2022

28.06. - 30.06.2022 - New York City Area, USA

Subject to changes.

For up to date event-info visit

bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 16

08/05/20 14:31



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and you will get our watch or the book 3)

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 61

Companies in this issue

Company Editorial Advert Company Editorial Advert Company Editorial Advert

4ocean 8

Great River 22 59 nova-Institute 41, 60

Agrana Starch Bioplastics 58 Green Dot Bioplastics 7 58 Novamont 35, 36, 40 60, 64

Aiju 14

Green Serendipity 60 Nurel 39 59

Alpla 32

Gupta Verlag 51 Nutrition Sciences 40

Armann Kaffee 32

Hasbro 13

Oopya 32

Artsana 19

Heley 42

Open.Bio 35

Autogrill 33

Helian 13

Parx Materials 48

Avantium 40

Hydra Marine Sciences 35

Pérez Cardá 15

BASF 35 58 Ikea 54

Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto 42

Bio4Pack 59 Indochine Bio Plastiques 59 plasticker 46

Bioagra) and technology developers 40


Playmobil 13

BioBuddy 13

Innofibre 26

Playbox 13

Bio-Fed Branch of Akro-Plastic 58 INRS 27

Polymediaconsult 60

Biofibre 36 59 Inst. F. Bioplastics & Biocomposites 60 Processium 40

Bioseries 13

Institut f. Kunststofftechnik, Stuttgart 60 PTT/MCC 58

Biotec 59,63

BioWorks 18

Borealis 54

BPI 60

B-Plas 16

Braskem 13, 20, 34

Brightplus 42

Buss 49, 59

Caprowachs, Albrecht Dinkelaker 59

CarbonReUse Finland 42

Cardia Bioplastics 58

Chicco 19

ColorFabb 13

Customized Sheet Xtrusion 59

Damm 40

Danimer Scientific 5

Dantoy 13


Ebrim Rotomoulding 15

Ellen MacArthur Foundation 14

Enel 33

Erema 60

European Bioplastics 37, 60

Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe 17

Falca Toys 15

Fine Organics 50

Finnfoam 42

FKuR 12 2, 58

Fraunhofer UMSICHT 60

Futamura 6, 33

Gehr 59

Gema Polimers 59

Gianeco 58

Givauchan 32

Global Biopolymers 58

Go!PHA 5 60

Grafe 58,59

Institut für Werkstofftechnik und Kunststoffv. IWK 34


Jan & Oscak Foundation 34

JinHui Zhaolong 58

Kaneka 14 59

Kemianteollisuus 42

Kiefel 24

Kiilto 42

Kimberly-Clark 7

Kingfa 58

Kleener Power Solutions 42

Kompuestos 58,59

Krill Design 33

Lactips 32

Lamazuna 57

Lego 12, 21


Lifocolor 27

Luleå University of Technology 40

LyondellBasell 5, 54

Maag Group 43

Mattel 8, 12

Metener 42

Michigan State University 60

Microtec 58

Miel Muria 33

Minima Technology 59

Mirka 42

Mitsui 54

Mixcycling 58

Miyama 18

narocon InnovationConsulting 12 60

Naturabiomat 59

Natureplast-Biopolynov 59

NatureWorks 6

Natur-Tec 59

Neste 5, 42, 54

Puma 34


Saida 60

Sam North America 52

San Pellegrino 33

Sani Marc 26

Silberball 32

Simba-Dickie 13

Spielwarenmesse 12

Sukano 59

Sulzer 53

SunPine 40

Swiss Bioplastics 6

Tecnaro 30 59

Tesa 30

Tianan Biologic Material 14 59

TideOceanMaterial 34

Top Analytica 42

Total-Corbion PLA 59

Treffert 59

Trinseo 5 58

Triwa 34

UFZ 40

Union for Conservation of Nature 34

United Bioplolymers 59

Univ of Quebec 26

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 40

University of Nat.Resources and Life Sciences 40

Valmet 42

Viking Toys 20


VTT 42

Wageningen Univ. 44

Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe Polyester 58

Yizumi 36

Zeijiang Hisun Biomaterials 59

Zhejiang Hangzhou Xinfu Pharmaceutical 58

Granula 59

Next issues







05/2021 Sep/Oct 04.10.2021 03.09.2021 Fiber / Textile /


Nordson 52

Edit. Focus 1 Edit. Focus 2 Basics

Biocomposites incl.


Zoë B Organic 13

Please find more companies on pages 10, 28, 38

Bioplastics from CO 2



06/2021 Nov/Dec 29.11.2021 29.10.2021 Films/Flexibles/



Cellulose (regenarates,

derivats, fibres)

Subject to changes

62 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16






Solutions from BIOTEC® are based

on renewable materials and are

designed to work

on existing standard equipment

for blown film, flat film, cast film,

injection molding and


Food contact grade


Plasticizer free

GMO free

Industrial and home


member of the SPHERE

group of companies


as melon skin


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