issue 06/2021


Films, Flexibles, Bags
Basics: Cellulose based bioplastics

Bioplastics - CO 2

-based Plastics - Advanced Recycling

bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 16


Coating | 10

Films, Flexibles, Bags | 40


Cellulose based bioplastics | 50

Cover Story

First straw bans

begin to topple | 7

06 / 2021

ISSN 1862-5258 ... is read in 92 countries Nov/Dec




Produce, consume, throw away: that’s over now. Starting in September,

we will again show you in person and onsite how FKuR bioplastics and

recyclates support you on your way to a circular economy and achieving

your sustainability goals. Visit our website and learn more

about circular economy, bioplastics, recyclability and sustainable

product design.

Together we make a shift towards innovation!




Alex Thielen, Michael Thielen

The Cover Story this time may only look like a “small news” segment

on page 7, but we felt that it was a story worthwhile to highlight. The first

straw ban toppled in California. The community of Fort Myers Beach

decided to update its plastic straw ban ordinance to allow for marine

biodegradable bioplastic straws. The decision is based on the insight that

new marine biodegradable technologies have emerged including PHA.

One year ago, we wrote on this page to be optimistic that in 2021 we can

return to normal, step by step. However, even if it looked promising in late

summer, our conference business has unfortunately suffered another

corona-related setback. Due to an again significantly rising number of

new infections in the so-called fourth wave, we had to postpone our 4 th

bio!PAC to March 2022. We sincerely hope to be able to hold the event

then as well as the 7 th PLA World Congress in May or June. The call for

papers is open. We are looking forward to your proposals.

The issue you are holding in your hand right now or read online

features Coatings as one highlight. Other highlights include an opinion

article about the versatility of natural PHA materials that, in addition

to traditional plastic applications can also be used in other application

areas, such as animal feed, medical care (both humans and animals),

denitrification, or cosmetics. One article is not exactly about a

renewable carbon plastics topic, but interesting enough to find its way

in this issue: Scientists are developing a ship to clean the oceans from

plastic waste converting the collected waste into, what they call “Blue

Diesel” to fuel to ship. So that it doesn’t even have to go back to a harbour

for refuelling.

Finally, in our Basics section, we take a closer look at cellulose as a raw


We hope you will enjoy reading this issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE.. We

also hope to go to Berlin next week to meet some of you at the 16th

European Bioplastics Conference. Here, we will present our 15th Global

Bioplastics Award. This year, for the first time, the winner will be chosen by

the audience of the conference.

And finally, we hope you all find some rest during the holidays to come.

Stay safe, stay healthy.


bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 16

Bioplastics - CO 2

-based Plastics - Advanced Recycling


Coating | 10

Films, Flexibles, Bags | 40


Cellulose based bioplastics | 50

Cover Story

First straw bans

begin to topple | 7

Follow us on twitter!

Like us on Facebook!

06 / 2021

ISSN 1862-5258 ... is read in 92 countries Nov/Dec

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 3



34 Porsche launches cars with biocomposites

32 Bacteriostatic PLA compound for 3D printingz

Nov/Dec 06|2022

3 Editorial

5 News

8, 49 Events

16 Application News

22 Material News

40 10 years ago

46 Suppliers Guide

50 Companies in this issue


10 Waterborne biobased coatings

13 Biobased binders for coatings

14 Biobased or renewable carbon

based coatings

From Science and


15 Clean-up ships fuelled by garbage

(Ocean plastics)

28 Biobased polymers to fertilizers


18 Useful sample kit

24 Custom-made PHA

26 Fill the gap, not the landfill


19 Carbon neutral toothbrush

20 100 % biobased PET bottle


30 Merging high-quality recycling with

lowered emissions

32 Upcycling process for PAN

from textile waste


33 Patent situation


34 Natural PHA materials


38 Cellulose

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

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


Shutterstock (wavebreakmedia)

Follow us on twitter:

Like us on Facebook:

Emballator launches

bio-PP product

Emballator (Ulricehamn, Sweden)) a leading

producer of packaging solutions, and Borealis

(Vienna, Austria)) are expanding their portfolio in

close partnership.

Borealis is providing Emballator with biobased

polypropylene for pails and containers. The raw

material is made from used and recovered residue

vegetable oil and cooking oils.

“For PE products it has been possible for many

years to produce a product in biobased material

but for PP, until now, it has only been possible to

produce bio-PP based products from renewable

resources with the ISCC PLUS certified mass

balance principle. With this new grade the product

contains at least 30 % biobased polypropylene,”

says Richard Johansson, Sales and Marketing

Manager at Emballator Lagan.

The packaging produced by Emballator is 100 %

recyclable as PP create a circular solution, that

reduces the carbon footprint further.

“At Borealis, we continue to re-invent our

circular product portfolio for more sustainable

living. This partnership with Emballator is another

step in our commitment to renewable/biobased

products that significantly reduce the carbon

footprint of packaging,” says Trevor Davis, Global

Commercial Director, Consumer Products.

“With Borealis as a partner we significantly

lower our carbon footprint, while maintaining the

existing quality standards of our product.” says

Richard Johansson. MT |

Danimer Scientific and

Total Corbion PLA


Danimer Scientific (Bainbridge, GA, USA) and Total Corbion

PLA (Gorinchem, The Netherlands), both leading bioplastics

companies focused on the development and production of

biodegradable materials, recently announced that they have

entered into a long-term collaborative arrangement for the

supply of Luminy ® PLA.

As Danimer continues to scale up the commercial production

of Nodax ® , its signature polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), this

agreement enhances Danimer’s ability to fulfil customer needs

for resins that require a blend of PLA- and PHA-based inputs.

Stephen E. Croskrey, Chairman and CEOof Danimer, said,

“While growing commercial production of PHA remains the

focus of our business, PLA is a part of some compounds that

we formulate to meet specific customers’ functionality needs for

different applications. Teaming with Total Corbion PLA provides

an ideal solution to support our long-term growth strategy while

ensuring our short-term customer needs remain fulfilled.”

Danimer works with each of its customers to develop

customized formulas for biobased resins that meet

biodegradability and functionality expectations. Blending various

inputs, such as PHA and PLA, enables Danimer to expand

the applications of its materials across a number of different


Total Corbion PLA is a 50/50 joint venture between

TotalEnergies and Corbion focused on the manufacturing and

marketing of Luminy PLA resins.

Thomas Philipon, Chief Executive Officer of Total Corbion PLA,

said, "The biopolymers market is experiencing strong growth,

and customers are requesting innovative solutions tailor-made

to their market needs. In today’s dynamic market, strategic

arrangements throughout the value chain are key to ensuring

security of supply in both product and technology that will allow

brand owners and ultimately consumers to be comfortable with

selecting bioplastics as a sustainable alternative to traditional

plastics." 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:

Sabic debuts world’s first biobased, certified

renewable high-performance amorphous polymer

(27 October 2021)

Sabic has launched a new portfolio of biobased ULTEM resins (...)

These breakthrough polyetherimide (PEI) materials are the first certified

renewable high-temperature, amorphous resins available in the industry for

potential use in challenging applications in consumer electronics, aerospace,

automotive and other industries.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 5


daily updated News at

Chemically recycled

PLA now available

Total Corbion PLA (Gorinchem, The Netherlands)

has launched the world’s first commercially available

chemically recycled bioplastics product. The Luminy ®

recycled PLA grades boast the same properties,

characteristics and regulatory approvals as virgin

Luminy PLA, but are partially made from post-industrial

and post-consumer PLA waste. Total Corbion PLA is

already receiving and depolymerizing reprocessed PLA

waste, which is then purified and polymerized back into

commercially available Luminy rPLA.

The commercial availability of recycled PLA (rPLA)

offers brand owners the opportunity to make products

from rPLA, with the luxury of having original food

contact and other certifications in place. Using rPLA

can contribute to meeting the recycled content targets

of brand owners.

Thomas Philipon, CEO at Total Corbion PLA, sees

this as a logical step towards an even more sustainable

offering: “Our company’s vision is to create a better

world for today and generations to come. This ability to

now efficiently receive, repurpose and resupply PLA is a

further demonstration of the sustainability of our product

and the demonstration of our commitment to enable the

circular economy through value chain partnership.”

François de Bie, Senior Marketing Director at Total

Corbion PLA is proud to launch this new product line of

Luminy PLA and encourages interested parties to get in

touch: “The ability to chemically recycle post-industrial

and post-consumer PLA waste allows us to not only

reduce waste but also keep valuable resources in use

and truly ‘close the loop’. For our customers, the new,

additional end-of-life avenue this provides could be the

missing piece in their own sustainability puzzle, and we

look forward to solving these challenges together.”

As an initial offering, grades will be supplied with 20 %

recycled content using the widely accepted principles

of mass balance. “As we are currently ramping up this

initiative, the initial volumes are limited but we are

confident that rPLA will grow to be a significant part

of our overall sales revenues” states de Bie. Currently,

Looplife in Belgium and Sansu in Korea are among the

first active partners that support collecting, sorting and

cleaning of post-industrial and post-consumer PLA

waste. The resulting PLA feedstock is then used by Total

Corbion PLA to make new Luminy PLA polymers via the

chemical recycling process. Total Corbion PLA is actively

looking for additional partners from around the world

that will help to close the loop. We invite interested

parties to contact their local sales representative.

Total Corbion PLA expects that the growing demand

for rPLA will also boost the collecting, sorting and

reprocessing of post-use PLA for both mechanical and

chemical recycling, as de Bie explains further: “At Total

Corbion PLA, we are actively seeking to purchase more

post-industrial and post-consumer PLA waste, creating

value for the recycle industry as a whole.”MT

Kolon and Origin

to codevelop and

commercialise PEF

Carbon negative materials company Origin Materials

(West Sacramento, California, USA) and Kolon Industries

(Seoul, South Korea) recently announced a strategic

partnership to industrialize novel polymers and drop-in

solutions for select applications, with an initial focus on

automotive applications.

This strategic partnership aims to rapidly develop and

industrialize new sustainable carbon-negative products

based on Origin Materials’ patented technology platform,

leveraging Kolon’s polymerization expertise, application

development and supply chain strength. As part of

the partnership, Kolon signed a multi-year capacity

reservation agreement to purchase sustainable carbonnegative

materials from Origin Materials.

The partnership includes co-development aimed

at commercializing polyethylene furanoate, or PEF, a

polymer with an attractive combination of performance

characteristics for packaging and other applications,

including enhanced barrier properties when compared

with PET, and other qualities. Origin Materials’ technology

platform is expected to produce cost-competitive,

sustainable, carbon-negative furandicarboxylic acid

(FDCA), the primary precursor to PEF. Kolon Industries’

polymer expertise in novel FDCA-based polymers,

including PEF, is expected to introduce world-class

carbon-negative polymers and chemistries.

“Origin is a pioneer and a global leader in carbon

negative chemical technology, and Kolon Industries is a

world leader in chemicals and polymers,” said Sung Han,

Chief Technology Officer of Kolon Group. “Therefore, the

collaboration between these two companies will ensure

both carbon-negative and cost-effective Sustainable

Polymer Economy, which will further enable the

realization of the Circular Economy.”

Origin Materials has developed a platform for turning

the carbon found in inexpensive, plentiful, non-food

biomass such as sustainable wood residues into useful

materials while capturing carbon in the process. Origin’s

patented technology platform can help revolutionize the

production of a wide range of end products. In addition,

Origin’s technology platform is expected to provide stable

pricing largely decoupled from the petroleum supply

chain, which is exposed to more volatility than supply

chains based on sustainable wood residues.

Founded in 1957, Kolon Industries is an innovative

chemical and material company. The company has over

60 years of experience in polyester polymerization and its

application technology including fibre, film, and others.

Kolon Industries’ experience and proven success in

cutting-edge polymer commercialization are expected to

secure novel biobased polymers. MT |

6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

First straw bans begin to topple

While well-intended, many straw bans inadvertently prohibit the use of emerging

alternatives to petroleum plastic and require the use of paper straws. Since this

wave of bans began, new, sustainable solutions have emerged into the marketplace,

while questions have been raised about paper straws’ impact on human health and

the environment (e.g., many paper straws contain PFAS, also known as the "forever


WinCup (Stone Mountain, Georgia, USA) applauds the community of Fort Myers

Beach (California, USA) decision to update its plastic straw ban ordinance to allow for

marine biodegradable bioplastic straws. The new ordinance strengthens the city’s

previous policy, which banned the use of any type of straw other than paper straws.

New marine biodegradable technologies that have emerged since the passage of

the initial policy in 2017, including WinCup’s polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) phade ®

straw, made with Nodax ® -based resins from Danimer Scientific (Bainbridge, Georgia, USA), are now able to be distributed in

the community and achieve the city’s goal of protecting the area’s beaches and waterways.

“We commend Fort Myers Beach for its leadership and demonstrating the community’s commitment to meaningfully address

plastic pollution by strengthening its straw ban to allow for groundbreaking marine biodegradable solutions like phade PHA

straws,” said WinCup CEO Brad Laporte. “Straw bans are being enacted across the country that, while well-meaning, ultimately

limit the positive impacts that emerging technologies designed to replace traditional plastic can bring. Innovative bioplastics

must be a part of the movement away from petroleum-based plastics. Our hope is that communities across the country will

follow Fort Myers Beach’s lead by ensuring their straw ban policies are as strong as possible by allowing ecologically superior

alternatives to petro plastic, like PHA.”

The update to the Fort Myers Beach straw ban comes as communities and governments worldwide look for sustainable

solutions to combat plastic pollution. With the Town Council’s vote, Fort Myers Beach provides a model for other policy makers

to modernize straw bans that prohibit non-paper, sustainable alternatives to traditional plastic.

The Global Organisation for PHA (GO!PHA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) also welcomes this move. “This is a great first step

in the right direction and highlights the solution that PHA can provide in our joint mission to end plastics pollution”, said Rick

Passenier, Executive Board Member of GO!PHA. “Communities and governments around the globe should consider similar

corrective moves that should also be expanded to other, if not all SUP bans.” MT


daily updated News at | |

Polyamide 6 from 92 % sustainable raw materials

LANXESS (Cologne, Germany) recently introduced its new

brand extension, called “Scopeblue”. The first product in this

new line is Durethan BLUEBKV60H2.0EF. 92 % of the raw

materials used in this easy-flowing PA 6 compound have

been replaced with sustainable alternatives –

that’s more than in any other prime quality

glass-fibre-reinforced plastic.

The new brand label identifies products

that either consist of at least 50 % circular

(recycled or biobased) raw materials, or

whose carbon footprint is at least 50 % lower

than that of conventional products.

One of the raw materials used in the

production of this PA 6 based highperformance

plastic is cyclohexane from

sustainable sources – meaning cyclohexane

that is either biobased, recycled biobased or

produced by means of chemical recycling.

The material is also strengthened with 60 %

by weight of glass fibres comprising industrial glass waste

instead of mineral raw materials. The alternative raw

materials that Lanxessuses in the precursors for polyamide

6 are chemically identical to their equivalents of fossil origin

(drop-in solutions), so Durethan BLUEBKV60H2.0EF exhibits

the same characteristics as the virgin material and can be

processed just as easily using exactly the same production

tools and facilities with no conversion work needed.

But developers are setting their sights

on more than 92 % sustainable raw

materials. “We’re currently working on

increasing the content of sustainable

raw materials in this compound to

100 %,” says Günter Margraf, Head of

Global Management at Lanxess’ High

performance Materials division (HPM).

This requires ammonia synthesized

with carbon-neutral hydrogen. Over the

medium term, the specialty chemicals

company is also planning to replace

the additives used in its plastics with

sustainable equivalents.

In mid-November, Lanxess announced

they will transfer its HPM business unit to an independent

legal corporate structure. MT

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 7


bioplastics MAGAZINE presents:

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

Germany, organised by bioplastics MAGAZINE andGreen Serendipity, needed

to be postponed again due to the Corona pandemic. bio!PAC is the mustattend

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.

The programme of the conference is provided below. Please visit our

conference website for full details and information about registration.

bio PAC

biobased packaging


15 - 16 march 2022

maritim düsseldorf

Wednesday, March 15, 2022

08:00 - 08:40 Registration, Welcome-Coffee

08:45 - 09:00 Michael Thielen Welcome remarks

09:00 - 09:25 Caroli Buitenhuis, Green Serendipity Future of bioplastics & packaging

09:25 - 09:50 Constance Ißbrücker, European Bioplastics European bioplastics perspective for bioplastics

09:50 - 10:15 Christopher vom Berg, nova Institute Renewable Carbon

10:15 - 10:30 Q&A

10:30 - 10:55 Coffee- and Networking Break

10:55 - 11:20 Heidi Koljonen, Sulapac Microplastics & Packaging

11:20 - 11:45 Thijs Rodenburg, Rodenburg Biopolymers Starch based compounds for packaging applications

11:45 - 12:10 Patrick Zimmermann, FKuR From linear to circular - how bioplastics provides solutions for packaging

12:10 - 12:25 Q&A

12:25 - 13:30 Lunch- and Networking Break

13:30 - 13:55 Ingrid Goumans, Avantium Plant-based solutions to realize a fossil-free & circular economy

13:55 - 14:20 Martin Bussmann, Neste Renewable carbon solutions for packaging

14:20 - 14:45 Allegra Muscatello, Taghleef Industries New developments in biobased and biodegradable packaging solutions

14:45 - 15:00 Q&A

15:00 - 15:25 Coffee- and Networking Break

15:25 - 15:50 Patrick Gerritsen, Bio4pack Bio4Pack moves the earth

15:50 - 16:15 Blake Lindsey, RWDC Moving Past Recycling: Can We Stem the Microplastics Crisis?

16:15 - 16:40 Jane Franch, Numi Organic Tea Practical application of bioplastics in packaging: Brand perspective

16:40 - 16:55 Q&A

Thursday, March 16, 2022

08:45 - 09:00 Michael Thielen Welcome remarks

09:00 - 09:25 Lise Magnier, TU Delft Insights in consumer behaviour in relation to sustainable packaging

09:25 - 09:50 Bruno de Wilde, OWS Environmental Benefits of biodegradable packaging?

09:50 - 10:15 Johann Zimmermann, NaKu PLA packaging: returnable, recyclable, re...

10:15 - 10:40 Erwin Vink, NatureWorks A review of JRC’s report: LCA of alternative feedstocks for plastics t.b.c.

10:40 - 10:55 Q&A

10:55 - 11:20 Coffee- and Networking Break

11:20 - 11:45 François de Bie, Total Corbion Expanding end-of-life options for PLA bioplastics

11:45 - 12:10 Remy Jongboom, Biotec The added value of compostable materials in packaging applications

12:10 - 12:35 Vincent Kneefel, TIPA Creating a circular bio-economy through compostable packaging

12:35 - 12:50 Q&A

12:50 - 14:00 Lunch- and Networking Break

Tom Bowden, Earthfirst Biopolymer Films by Evolutions of Biopolymer Film Performance and

14:00 - 14:25


Environmental Degradability

14:25 - 14:50 Jojanneke Leistra, Superfoodguru PLA bottles from a brand owners perspective

14:50 - 15:15 Alberto Castellanza, Novamont Mater-Bi ® : Novel Developments in Food Packaging Applications

15:15 - 15:30 Q&A

15:30 - 15:45 Caroli Buitenhuis, Michael Thielen Closing remarks

Subject to changes

8 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

io PAC

bioplastics MAGAZINE presents:

New date


Conference on Biobased Packaging

15 - 16 March 2022 - 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 nature‘s 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 hybrid (on-site and online) conference will be held on 15-16 March 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany (Maritim Airport


Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Coorganized by

supported by

Media Partner


Waterborne biobased coatings

From the point of view of polymer manufacturers to the

coatings and inks market, there are several ways to

improve business sustainability. Some examples are

reducing water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, net

waste, and non-renewable energy consumption during

manufacture or transport.

The long-term effective route to become truly sustainable

is to approach via new product developments that would

include all aspect of innovation: the research of new

sustainable raw materials and polymers, the measurement

and development of performance applied to final materials,

partnership with customer, and end-users for innovative

useful solutions for final market and brand.

How are the Specialty Chemical Manufacturers

for the Coatings Industry addressing current

issues in order to improve sustainability?

As surfaces are boundaries exposed to external

agents that, in some cases, can be extremely harsh and

challenging, they are also the gateways through which we

perceive the objects we use in our everyday life. Whether

it is aesthetic appearance, durability, corrosion protection,

or barrier properties, the right treatment on surfaces can

boost these characteristics.

The coating or surface treatment is one of the smallest

component of the final product. Surfaces are generally

coated from minimum of 5 g/m 2 to maximum of 100 g/m 2 ,

depending on the type of substrate, however they impart

essential sustainable attributes. In all materials or

substrates that we touch everyday these are superficial

coatings whether it is paper, textile, wood, metal, or plastic.

At Lamberti from Gallarate, Italy, The Surface Treatment

Division is fostering their path towards sustainability

and circular economy by moving in four main directions

of waterborne polyurethane and acrylic polymers

development. These are used as coatings, or in adhesive, or

rheology modifiers and crosslinkers.

Performance: higher durability of goods.

Durability is an added value for a coating, especially when

is necessary to protect everlasting surfaces with specific

properties like chemical resistance, physical properties,

abrasion resistance, and adhesions. This is apparently in

contrast with biodegradability – degradation of the polymer

during a specific period of time.

The knowledge of the performance required over the lifetime

of the final object permits us to design the waterborne

polymers with more sustainable attributes. Thus designing

for the right purpose.

• Biobased content: it is possible to increase the renewable

raw materials content in waterborne polyurethane and

acrylic emulsions without decreasing the performance.

Biobased content of up to 70 % can be realistically achieved

however the limitations today are related to the relatively

new biobased supply chain that has limited capacity. The

majority of suppliers are still at pilot or initial industrial

scale, and consequently with higher prices.

The focus for the coating industries is to get biobased raw

materials without affecting the food chain, and this trend is

really in progress with new technologies at industrial scale


The biobased content at product level could be measured,

for example using the C 12 /C 14 analysis (biogenic carbon

content according to ASTM D6866) in order to express the

content of renewable carbon present in the waterborne

polymer sold to the markets.

Waterborne products.

Lamberti’s aim is to reduce the usage of volatile organic

compounds in coatings and they continuously focus on the

reduction of cosolvents and Volatile Organic Compound

(VOC) to optimize the performance of superficial effects.

Process optimization:

Another important factor is the constant improvement of

industrial processes with the aim to reduce the consumption

of energy, water and air emissions, improving process

efficiency, and related sustainable impact.

All four directions confluence in analysis of product

sustainability, by emissions (Product Carbon Footprint) and

by assessment (Life Cycle Analysis) on final products and

products for end-users.

Thanks to their consolidated expertise and passion

for collaboration, Lamberti supplies a complete range of

ingredients for the coating, inks & finishing industries:

• A full range of innovative waterborne polyurethane

Esacote ® and Rolflex ® , UV curable polyurethane, acrylicurethane

hybrids, and acrylic dispersions for soft and

hard substrates;

• Fully reacted waterborne polyurethane microspheres

(Decosphaera ® ) suitable for solvent, waterborne and

UV 100 % system used as polymeric matting agents to

enhance scratch & burnishing resistance and slip control.

As well as fashion deco paints with pigmented coloured

Decospharea ® ;

•Synthetic (Viscolam ® ) and natural (Esacol ® and

Carbocel ® ) rheology modifiers to control the viscosity of

formulations during production, storage. and application.

• Natural and synthetic solvent based and waterborne

waxes (Adiwax) to control and improve gloss, scratch. and

slip for multiple surfaces. Special additives & auxiliaries

(e.g. dispersing & wetting agents, defoamers, plasticizer.

and crosslinkers).

10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16


Gabriele Costa

Global Product Manager


Gallarate, Italy


The key challenge is to replace the demand for fossil

carbon by alternative sources;

Moreover, with a dedicated team of experts, the Italian

company is pleased to support customers in the development

of waterborne ink & digital ink for inkjet printing.

They offer renewable biobased solutions for several

coating application on synthetic material, textile for printing

and finishing, for natural leather, plastic and paper coatings,

wood and metal coatings.

• Vegetable

• Sustainable Biomass

• Sustainable Oil extracted

• Carbohydrates

• CO 2

• Recycling

CO 2



• Coating, Crosslinkers & Adhesives

• Additives for surface treatment



• Not made by EO and PO

• Biodegradable

• Low irritation

• 100% Biobased


• Carbohydrates feedstock

• Hydrocolloids

• Cellulosics

10-12 May – Cologne, Germany

The Answer to Your Hunt for Renewable Materials

The unique concept of presenting all renewable material solutions at

one event hits the mark: bio-based, CO2-based and recycled are the only

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 11


Biopolymer coatings

market preview

The global biopolymer coatings market size was valued

at USD 1.04 billion in 2020, is projected to hit around

USD 1.79 billion by 2030 and is expected to grow at a

compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4 % from 2021 to


The reasons for this predicted growth are twofold, on the

one hand, it is due to superior properties of coated materials

and on the other, it is due to more environmental awareness.

Biopolymer coating screate protective layers that shield the

packaged product from exterior environmental conditions.

These coatings prevent the transfer of unwanted moisture in

food products as well as serve as oxygen and oil barrier. It is

possible to incorporate antimicrobial agents with biopolymer

coatings in order to create active paper packaging materials

that offers an effective option for the protection of food items

from microorganism infiltration. Hence, biopolymer coatings

are a better substitute for synthetic paper and paperboard


In addition, increasing global awareness for environmental

pollution and the use of biodegradable products also propel

the demand for the biopolymer coatings market. With the

rising level of concern regarding environmental degradation,

the use for biodegradable products and biopolymer coatings

are estimated to flourish at a significant pace during the

forecast timeframe. This also triggers the rate of research &

development in the field of biopolymer coatings and bioplastics.

This is amplified by increasing government support for the use

of biodegradable plastics in various fields including packaging

and coatings. Further, impending government regulations

against the manufacturing of single-use plastics in key

markets like China has compelled plastic manufacturers to

ramp up their biodegradable plastic production.

Apart from notable developments in the fields of bioplastics

and biopolymer coatings, the market is still at its emerging

phase and has a promising future growth opportunity. In

order to curb the environmental pollution load, governments

and plastic manufacturing companies are collaborating or

partnering to move towards a more renewable future and a

greener environment. Henceforth, the aforementioned factors

are likely to support the market growth of biopolymer coatings

remarkably in the upcoming years.

At the link below interested readers find more information

and can purchase a comprehensive report. AT

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12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16


Biobased Binders for Coatings

Approach or Reality?

The world of coatings is a wide open field for the use of

biobased materials.

But what exactly are coatings? By definition a coating

is one of the main manufacturing processes according to

DIN 8580 [1]. Less formal in everyday language, we speak

of a coating whenever a type of substrate is covered with

another layer. This could be for example lacquer on metal,

paint on the wall, stain on wood or even printing ink on

paper or foil.

Nearly all of these coatings have one thing in common:

one of the main components is a resin used as the so called

binder. They are known for example as polyesters, acrylic

resins, polyurethanes, alkyd resins, epoxies and many more.

In the past most of these binders were based solely on

petrochemical components. Exemptions were the alkyds

where the fatty acid content is biobased and resins based

on gum rosin. Nowadays there are two approaches for the

use of more renewable raw materials as building blocks for

these coating binders:

The mass-balance-approach and the use of real

renewable, biobased raw materials. For details about the

mass-balance-approach see [2] or bM issue 02/2021.

The other approach is the use of real and directly biosourced

building blocks which are now available in an

industrial scale. These are not only the old-fashioned raw

materials which have been in use for a long time, such as

vegetable oils, glycerol, fatty acids or shellac, but also a

growing number of new raw materials, especially polyols

or carbon acids. They are derived for example from sugars,

starch, natural oils, cellulose or lignin. [3, 4]

A common, not so well-known building block with a high

potential is gum rosin, which can be cropped from pine

trees without the need for clear cutting the forests; thus

helping to protect the environment from too much human


By using smart ways of chemical synthesis, these natural

based raw materials can be used to develop binders with

the same performance as their fossil counterparts.

A leading pioneer in the modification of gum rosin is the

Robert Kraemer GmbH & Co. KG from Rastede, Germany.

They started with the gum rosin business in the late 1920s.

In the past 20 years, since the early 2000s, they developed

from the classical rosin modifier to an innovative developer

and producer for a wide range of biobased resins with a

large R&D investment. [5]

By creative chemical combination of gum rosin with other

building blocks as described above, binders with up to 100 %

biobased content can be designed for nearly every kind of


Amongst classical binders for the lacquer and paints

industries like rosin esters, alkyd resins or maleic modified

rosin, as well as high performance resins like polyesters,

urethanes or UV-curing binders are available. [6]

They can also be used as combination partners to

bring more green chemistry into formulations. As an

example, biobased polyesters are used as pre-polymers for

polyurethane dispersions; or special modified rosin resins

are utilized in branching classical acrylic polymers to give

them up to 50 % biobased content.

These formerly 100 % fossil resins are now ready-made

to bring significant amounts of renewable raw materials

into coatings by these modifications.

But the potential for biobased binders is even higher.

In studies between the University of Technology Chemnitz

and the company Robert Kraemer, resins derived

from renewable raw-materials were found to be highperformance

modifiers for bio-plastics such as poly-lactic

acid (PLA). [7]


Nowadays binders for a high content of renewable raw

materials in coatings are already available on an industrial


Their performance is as good as their petrochemical

counterparts’. Formulators and application technologists

even have the choice between mass-balanced or directly

sourced biobased materials. MT


[1], access date 14th

Nov 2021

[2] H. K.Jeswania, C. Krüger, A. Kicherer, F. Antony, A. Azapagica; Science of

The Total Environment 2019, 687, 380-391

[3] Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V.; Marktanalyse

Nachwachsende Rohstoffe, ISBN 978-3-942147-18-7, 2014


access date 14th Nov 2021

[5], access date

14th Nov 2021


access date 14th Nov 2021

[7] Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V.; Entwicklung neuartiger

Modifikatoren auf Basis nachwachsender Rohstoffe für Compounds und

Blends aus biobasierten Kunststoffen, final report 2019

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 13


Biobased or renewable

carbon based coatings


ne way for fashion, footwear, and upholstery

manufacturers to improve their environmental

footprint is to replace fossil fuel-based chemistry with

renewable carbon-based materials. Stahl’s NuVera ® range of

renewable carbon polyurethanes can help you do exactly that.

The NuVera product range can help manufacturers increase

their sustainability without compromising on quality and

performance. The introduction of this portfolio is in line with

Stahl’s Responsible Chemistry Initiative, with which they commit

to speed up the transition from fossil carbon to renewable

carbon for all organic chemicals and materials. The efforts are

focused on aligning Stahl’s product portfolio to the future needs

of their customers and the markets they serve while offering

solutions that improve their environmental footprint. The

company from Waalwijk, the Netherlands does this by using

low-impact manufacturing chemicals, contributing to a more

circular economy and, in the case of Stahl NuVera, replacing

petrochemicals with renewable resources.

The Stahl NuVera Range

Stahl NuVera modern carbon based products are derived

from plant-based biomass (typically vegetable oils or sugars),

alternatively, they can also be made from captured carbon,

where CO 2

released from industrial processes is captured and

used as a feedstock for producing polymeric building blocks.

The NuVera range of sustainable polyurethanes has been

tested and certified using the ASTM 6866 radio-carbon (C 12 /

C 14 ) method for biobased carbon content. The NuVera D range

of polyurethane dispersions consists of four products: RU-

94-226, RU-94-227, RU-94-225 and RU-94-414. The company

is currently developing additional solutions as part of its

commitment to responsible chemistry.

The first two solutions – NuVera D RU-94-226 and RU-94-

227 – are the two harder resins in the portfolio. They are ideal

for use as a pre-skin component in transfer coating processes

or as a top-coat component in finishing or lacquering of flexible

synthetic articles, which may be used in consumer articles

such as shoes, garment or fashion bags, and accessories.

NuVera D RU-94-225 is a softer PUD that can be used

as adhesive or alternatively as a mix component to make a

chosen pre-skin formulation more flexible. It is a soft PUD

that can also be used in a transfer-coating process as a skin

layer or as a soft resin component in finishing or lacquering

formulations that use a combination of biobased and captured

carbon-based raw materials.

NuVera D RU-94-414 is a soft polyester dispersion. It can be

used in adhesive formulations or alternatively serve as a soft

component in basecoat finishing or lacquering.

Introducing new Stahl NuVera Q HS-94-490 high

solids resin

An important factor for creating high renewable carbon content

in any synthetic article will also depend on the availability of a

flexible high solids resin that offers biobased content. In many

transfer coated articles, the middle layer (skin) is the thickest

layer, which typically determines mostly the handle and flexibility.

In some cases, this can be selected from WB PUD offering, but

in most synthetic articles it needs the use of a bigger quantity

or thicker layer to be applied, due to boost performance. The

use of a high solids resin is often bringing the solution. With

the introduction of NuVera Q HS-94-490, Stahl can now offer a

product that can be used for applying thick layers in one pass.

HS-94-490 is available as an approximately 100 % solids resin

with very soft film characteristics, ideally suited for creating

flexible articles like upholstery or shoe upper. This new NuVera

product addition is currently in the pre-industrialization phase,

available for small scale prototyping.

ZDHC MRSL Compliancy

It goes without saying that all NuVera renewable carbonbased

products comply with the latest standards and

regulations, including the Zero Discharge of Hazardous

Chemicals (ZDHC) Version 2.0 Manufacturing Restricted

Substances List (MRSL).

In addition to these four water-based polyurethane

dispersions, R&D engineers at Stahl are also looking at

expanding their portfolio of products in other directions. They

soon hope to announce the introduction of a 100 % solids prepolymer

resin. MT

Type of use Product code Type Status Solids 100% (Mpa)

Pre-skin or Top

Coat resin

General PUD

resin or Mix


Adhesive or

Base Coat

Skin High

solids resin

E @ break


VOC %1








NuVeraTM D RU-

94-226 TM PE/PC Launch 40 12 475 0.5% 46%2 46% Sugar Crop

NuVeraTM D RU-


NuVeraTM D RU-


NuVeraTM D RU-


NuVeraTM Q HS-


PE Launch 35 4 730 0.8% 66%2 66% Sugarcrop

PE Launch 35 1.5 > 1,000 0.3% 53%2 54%

Sugar crop,

CO 2

PES Launch 45 1.1 840 0.8% 48%2 48% Oil crop




1: VOC content is according to the definition of EU directive 2004/42/EC

2: Measured ASTM6866 Method B

3: Calculated based on mass balance

100 1.6 860 < 0.1% 45%3 45% Sugarcrop

14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

Clean-up ships fuelled

by garbage

Millions of tonnes of synthetic plastics are released to

the environment each year. Of this, a fraction ends

up in one of several oceanic gyres, natural locations

where the currents tend to accumulate floating debris –

including plastics. The largest and best known of these is

the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), which is estimated

to cover an area roughly the size of the state of Texas (or

France), and which seems to be increasing in size over time.

Removing this plastic from the oceanic gyres has promise

to return the ocean to a more pristine state and alleviate the

associated burden on wildlife and the food chain. Current

methods to remove this plastic use a boom system to

concentrate the plastic and a ship to harvest it and return to

port to unload the plastic cargo and refuel [1].

Plastic is a natural energy carrier, which suggests the

question: is there enough energy embodied in the plastic to

power the ship and eliminate or reduce the need to return to

port? If so, then can a process be devised to convert plastic

into a form of fuel appropriate for modern diesel engines

that are used to power ships?

Thermodynamic analysis of the energy available in plastics

answered the first question –

yes, there is enough energy in

the ocean plastics, provided that

they are first concentrated using A

booms and that the ship is small

and efficient enough to minimize

its fuel consumption.

The next question was

answered by designing a

process to convert plastics into

a liquid fuel precursor. The most

important step of the process is a

high-temperature reaction called

hydrothermal liquefaction or

HTL. HTL depolymerizes plastics

at high temperature (300–550 °C)

and high pressure (250–300

bar), thereby converting it into a

liquid form. Oil yields from HTL

are typically >90 % even in the

absence of catalysts and, unlike

pyrolysis, yields of solid byproducts

– which would need to

be stored or burned in a special

combustor – are less than 5, thus

conferring certain comparative

advantages to HTL.

Current data on the GPGP

indicates that it contains mainly

polyethylene and polypropylene,

a mixture that is especially

Great Pacific

Garbage Patch


~ 1900 km

San Francisco Port

Current with Plastic

Boom 600 m

appropriate for HTL. By-products include a gas that might

be used as a cooking fuel; a solid that could be burned on

board or stored; and process water that is cleaned prior to

release. Further analysis indicated that the use of plasticderived

fuels could reduce fuel consumption, and effectively

eliminate fossil fuel use. The HTL derived fuel could be

termed blue diesel, to reference its marine origin and in

contrast with both traditional marine diesel and green

diesel, derived from land-based renewable resources. The

full feasibility study is available for free online (link below

[1]). Future work will construct the process and test it at

pilot-scale for realistic feeds, to ultimately transition to

shipboard use. AT

[1] Belden, E.R.; Kazantzis, N.K.; Reddy,C.M.; Kite-Powell, H; Timko,M.T.;

Italiani, E.; Herschbach D.R.: Thermodynamic feasibility of shipboard

conversion of marine plastics to blue diesel for self-powered ocean



0.5 knots



Current 14 cm s -1

Boom Array System


15 knots

Overview of the process for plastic removal out of the GPGP showing (A) the total system overview,

(B) part of the system of collection booms, (C) a single collection boom, and (D) the HTL reactor.

Science and Research

San Francisco Port

Current bioplastics 14 cm s MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 15


Application News

Home compostable transparent laminate

TIPA (Hod Hasharon, Israel), announced in late October

the launch of its first home compostable, highly transparent

laminate for food packaging.

The new laminate has the same functionality as Tipa’s

world- leading T.LAM 607 but

is TÜV OK Home Compost


The innovation comes as

demand for eco-friendly

packaging continues to

grow among brands and

consumers. Tipa has

developed T.LAM 608 to

respond to this demand

with a 2-ply laminate that

offers the same good barrier,

excellent sealing, superior mechanical properties, and

excellent transparency as its other compostable laminate

solutions, with the added benefit of being home compostable,

giving end-consumers authority over their own waste

management. It can be converted into pre-made bags such

as stand-up pouches, zipper pouches, open pouches, side

gusseted pouches, pillow bags, and bar wrappers. And is

available as reels for VFFS and HFFS machinery.

Developed to support pioneering food and supplement

brands transitioning away from conventional plastic, it is

suitable for packing energy

bars, dried fruit, nuts,

pulses, grains, cereals,

granola, spices, dry pasta,

ready meals and more.

Eli Lancry, VP Technology

of Tipa said: “Tipa is

constantly innovating and

developing new solutions

built with the environment

and our customers in

mind, and T.LAM 608 is

one of the most exciting developments I’ve worked on. We’ve

created a packaging solution that really does work for both

people and planet. It’s home compostable and it performs

like conventional plastic, offering consumer convenience

alongside reassurance for brands that the quality of their

product will be protected.” MT

New packaging for Herbal Essences

Eastman (Kingsport, Tennessee, USA) and Procter & Gamble

(Cincinnati, Ohio, USA) recently announced that Herbal

Essences will be the first P&G brand to use Eastman

Renew molecular-recycled plastic in its packaging. Beginning in

November, Herbal Essences, one of P&G’s most iconic brands,

started introducing five shampoo and conditioner collections

in primary packaging made from Eastman

Renew resins with 50 % certified recycled


In August, P&G and Eastman

announced a landmark agreement

to collaborate on initiatives that

will advance the recycling of more

materials, encourage recycling

behaviour and prevent plastic from

going to waste. The launch of Herbal

Essences in packaging from Eastman

Renew materials, timed to coincide with

America Recycles Day on November 15, is

the first concrete step the companies are

taking to leverage Eastman’s molecular

recycling technologies and advance their

shared commitment to the circular economy.

Five Herbal Essences bio:renew sulfate-free collections,

including the Aloe Vera lineup, started to be upgraded to

Eastman Renew materials beginning in early November. These

will be followed by two new collections coming to market in

January 2022. The new packages will also include standardized

How2Recycle ® labels to clarify recycling instructions and

encourage recycling behaviour, even in the bathroom.

“It’s on all of us to make a difference and create a more

sustainable future where plastics are truly recycled, reused

and out of nature,” explains Herbal Essences principal scientist

Rachel Zipperian. “Making this package change to Eastman

Renew materials reduces the brand’s dependence on virgin

plastic and helps us bring the world one step closer to making

plastic a circular resource. By including the standard

How2Recycle label, Herbal Essences is

encouraging people to recycle their empty


Eastman Renew materials are made

via Eastman’s molecular recycling

technologies using waste plastic that,

without this technology, would end

up in landfills or incineration. These

advanced recycling technologies

complement traditional recycling,

expanding the types and amounts of

plastics that can be recycled. This gives

materials an extended useful life and

diverts plastic waste from landfills or the


“We are excited to see our partnership with Procter & Gamble

reach consumers’ hands with the launch of these Herbal

Essences packages,” said Chris Layton, Eastman sustainability

director for plastics and circular solutions. “We are delivering

solutions to the plastic waste problem right now and look forward

to the continued collaboration with P&G as a leading partner.” MT

*The recycled content is achieved by allocating the recycled waste plastic to

Eastman Renew materials using a mass balance process certified by ISCC. |

16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

Biobased packaging for Chanel

CHANEL (London, UK) recently announced that the new

Les Eaux De Chanel fragrance bottle caps will be made

using biobased Sulapac ® material.

It all began with a desire. In 2018, Les Eaux De Chanel

introduced a new olfactory world to the fragrances of the

House: a singular collection, inspired by Mademoiselle

Coco Chanel’s favourite places, fuelled by the imaginary,

and composed around freshness.

Consistently, Les Eaux De Chanel was conceived

with sustainability in mind. Its glass perfume

bottles are thinner and lighter (compared to other

Chanel Eaux de Toilette of the same size), which

means a smaller volume of raw materials and

optimized transport. Additionally, the corrugated

cardboard that is normally hidden was

transformed into clean, simple outer packaging

whose lack of lamination or glossy coating makes

it easier to recycle.

Since 2021, all of the 125 ml bottles in the Les Eaux

De Chanel collection are topped with a biobased

cap, which Chanel has developed in partnership

with Sulapac (Helsinki). For two years, Chanel teams

worked hand-in-hand with the Finnish start-up to create

an unprecedented cap composed of three layers, made

out of 91% biobased materials obtained from renewable

resources and FSC certified wood chips (by-products of

industrial side-streams).

In keeping with the rigorous standards of the House of

Chanel, every detail was carefully thought out, including

the sensory nature of the material, its resistance to

fluctuations in temperature, the unique sound the bottle

makes when the cap is put on, the grip, and the depth of the

satiny matte finish on the iconic double C engraving. It

took no fewer than 48 tries to reach the final product.

The project is part of a long-term, collaborative

approach that puts sustainability at the centre of

Chanel research and development.

Sulapac was pleased to welcome Chanel,

a leading brand representing the most

demanding luxury segment, among its early

investors in 2018.

“Chanel is definitely one of the forerunners

in the luxury industry as they want to invest in

the latest sustainable material and technology

innovations. We have set a very high-quality

standard for our sustainable material, with

an ambition to replace conventional plastics,”

stated Suvi Haimi, CEO and Co-founder of

Sulapac, on the announcement in 2018.

Now, Haimi says: “This first product launch of our

collaboration with Chanel, the biobased Les Eaux De

Chanel cap made with Sulapac material, is a remarkable

milestone for us. It proves that Sulapac meets the highest

quality standards.” AT

Application News

Sustainable packaging for plant-based milk

JOI (Miami, Florida, USA), the rapidly growing clean label food company, is further shaping the alternative plant-based milk

category with the announcement of their brand refresh and shift to 100 % sustainable packaging.

“JOI was founded to reduce the impact of our milk consumption on the environment by finding a more sustainable solution to

enjoy plant-based milk while significantly improving taste and elevating nutrition,” shared Co-Founder Tony Jimenez. “We are

excited to transition to fully sustainable materials to further push our company to be the most sustainable plant-based milk

company in the World.”

By creating plant milk concentrates, JOI can offer a

dramatically longer shelf life than their competitors and

exponentially reduce the need to ship heavy water weight

across the country, thereby reducing food waste from

spoilage and cutting down on carbon emissions. The

transition of all JOI product packaging to 100 % recyclable

glass jars and fully compostable pouches is a major step

for the company as it works towards a zero waste carbon


The compostable pouches for the JOI Oat Milk Powder are made of wood pulp (paper and cellulose), as Tony Jimenez,

Co-founder & Chief Evangelist of JOI told bioplastics MAGAZINE. The packaging film is FDA approved for use in direct food

contact and is guaranteed to be free from the 10 priority allergens as described by Health Canada, as well as the FDA’s list of

8 major food allergens. It is the first-ever dairy alternative packaging that will completely biodegrade in home and community

composting, where accepted. One glass jar of JOI Plant Milk Concentrate makes up to seven quarts of plant-based milk, while

the compostable pouch makes a gallon of plant-based milk, significantly reducing the amount of packaging that regular milk

cartons would require for the same amount. MT

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 17


Carbon-neutral toothbrush

GSK Consumer Healthcare (Brentford, UK), the worldleading

consumer healthcare business, whose brands

include Sensodyne, parodontax, Voltaren, and Advil, is

contributing to raising sustainability standards in the oral

care industry with its first carbon neutral toothbrush.

GSKCH, which is due to separate into a new company next

year, has found an innovative way to leverage renewable

raw materials for high-performance oral care products

– helping reduce the use of fossil fuels for virgin plastic.

The company is piloting this with its Dr.BEST GreenClean

toothbrush, which builds new sustainable handle technology

onto its previous innovations with sustainable bristles and


The Dr.Best GreenClean toothbrush handle is made from

renewable cellulose and ‘tall oil’ – a wood-based bioplastic

that is derived from pine, spruce, and birch trees in sustainable

forests, and is being applied in oral care for the first time

by GSKCH. It is a by-product of paper production and would

otherwise be disposed of.

The bristles are made of 100 %

renewable castor oil (presumably

a biobased polyamide MT),

as already used in GSKCH’s

Aquafresh and Dr.Best bamboo


The product’s 100 % plasticfree

packaging includes GSKCH’s

innovative cellulose window (which

is also made with renewable

cellulose. The packaging can be

completely disposed of through a

wide range of municipal recycling

schemes (depending on local


GSKCH has formed a

partnership with ClimatePartner

(Munich, Germany), Europe’s

leading solution provider for

corporate climate action, to

analyse and minimise the carbon

impact of the product and its

manufacturing – reducing the

carbon footprint of the brush

by over 50 % compared to the

standard Dr.Best toothbrush.

The remaining footprint is

offset through a communitybased

ClimatePartner project

in Madagascar. With offsetting

being a secondary measure to the

avoidance and reduction of carbon

impact, GSKCH scientists are

exploring ways to achieve carbon

neutrality without offsetting in

future oral care launches.

GSKCH’s Dr.Best is Germany’s favourite manual

toothbrush brand. The company – which holds an ambition

to become the world’s most sustainable toothbrush

manufacturer – already has global plans to apply the

technology across other toothbrushes in its portfolio –

including in its market-leading Sensodyne brand. It is

working hard to increase the development of sustainable

options across its oral care portfolio in recognition of

growing global consumer preference for more sustainable

products. A recent Nielsen study showed that 73 % of

consumers say they would “change their consumption

habits to reduce their impact on the environment.” [1]

The launch of the carbon neutral toothbrush is another

step in GSKCH’s ongoing sustainability journey in oral

care, which began with the rollout of its first sustainably

grown bamboo toothbrushes in September 2020 in Europe.

This March it launched its first plastic-free toothbrush

packaging, which included Sensodyne Pronamel and

parodontax brushes in the US. Asia Pacific rollout of this

commenced in Australia.

The new carbon-neutral

toothbrush is part of GSKCH’s

overall mission to reduce the

carbon it generates. The company

has a two-pronged approach to

carbon reduction. Firstly, it is

reducing energy through more

efficient manufacturing systems

(including energy-efficient lights,

heating systems, and motors; and

the switching off of power when

feasible). Secondly, it is investing

in renewable energy for GSKCH

sites – with a commitment for all

to use 100 % renewable electricity

by 2025. It is also working closely

with suppliers to reduce the

amount of carbon content in all

of its materials and the overall

amount of plastic used across

the product portfolio.

While it remains a part of GSK,

GSKCH’s sustainability initiatives

support GSK’s companywide

commitment to achieve a netzero

impact on climate and a

positive impact on nature by

2030, announced by CEO Emma

Walmsley in November 2020. AT

[1] global-sustainable-shoppersreport-2018.pdf


18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

Useful sample kit

PositivePlastics is bridging the gap


Positive Plastics (Karjaa, Finland) recently launched its

first sample kit, featuring plastic materials with a reduced

environmental footprint: PCR, PIR, biobased, biocomposite

and mass balanced plastics of various manufacturers.

Positive Plastics, aims to convey a more accepting

outlook on plastics to designers, engineers, and product

managers. In October, they launched their first Positive

Plastics Kit, an invaluable tool for materials understanding

and communication between non-technical and technical

team members.

The founders, Efrat Friedland, Erik Moth-Müller, and

Markus Paloheimo, experts, consultants, and educators

in the materials and polymers field, created and curated

a sample collection of various innovative, commercially

available polymers. The kit holds Arkema, Biowert Industrie,

Borealis, Lignin Industries, Mocom, Sappi, Sirmax, Stora

Enso, Trinseo, UBQ, and UPM materials. The kit includes

post-consumer recyclates (PCR), post-industrial recyclates

(PIR), mass balanced grades, biobased grades, and biocomposites.

All grades are suitable for injection molding to

produce durable products, such as consumer electronics,

home appliances, sports goods, automotive interiors,

accessories, etc.

Positive Plastics will continuously expand the kit as new

responsible polymers reach the market.

“Try to imagine your life without plastic” proposed Efrat,

“not without plastic waste, but without products and services

we have all grown to rely on in almost every aspect of our

lives. It seems that we can’t get along without this material,

but we must eliminate its waste and negative impact.”

“Thinking positively about plastics,” adds Erik ”there

are many new grades on the market that are composed

of natural materials or recycled materials, or both….they

can replace traditional, fossil-fuel based plastics in every

industry and product imaginable. Sadly, very few designers

and engineers are familiar with them. Our goal is to change


Besides presenting new materials, Positive Plastics

offers a novel design of the plastic sample, no longer a

flat, square, piece of plastic that reveals little about the

material’s characteristics.

“Our unique sample design portrays the material’s

properties and its possible applications tangibly,” explains

Markus. “Holding our sample, one can easily discover

various surface structure options, different wall thicknesses,

corners, hinges, fluidity indication, draft angle, shrinkage,

warpage…so many features in one piece!”

Positive Plastics will present a complimentary kit to

one hundred brands and design agencies to encourage an

informed choice of materials and sensible implementation.

Kits will be available for purchase online.

Positive Plastics is definitely a useful toolbox for

discovering plastics with a positive impact. MT

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 19


100 % Plant Based, Labels and caps

not included, not for commercial

scale (Picture: The Coca-Cola


100 % biobased PET bottle

Coca-Cola unveiled first prototypes

The Coca Cola Company’s sustainable packaging

journey crossed a major milestone in late October with

the unveiling of its first-ever beverage bottle made

from 100 % plant-based plastic, excluding the cap and label,

that has been made using technologies that are ready for

commercial scale. The prototype bottle comes more than

a decade after the company’s PlantBottle debuted as the

world’s first recyclable PET plastic bottle made with up to

30 % plant-based material. A limited run of approximately

900 of the prototype bottles has been produced.

“We have been working with technology partners for

many years to develop the right technologies to create a

bottle with 100 % plant-based content — aiming for the

lowest possible carbon footprint — and it’s exciting that we

have reached a point where these technologies exist and

can be scaled by participants in the value chain,” said Nancy

Quan, Chief Technical and Innovation Officer, The Coca Cola


PET, the world’s most recycled plastic, comprises two

molecules: approximately 30 % monoethylene glycol (MEG)

and 70 % terephthalic acid (PTA). The original PlantBottle,

introduced in 2009, includes MEG from sugarcane, but the

PTA has been from oil-based sources until now. PlantBottle

packaging looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET

but has a lighter footprint on the planet and its resources.

Coca-Cola’s new prototype plant-based bottle is made

from plant-based paraxylene (bPX) – using a new process

by Virent (Madison, Wisconsin, USA) – which has been

converted to plant-based terephthalic acid (bPTA). As

the first beverage packaging material resulting from bPX

produced at demonstration scale, this new technology

signals a step-change in the commercial viability of the

biomaterial. The bPX for this bottle was produced using

sugar from corn, though the process lends itself to flexibility

in feedstock.

The second breakthrough technology, which The Coca-

Cola Company co-owns with Changchun Meihe Science

& Technology (Changchun, Jilin, China), streamlines the

bMEG production process and also allows for flexibility in

feedstock, meaning more types of renewable materials

can be used. Typically, bMEG is produced by converting

sugarcane or corn into bioethanol as an intermediate,

which is subsequently converted to bioethylene glycol. Now,

sugar sources can directly produce MEG, resulting in a

simpler process. UPM (Helsinki, Finland), the technology’s

first licensee, is currently building a full-scale commercial

facility in Germany to convert certified, sustainably sourced

hardwood feedstock taken from sawmill and other wood

industry side-streams to bMEG. This marks a significant

milestone toward the commercialization of the technology.

“The inherent challenge with going through bioethanol

is that you are competing with fuel,” said Dana Breed,

Global R&D Director, Packaging and Sustainability, The

Coca-Cola Company. “We needed a next-generation MEG

solution that addressed this challenge, but also one that

could use second-generation feedstock like forestry waste

or agricultural byproducts. Our goal for plant-based PET

is to use surplus agricultural products to minimize carbon

footprint, so the combination of technologies brought by

the partners for commercialization is an ideal fit for this


In 2015, Coca-Cola unveiled its first prototype for a 100 %

biobased PlantBottle at the Milan Expo using lab-scale

production methods to produce bPX. This next-generation

100 % plant-based bottle, however, has been made using

new technologies to produce both biochemicals that make

the bottle and are ready for commercial scaling.

20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

“Our goal is to develop sustainable solutions for the entire

industry,” Breed said. “We want other companies to join us

and move forward, collectively. We don’t see renewable or

recycled content as areas where we want a competitive


Since introducing PlantBottle, Coca-Cola has allowed

non-competitive companies to use the technology and

brand in their products — from Heinz Ketchup to the fabric

interior in Ford Fusion hybrid cars. In 2018, the company

opened up the PlantBottle IP more broadly [1] to competitors

in the beverage industry to scale up demand and drive down


As part of its World Without Waste vision, Coca-Cola

is working to make all its packaging more sustainable,

including maximizing the use of recycled and renewable

content while minimizing the use of virgin, fossil material.

The company has pledged to collect back the equivalent of

every bottle it sells by 2030, so none of its packaging ends

up as waste and old bottles are recycled into new ones, to

make 100 % of its packaging recyclable, and to ensure 50 %

of its packaging comes from recycled material.

This innovation supports the World Without Waste vision,

specifically the recently announced target to use 3 million

tons less of virgin plastic from oil-based sources by 2025.

The Coca Cola Company will pursue this 20 % reduction

by investing in new recycling technologies like enhanced

recycling, packaging improvements such as light-weighting,

alternative business models such as refillable, dispensed

and fountain systems, as well as the development of new

renewable materials.

In Europe and Japan, Coca-Cola, with its bottling

partners, aims to eliminate the use of oil-based virgin PET

from plastic bottles altogether by 2030, using only recycled

or renewable materials. While the majority of plastic

packaging material will come from mechanically recycled

content, some virgin material will still be needed to maintain

quality standards. That’s why Coca-Cola is investing in and

driving innovation to boost the supply of feedstock from

renewable technologies as well as from enhanced recycling

technologies. Enhanced recycling upcycles previously used

PET plastics of any quality to high quality, food-grade PET.

“We are taking significant steps to reduce the use of

virgin, oil-based plastic, as we work toward a circular

economy and in support of a shared ambition of net-zero

carbon emissions by 2050,” Quan said. “We see plant-based

plastics as playing a critical role in our overall PET mix in

the future, supporting our objectives to reduce our carbon

footprint, reduce our reliance on virgin fossil fuels and boost

collection of PET in support of a circular economy.” MT/AT

[1] Coca-Cola Expands Access to PlantBottle IP;


Leading compounding technology

for heat- and shear-sensitive plastics

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


2015 Coca-Cola presented the first 100 % biobased

PlantBottle Prototype using lab-scale production methods to

produce bPX scale (Picture: The Coca-Cola Company)

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 21

Material News

Flax/PLA biocomposite

LANXESS (Cologne, Germany) recently introduced a new

product in the Tepex range of continuous-fibre-reinforced

thermoplastic composites. “We have combined fabrics

made from natural flax fibres with biobased PLA as a matrix

material and thereby developed a composite manufactured

entirely from natural resources. We are now able to produce

it to a level of quality suitable for large-scale production,”

explains Stefan Seidel, head of Tepex research and

development at Lanxess.

Low-density flax fibres

Flax fibres have a significantly lower density than glass

fibres. Thus, the composites made with these fibres

are noticeably lighter in weight than their glass-fibrereinforced

counterparts. The flax fibres are used in the form

of continuous-fibre reinforced fabrics. This enables the

biocomposites to demonstrate the outstanding mechanical

performance typical of Tepex, which is based mainly on the

continuous flax yarns arranged in particular directions. The

weight-specific stiffness of the biocomposite is comparable

to that of the equivalent glass-fibre-reinforced material

variants. Designing the composite components to suit the

expected loads enables most of the force to be transferred

via the continuous fibres. According to Seidel, “This ensures

that the high strength and stiffness characteristic of fibrereinforced

plastics are achieved.”

To be used in cars, industry, electronics, and


When coupled with transparent matrix plastics such as PLA,

the reinforcing flax fabric yields surfaces with a brown natural

carbon-fibre look. “This appearance highlights the natural

origin of the fibres and the entire composite and creates added

visual appeal in sporting goods, for example,” explains Seidel.

In addition to sports equipment, the new biocomposite could

be used in cars, such as for manufacturing interior parts, or

in electronics for the production of such things as housing


At Fakuma (12 th — 16 th October, Friedrichshafen, Germany)

Lanxess showed bioplastics MAGAZINE a sample part made of

a flax/PLA Tepex organo-sheet with astounding deep-drawratios

for a woven fabric.

Easy to recycle

Like the variants of Tepex based solely on fossil raw materials,

the new biocomposites can be completely recycled as purely

thermoplastic systems as part of closed-loop material cycles.

“Offcuts and production waste can be regranulated and

easily injection-moulded or extruded, either alone or mixed

with unreinforced or short-fibre reinforced compound new

materials,” says Seidel.

In the medium term, Lanxess is planning to use other

biobased thermoplastics such as polyamide 11 and other

natural and recycled fibres in the production of Tepex. MT |

Reclaimed fibre project

Green Dot Bioplastics (Emporia, Kansas, USA) and

Mayco International (Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA) have

partnered to reclaim trim and scrap fibres for Natural Fiber

Reinforced Plastic (NFRP).

Mayco International, an award-winning tier 1 automotive

supplier, wanted a sustainable solution for waste produced

during the manufacture of automotive components.

Green Dot Bioplastics launched Terratek ® NFRP in 2020, a

type of biocomposite using fibres such as hemp, jute, sisal,

American Bamboo, and flax, instead of glass or carbon fibre.

Together, the two companies developed an NFRP

composite material using the trim and scrap fibres,

removing them from the waste stream and expanding the

lifespan of the original materials. “We wanted to find a

better use of the waste stream from our latest natural fibre

composite technologies,” said Mayco International Advanced

Development Engineer Chris Heikkila. “We partnered up

with Green Dot who specializes in bioresins & natural

filled plastic products, because of their expertise & current

natural filled product portfolio.”

“We were excited when Mayco came to us looking for

a solution to their waste issue,” Green Dot Director of

Research & Development Mike Parker said. “They are

committed to creating products that are environmentally

responsible through sustainable, efficient processes which

is exactly what we do at Green Dot.”

Both Green Dot and Mayco International value

environmental responsibility, sustainability, and innovation.

The new material using Terratek NFRP technology aligns

with those values, providing a sustainable alternative to

carbon-based and traditional plastics. While they have

similar physical properties, aesthetics, and chemical

makeup, Terratek NFRP is lighter, quieter, and, in the case of

this collaboration with Mayco International, reclaims fibres

that would otherwise be disposed of as waste.

Green Dot recently featured this new product at CAMX

2021 in Dallas. AT |

22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

New biobased plasticizer

Cargill (Wayzata, Minnesota, USA) is adding to its

bioindustrial solutions portfolio with Biovero TM biobased

plasticizer, which is used for a wide variety of product

manufacturing applications such as flooring, clothing,

wires, cables, and plastic films and sheets for its industrial

customers throughout North America, with plans to expand

the product globally.

“As governments and consumers look to cut the use

of phthalates due to potential health concerns, and

overall demand for PVC products used in infrastructure

expands globally, we’re anticipating a significant increase

in plant-based product manufacturing across multiple

categories,” said Kurtis Miller, managing director of

Cargill’s bioindustrial business. “Biovero plasticizers are

one of our contributions to a more sustainable supply

chain in commercial manufacturing, which provides

new applications for our renewable feedstocks while

delivering more environmentally-conscious products to the


The first application for Biovero plasticizers will be in

the production of home and commercial flooring. Flooring

manufacturers are seeing high performance with the plantbased

product while meeting regulatory requirements and

consumer demands for phthalate-free products.

Biovero plasticizer’s plant-based qualities allow

manufacturers to produce goods more efficiently than

conventional plasticizers while reducing energy, scrap, and

material usage. The plasticizer joins a diverse portfolio of

Cargill Bioindustrial plant-based solutions, ranging from

asphalt rejuvenation, adhesives and binders, wax, dielectric

fluids, lubricants and paints, coatings and inks. AT

Material News

New bio-filled polymer grades

At Fakuma (October 12 th - 16 th , Friedrichshafen, Germany)

Avient (Luxemburg) announced the launch of new biofilled

polymer grades. This new offering strengthens its

sustainable solutions portfolio and responds to customer

needs. bioplastics MAGAZINE spoke to Deborah Sondag,

Senior Marketing Manager, Specialty Engineered Materials

at Avient.

The new reSound NF bio-filled grades are based on

polymers such as polypropylene (PP) with 15 to 20 % biobased

filler. The filler is sourced from plant waste that would

otherwise be landfilled, which in turn could release the

greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere if the landfill

is not properly covered and managed.

The new materials have a pleasing aesthetic compared

to alternative natural fibre-filled polymer grades, are fully

colourable, and can be formulated to meet various regulatory

compliance standards, making them suitable for consumer

applications such as household items and personal care


One early adopter of the new materials is Turkish toothbrush

brand, Difaş (Istanbul, Turkey). Looking to differentiate in the

market and meet the desires of consumers, Difaş worked

with Avient to develop a solution for toothbrush handles,

combs, and hairbrush handles that utilizes natural fillers

while also offering high-end colorability and durability.

“The new bio-filled polymer from Avient has enabled us

to reduce the carbon footprint of a range of our products by

reducing the consumption of petroleum-based polymers.

This has enabled us to work toward our sustainability goals,

while bringing new competitive solutions to the market,” said

Cevdet Yüceler Owner and Chairman of the Board at Difaş.

“Demand is rising for consumer products that utilize more

recycled and renewable materials. Avient material science

experts are continuously developing innovative solutions that

enable our customers to achieve their sustainability goals

and reduce the overall impact on the world’s resources,” said

Matt Mitchell, director, global marketing at Avient.

“The bio-filled grades can also be made with ABS. But as

of now, we are not using recycled PP, recycled ABS nor any

biobased plastics as a matrix. But costumers are approaching

us every day with different demands”, said Deborah Sondag.

On July 1 st , 2020, PolyOne, a leading global provider of

specialized polymer materials, services and sustainable

solutions, had acquired the colour masterbatch businesses

of Clariant and Clariant Chemicals India PolyOne had then

announced that it has changed its name in Avient.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 23


Custom-made PHA


PHAradox makes the next step to custom PHA based development

Helian Polymers (Belfeld, The Netherlands) positions

itself as a bridge between raw material suppliers and

converters. With its nearly fifteen years of experience

in biopolymers it is uniquely suited to transform its

industry and material knowledge into effective application

development and help customers to go from idea to product

and make the transition from traditional plastics to PHA

based solutions.

Through its new brand PHAradox, launched this summer,

it has formed strategic partnerships with the likes of

Tianan Biologic (China) and CJ BIO (South Korea) amongst

others. With access to their products (various PHA family

members) Helian Polymers is able to utilize these natural

building blocks and create unique formulations designed

to mimic properties of, say, PP and ABS. By copying, or at

least approaching, the properties and thus the functionality

of these materials the transition is easier to make and to

communicate with converters and customers alike.

Almost 2 years of R&D lab-scale compounding,

combining various PHA grades like P3HB / PHBV / PHBHx

and P3HB4HB including various fillers has resulted in

dozens of potentially commercial grades with a wide variety

of characteristics. By working closely with its customers

Helian Polymers creates shared value with its unique and

custom-made PHA based formulations. Both innovative

startups and existing brands, looking for replacement

materials, have found their way to Helian Polymers to

discuss ideas and let them evolve to sustainable business

Helian Polymers compound pilot line in Belfeld, The Netherlands

cases. There are currently more than ten projects in

active testing phases, varying from horticulture to leisure

sportswear and from food packaging to tool casings.

Operating from the south of the Netherlands, near the

German border, Helian Polymers has its own in-house

compounding pilot line, testing and warehousing facilities

(entirely powered by solar energy, to keep in line with its

environmentally conscious philosophy). Keeping everything

under one roof ensures flexibility and a fast turnaround

when it comes to the development of new biobased and

biodegradable materials. MT

The Maxado tool case injection moulding test at GL Plastics (Son, The Netherlands)

with custom made PHA based PHAradox formulation by Helian Polymers. (Used with


24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16


available at









Thermal depolymerisation













© | 2021

© | 2020






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





available at















© | 2021

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

nova Market and Trend Reports

on Renewable Carbon

The Best Available on Bio- and CO2-based Polymers

& Building Blocks and Chemical Recycling


Bio-based Naphtha

and Mass Balance Approach

Status & Outlook, Standards &

Certification Schemes

Bio-based Building Blocks and

Polymers – Global Capacities,

Production and Trends 2020 – 2025


Carbon Dioxide (CO 2) as Chemical

Feedstock for Polymers

Technologies, Polymers, Developers and Producers

Principle of Mass Balance Approach

Building Blocks





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


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

Chemical recycling – Status, Trends

and Challenges

Technologies, Sustainability, Policy and Key Players

Production of Cannabinoids via

Extraction, Chemical Synthesis

and Especially Biotechnology

Current Technologies, Potential & Drawbacks and

Future Development

Commercialisation updates on

bio-based building blocks

Plastic recycling and recovery routes

Bio-based building blocks

Evolution of worldwide production capacities from 2011 to 2024

Primary recycling


Virgin Feedstock Renewable Feedstock





Secondary recycling


Tertiary recycling





CO 2 capture




Plant extraction

Chemical synthesis


Plant extraction

Genetic engineering

Biotechnological production

Production capacities (million tonnes)





2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2024

Product (end-of-use)

Quaternary recycling

(energy recovery)



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

Authors: Pia Skoczinski, Franjo Grotenhermen, Bernhard Beitzke,

Michael Carus and Achim Raschka

January 2021

This and other reports on renewable carbon are available at


Doris de Guzman, Tecnon OrbiChem, United Kingdom

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

Levulinic acid – A versatile platform

chemical for a variety of market applications

Global market dynamics, demand/supply, trends and

market potential





diphenolic acid



H 2N



levulinate ketal





5-aminolevulinic acid





levulinic acid


levulinic ester











succinic acid



Succinic acid – From a promising

building block to a slow seller

What will a realistic future market look like?


Acidic ingredient for denture cleaner/toothpaste


Calcium-succinate is anticarcinogenic

Efferescent tablets

Intermediate for perfumes

Pharmaceutical intermediates (sedatives,

antiphlegm/-phogistics, antibacterial, disinfectant)

Preservative for toiletries

Removes fish odour

Used in the preparation of vitamin A


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





Engineering plastics and epoxy curing


Herbicides, fungicides, regulators of plantgrowth

Intermediate for lacquers + photographic chemicals

Plasticizer (replaces phtalates, adipic acid)


Solvents, lubricants

Surface cleaning agent



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

Standards and labels for

bio-based products

Authors: Achim Raschka, Pia Skoczinski, Raj Chinthapalli,

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

October 2019

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

Authors: Raj Chinthapalli, Ángel Puente, Pia Skoczinski,

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

October 2019

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

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

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 25


Fill the gap, not the landfill

Governments and institutions have been scrambling

to rectify the global environmental disaster caused

by the accumulation of plastic waste. This plastic

waste comes in macroscopic forms such as bottles, plastic

bags, and polyester clothing. In the best-case scenario, it is

regulated and dumped into overcrowded landfills or in the

worst case, it escapes into the open environment as litter

directly endangering the health and safety of wildlife and

local populations [1]. Alarmingly an even more insidious

type of plastic, ‘microplastic’, or plastic waste so small it

is invisible to the eye, has been making headlines as it can

be found in the water, soil, and even inside of our bodies [1].

The steps being taken to address this issue focus

on banning specific single-use plastic items or their

substitution with more sustainable alternatives (reusable,

recyclable, or compostable). This is part of an overall shift

from a linear economy to a circular economy. To accelerate

this change, governments have passed their own single-use

plastics bans or have committed themselves to initiatives

such as the New Plastics Economy, Global Commitment led

by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation (EMF) [2].

The goal is to ‘build a circular economy around plastics’

by initially setting strict goals around certain single-use

plastic items for 2025. With these measures in place there

is an incentive for building a future where plastics are either

replaced and or are fully circular. In the meantime, there are

still large gaps that need to be filled by addressing singleuse-items

that fall outside of traditional packaging or

consumer products. Personal protective equipment, sterile

items, and chemically contaminated consumables are

items that are not easily substituted with other materials as

these applications require high-performance and durability

that only plastics can currently provide. Additionally, these

items have recyclability challenges due to contamination or

are used in remote environments (such as for agricultural

applications) where they cannot be efficiently collected [3].

These items are usually landfilled or incinerated, both of

which do not fall under the Ellen Macarthur Foundation’s

definition of circular [2]. The current COVID-19 pandemic

has only exacerbated this type of waste due to the significant

increase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sterile

consumables. Sources have cited that over four million

tonnes of polypropylene waste from PPE have been disposed

of over the course of the pandemic and will continue to grow

[3]. These hard to remediate items are important and will

not disappear.

A solution is to develop innovative materials and circular

product design. Biodegradable and compostable plastics

are viable options to tackle this problem, as they have

the potential to match the performance needed for these

applications [4]. On the other hand, some of these plastics

display incomplete degradation ultimately leading to

microplastics. To elevate degradable plastics into truly

sustainable and viable alternatives major improvements

and innovations are needed.

Scientists have been designing materials that allow rapid

degradation – much more efficient than their traditional

counterparts. In addition, the onset of degradation can

be controlled or triggered. In recent years, triggered

degradation plastics that utilise hydrolytic enzymes

have created attention in the media due to their speed of

degradation and broad applicability. The idea of enzymes

that can degrade plastic, particularly polyesters, is not new

as the entire concept of microbial biodegradation hinges on

this process.

Scientists managed to remove the microbe from the

picture by directly mixing the enzymatic material with the

plastic – a sort of trojan horse plastic composite. Under the

right conditions, degradation happens from the inside out for

these novel plastics. Scientists around the world are working

on developing and optimizing these materials. At Scion, a

Crown Research Institute in New Zealand, researchers

have been exploring how to design and manufacture these

materials using solvent-free thermoplastic processing

techniques. Being able to thermally process them is key to

ensuring their viability commercially.

Day 0 Day 3 Day 8

26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16


Angelique Greene

Kate Parker


Rotorua, New Zealand


One major issue to overcome when working with enzymes

is that they denature when exposed to elevated temperatures

outside of their optimal range of activity. However, certain

solid-state commercial lipases (a type of enzyme) maintain

activity in a solvent-free environment even when exposed

to temperatures upwards of 130 °C [5]. This temperature

range is ideal for lower melting point biodegradable

plastics, meaning that the enzyme and the plastic can be

compounded directly without any additional steps.

To test this theory, the researchers 3D printed the

enzymatic bioplastic into single and multi-material objects

such as a hatching Kiwi bird (see pictures). These objects

were then degraded resulting in total degradation after a 3

to 8-day period and avoiding any microplastics formation.

Being able to directly compound the enzyme with lower

temperature bioplastics is certainly promising and a cheaper

option, however, this direct compounding technique will not

work for higher melting point bioplastics. Scion is currently

exploring polymeric or inorganic supports to protect the

enzyme during processing with high melting point plastics.

A place where high-temperature processing could make

a significant impact is by giving industrially relevant but

problematic bioplastics like PLA the ability to degrade faster

and to completion.

Complementary to this work at Scion, the French startup,

Carbios (Saint-Beauzire), has been working on utilising

polyester degrading enzymes developed by Novozyme

(Bagsværd, Denmark) to develop novel process-scale

enzymatic recycling methods that are milder and more

eco-friendly than conventional chemical recycling [6].

Additionally, research groups at the University of California,

Berkeley, have been looking at ways to improve the efficiency

of the enzymes during degradation and investigating

the mechanistic considerations of the process [7], and

the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Materials

(Potsdam, Germany) has been working on processing these

materials into films [8]. At the same time biotechnologists

and enzymologists are working hard to engineer enzymes

that are more efficient at degradation than currently

available alternatives.

This technology is just emerging and there are still

scientitic challenges to be addressed. It will require a

significant effort to get these technologies to a truly

commercially ready stage. There will be no magic silver

bullet to solve the issue of hard to remediate single-use

plastic waste and it will take a multitude of approaches like

the ones mentioned above and more traditional approaches

such as consumer education and improvements to existing

recycling technology.


[1] The Royal Society Te Apaarangi. (2019, July). Plastics in the Environment

Te Ao Hurihuri – The Changing World.


[2] Ellen Macarthur Foundation. (2020, February). New plastics economy

global commitment commitments, vision and definitions. https://


[3] Nghiem, L. D., Iqbal, H. M. N., & Zdarta, J. (2021). The shadow pandemic

of single use personal protective equipment plastic waste: A blue

print for suppression and eradication. Case Studies in Chemical and

Environmental Engineering, 4, 100125. doi:


[4] European Environmental Agency. (2021, April). Biodegradable and

compostable plastics challenges and opportunities. https://www.eea.


[5] Greene, A. F., Vaidya, A., Collet, C., Wade, K. R., Patel, M., Gaugler,

M., . . . Parker, K. (2021). 3D-Printed Enzyme-Embedded Plastics.

Biomacromolecules, 22(5), 1999-2009. doi:10.1021/acs.biomac.1c00105

[6] Enzymes. (2021, April 9). Carbios.

[7] New process makes ‘biodegradable’ plastics truly compostable |

College of Chemistry. (2021, April 21). Berkeley College of Chemistry.


[8] Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP. (2021, June 1).

Enzymes successfully embedded in plastics. Press Release. https://


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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 27

From Science & Research


Takumi Abe, Rikito Takashima, Hideyuki Otsuka, Daisuke Aoki

Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Takehiro Kamiya

The Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and Fertilizers, Graduate School of Agricultural

and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo

Choon Pin Foong, Keiji Numata

Department of Material Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto



ioplastics can be chemically recycled into nitrogenrich

fertilizers in a facile and environmentally

friendly way, as recently demonstrated by

scientists from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo

Tech). Their findings pave the way towards sustainable

circular systems that simultaneously address issues such

as plastic pollution, petrochemical resource depletion, and

world hunger.

To solve the plastic conundrum, circular systems need to

be developed, in which the source materials used to produce

the plastics come full circle after disposal and recycling. At

the Tokyo Institute of Technology, a team of scientists led

by Daisuke Aoki and Hideyuki Otsuka is pioneering a novel

concept. In their new environmentally friendly process,

plastics produced using biomass are chemically recycled

back into fertilizers. This study was published in Green

Chemistry [1], a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry

focusing on innovative research on sustainable and ecofriendly


The team focused on poly (isosorbide carbonate), or

PIC, a type of biobased polycarbonate that has garnered

much attention as an alternative to petroleum-based

polycarbonates. PIC is produced using a non-toxic material

derived from glucose called isosorbide (ISB) as a monomer.

The interesting part is that the carbonate links that join the

ISB units can be severed using ammonia (NH 3

) in a process

known as ammonolysis. The process produces urea, a

nitrogen-rich molecule that is widely used as a fertilizer.

While this chemical reaction was no secret to science,

few studies on polymer degradation have focused on the

potential uses of all the degradation products instead of

only the monomers.

First, the scientists investigated how well the complete

ammonolysis of PIC could be conducted

in water at mild conditions (30 °C and

atmospheric pressure). The rationale

behind this decision was to avoid the

use of organic solvents and excessive

amounts of energy. The team carefully

analyzed all the reaction products through

various means, including nuclear

magnetic resonance spectroscopy,

the fourier transform infrared

spectroscopy, and gel

permeation chromatography.

Although they managed to

produce urea in this way, the

degradation of PIC was not

complete even after 24 hours,

with many ISB derivatives still



to fertilizers

present. Therefore, the researchers tried increasing the

temperature and found that complete degradation could be

achieved in about six hours at 90 °C. Daisuke Aoki highlights

the benefits of this approach, “The reaction occurs without

any catalyst, demonstrating that the ammonolysis of PIC

can be easily performed using aqueous ammonia and

heating. Thus, this procedure is operationally simple and

environmentally friendly from the viewpoint of chemical


Finally, as a proof-of-concept that all PIC degradation

products can be directly used as a fertilizer, the team

conducted plant growth experiments with Arabidopsis

thaliana, a model organism. They found that plants treated

with all PIC degradation products grew better than plants

treated with just urea.

The overall results of this study showcase the feasibility

of developing fertilizer-from-plastics systems (see

picture). The systems can not only help fight off pollution

and resource depletion but also contribute to meeting the

world’s increasing food demands. Daisuke Aoki concludes

on a high note, “We are convinced that our work represents

a milestone toward developing sustainable and recyclable

polymer materials in the near future. The era of bread from

plastics is just around the corner!”


[1] Plastics to Fertilizers: Chemical Recycling of a Biobased Polycarbonate

as a Fertilizer Source; Green Chemistry; Oct. 2021; DOI: https://doi.

org/10.1039/d1gc02327f |

28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 29


Merging high-quality recycling

with lowered emissions

Changing the way we think about plastics is a task facing

the entire value chain, but the main focus still lies

where a product’s life meets its smelly end’ – on waste

management. While keeping an eye on the ongoing need to

reduce climate impact, we also need to broaden our recycling

technology horizons. Ultimately, high-quality recycling is what is

going to be needed to make the plastics economy truly circular.

The Newcycling ® process

APK AG was founded in 2008 with the vision of producing pure

polymers with properties close to virgin plastics from mixed

plastic waste, including multilayer film waste. Researchers and

engineers at APK have developed a physical recycling process

that combines mechanical recycling steps with a targeted

solvent-based step – their Newcycling technology.

Where is this process positioned on the spectrum of

plastics recycling technologies? A comprehensive overview of

technological innovation is badly needed in order to understand

which elements each technology branch (mechanical/

advanced physical or chemical) can contribute to creating a

circular economy for plastics – and how these processes can

complement each other.

Recycling technology delineation

APK’s technology is a physical (also referred to as material)

recycling technology. The molecular structure of the polymer is

kept intact, as is the case in standard mechanical recycling. This

is the major difference in comparison to chemical processes.

Recently, the delineation of innovative recycling processes has

begun to become more refined and therefore clearer. The use of

a solvent does not automatically designate the recycling process

as being chemical. There are innovative approaches on both

the physical side of the spectrum (dissolution, etc.) and on the

chemical side (for example, solvolysis).

Because physical, solvent-based recycling does not break

down molecular chains, no energy needs to be invested in repolymerisation

– one reason for the low carbon footprint of

recyclates produced via such technology.

Newcycling consists of the following steps:

Waste from PA/PE multi-layer film production is first

mechanically pre-treated, undergoing, among other things,

shredding and classification. Next, the PE layer is dissolved and

liquefied in a solvent bath, leading to separation of the polymers

and polymer layers.

The undissolved PA is then separated from the dissolved

PE using conventional solid-liquid separation technology and

the polymers are subsequently further processed in separate

material streams.

The PA is introduced into a twin-screw extruder, where it

passes through various process sections and is processed into

a high-quality PA melt, using very high dispersion performance

and intensive devolatilization. Finally, it is pelletized into firstclass

PA recyclates.

Any remaining contaminants in the liquefied PE, such

as degraded additives, inks, etc. are removed (purification).

Then an additive package is added (re-additivation). Following

pre-evaporation, the PE is likewise introduced into a twinscrew

extruder, together with the solvent. There, intensive

devolatilization of the liquid takes place, which has been

precisely calibrated for this application so that even when PE/

solvent ratios fluctuate, first-class results will be produced.

The solvent is completely volatilized and added back into the

Newcycling process in a closed loop. The PE remains in the form

of a homogeneous, high-quality melt, which is then pelletized.

The resulting PE recyclate is of a quality similar to that of virgin


In April 2021, the renowned recyclability certifier ARGE

cyclos/HTP (Aachen, Germany) audited APK’s recycling facility

in Merseburg, Germany, for conformance with the EuCertPlast

certification scheme. The audit focussed on the suitability of

APK’s plants for the recycling of post-consumer waste from

plastic films as well as of waste from PE/PA multilayer film

production. All test requirements were successfully fulfilled

and in July 2021, ARGE cyclos/HTP awarded APK the official

EuCertPlast certificate.

Recycing technology delineation (© APK)

30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

The recyclate products

The two fully commercialized recyclate products created in

Merseburg are marketed as Mersalen ® (LDPE) and Mersamid ®

(PA). Both recyclate types have been certified with the flustix

RECYCLED sustainability seal, ensuring that they meet DIN

standards for recyclate content.

Mersamid PA recyclates are suitable for a number of

applications – from simple dowels and cable binders to

sophisticated sports gear or parts in the automotive segment. A

recent example of products made with APK’s PA recyclates are

the fastening hooks on outdoor equipment company VAUDE’s

ReCycle pannier. For these hooks, VAUDE (Tettnang, Germany)

required a recycled material that could withstand high loads

under a wide variety of outdoor conditions as well as provide

outstanding durability. To account for design-relevant factors,

it was also necessary to ensure that the material had good

colouring capability.

Mersalen LDPE recyclates provide a very high level of purity

and are transparent in colour. They can be used in a number

of flexible packaging applications. A recent example is APK’s

collaboration with Huhtamaki (Ronsberg, Germany), where

recycled content was introduced into their PBL tubes. A total

of 19 % of the material was replaced with recyclates from APK.

The tubes are suitable for such applications as facial and body

cosmetics. Moreover, the PBL tubes, including recycled content,

have been certified recyclable by EuCertPlast.

When it comes to climate impact, the carbon footprint of

APK’s recyclates is an average of 66 % lower than that of their

virgin plastics version.

The future: scaling Newcycling across the EU

Based on its industrial-scale plant in Merseburg and its

successfully commercialized products, APK is planning to scale

its Newcycling technology across the EMEA region. Newcycling

technology is able to valorize a broad feedstock base, including

post-industrial and post-consumer sources, whether in the

form of multilayer film waste or mixed unsorted plastic streams.

In collaboration with initial partners from the plastics industry,

planning is underway for the construction of additional plants

for the processing of post-consumer waste in the very near

future. With an initial focus on LDPE, APK is already working

on additional recyclate solutions, such as PP, HDPE, and other

PCR streams.


Hagen Hanel

Head of Plastics Recycling Innovation Center


Merseburg, Germany


examples –



PBL tube,

2020 (top right)


VAUDE pannier,

2021 (bottom).

Mersalen (LDPE) recyclate produced with

APK’s Newcycling technology


Newcycling – the closest loop back into packaging (© APK)

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 31



Fig. 2: small scarf containing 50 % Recycled PAN

S. Schonauer & T. Gries

Institute of Textile Technology,

RWTH Aachen University

Aachen, Germany


process for

PAN from

textile waste

Most synthetic fibres are made from fossil material

sources. Since these are only available in finite

quantities and their use is not always compatible

with today’s environmental goals, it is necessary to develop

an innovative recycling process and close material cycles.

Currently, polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-containing waste from

production and end-of-use waste is sent for thermal

waste treatment, used as a filler, or processed into lowvalue

blended yarns. Although energy recovery is possible,

incineration also releases harmful emissions, and the

material can no longer be fed into a cycle. [1] At ITA of RWTH

Aachen University, approaches to the chemical recycling

of PAN fibres are being pursued under the project name

industrial RePAN, as a step towards closed-loop economy.

The technical feasibility along the entire process chain from

polymer recovery and fibre production up until the finished

product (blankets) is being mapped.

Assuming that newly acquired products replace old

textiles, around 24,500 tonnes of end-of-use waste is

annually generated in the house and home textiles sector

in Germany. Even if only half of this waste could be recycled,

it would offer 12,250 tonnes of new resources. During the

production of PAN staple fibres, about 1 % by weight, and

additionally during processing up to 10 % by weight, of fibre

materials are generated as production waste [2, 3]. This

type of waste served as a secondary raw material source

for these research trials.

The individual stages of the process are presented in

Figure 1, starting with the collection of textile waste from

the blanket production. The waste is dissolved in DMSO

(dimethyl sulphoxide) and chemically precipitated to

produce RePAN-pellets.

During the preparation of the spinning solution, RePANpellets

are mixed with new PAN-powder to equal parts,

resulting in a 50 %- RePAN solution. These fibres with 50 %

recycled material could be spun into yarns that could meet

the same requirements as virgin material.

These characteristics of the produced RePAN fibres

therefore, lead to the assumption that an industrial

feasibility of recycled fibres is possible. The scientists are

now proofing the processability of the yarns and upscale

to semi-industrial scale. Figure 2 shows a product using

RePAN fibres.

[1] Gries, T.: Fibre-tables based on P.-A. Koch, Polyacrylic fibres, 6. Issue,


[2] Herbert, C. (Research and development at Dralon GmbH): Interview,


[3] Rensmann, R. (managing director of Hermann Biederlack GmbH + Co

KG): Interview, 25.05.2016

Fig. 1: Recycling

process from

waste to new


Textile waste


Spinning solution

Staple fibres

32 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

Patent situation

Europe and USA are leading innovation in plastic recycling

and alternative plastics globally, patent data shows


From a global perspective, Europe and the USA are

leading innovation in plastic recycling and alternative

plastics technologies, i.e. renewable carbon plastics,

a new study published in October by the European Patent

Office (EPO, headquartered in Munich, Germany) shows.

Europe and the USA each accounted for 30 % of patenting

activity worldwide in these sectors between 2010 and 2019,

or 60 % combined. Within Europe, Germany posted the

highest share of patent activity in both plastic recycling and

bioplastic technologies (8 % of global total), while France,

the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium stand out for

their higher specialisation in these fields.

Titled Patents for tomorrow’s plastics: Global innovation

trends in recycling, circular design and alternative sources

[1], the study presents a comprehensive analysis of the

innovation trends for the period 2010 to 2019 that are

driving the transition to a circular economy for plastics. The

report looks at the number of international patent families

(IPFs), each of which represents an invention for which

patent applications have been filed at two or more patent

offices worldwide (so-called high-value inventions). It aims

to provide a guide for business leaders and policymakers

to direct resources towards promising technologies, to

assess their comparative advantage at different stages of

the value chain, and to highlight innovative companies and

institutions that could contribute to long-term sustainable


Chemical and biological recycling methods with

the highest number of patents

The study highlights that of all recycling technologies,

the fields of chemical and biological recycling methods

generated the highest level of patenting activity in the period

under review. These methods accounted for 9,000 IPFs in

2010–19, double the number filed for mechanical recycling

(4,500 IPFs). While the patenting of standard chemical

methods (such as cracking and pyrolysis) reached a peak

in 2014, emerging technologies such as biological methods

using living organisms (1,500 IPFs) or plastic-to-monomer

recycling (2,300 IPFs) now offer new possibilities to degrade

polymers and produce virgin-like plastics.

Healthcare and cosmetics & detergent

industries lead in bioplastic innovation

In the area of bioplastic inventions, the study finds that the

healthcare sector has by far the most patenting activity in

total (more than 19,000 IPFs in 2010–19), despite accounting

for less than 3 % of the total demand for plastics in Europe.

However, the cosmetics and detergents sector has the

largest share of its patenting activity in bioplastics, with the

ratio of bioplastics IPFs to conventional plastics IPFs being

1:3, compared to 1:5 in the healthcare sector. Packaging,

electronics and textiles are also significant contributors to

innovation in bioplastics.

CO 2

based plastics

Finally, with regard to alternative plastics technologies,

the report also looks at the role of plastics production

from CO 2

, which has been launched by a small number

of companies, mainly from Europe – such as Covestro in

Germany – and South Korea and can play an important role

on the road to the circular economy. MT

[1] Patents for tomorrow’s plastics: Global innovation trends in recycling,

circular design and alternative sources;

Download from

Source: European Patent Office

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 33


Natural PHA materials

The most versatile materials platform in the world?


Jan Ravenstijn

Board member of GO!PHA

Advisory board member of AMIBM

Meerssen, The Netherlands

Guo-Qiang (George) Chen

Advisory board member of GO!PHA

Tsinghua University

Beijing, China

We think that natural PHA materials show a much

larger application versatility than any other existing

material platforms can mimic. The reason for this

thought is that natural PHA materials are already used in

nature for many purposes and for much longer than the

existence of mankind.

PHA stands for Polyhydroxyalkanoate of which there can

be an infinite number of different moieties. So it’s nonsense

to claim properties for PHA, because different PHAmolecules

have different properties. Even the well-known

polylactic acid (PLA) and polycaprolactone (PCL) belong to

the PHA group of materials.

However, a number of PHA-materials are naturally

occurring materials, like PHB and a number of its

copolymers like PHBV, PHBHx, P3HB4HB, PHBO, and

PHBD. These materials are not plastics, but are natural

materials made and found in nature, like cellulose or starch


These natural macromolecular materials are not

made by polymerization, but by enzymatically controlled

biochemical conversion of naturally occurring nutrients

(sugars, vegetable oils, starches, etc.) and they all have a

role to play in nature.

These natural PHAs are part of the metabolism in all

living organisms (plants, animals, and humans) since

the beginning of life on earth. They function as nutritious

and energy storage materials, so they are supposed to be

used for that purpose. One can call that biodegradation,

but one could also call that feed for living organisms

in every environment. In addition, they can fully meet a

comprehensive combination of end-of-life options, unlike

most other material platforms [2].

Today, these bio-benign materials are made at industrial

scale, just by mimicking nature. Many manufacturing

capacity expansions are planned and built, especially in

Asia/Pacific and North America. The materials appear to be

excellent candidates for a very large variety of applications

in thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers, lubricants,

glues, adhesives, but also in several non-traditional polymer

applications like animal feed, cell regeneration in humans

and animals, denitrification, and cosmetics for instance.

Without further ado, we present a limited number of

applications that have been successfully developed and

already use these PHA materials:

1.Traditional thermoplastic applications

During the past ten years manufacturing companies have

invested billions of dollars to develop and build significant

capacity to make natural PHA-materials at industrial

scale. Simultaneously, applications were developed using

these materials, focussing primarily on applications where

biodegradability in many environments was seen to be an

advantage and added value.

Indeed, the natural PHA-materials are feed for living

organisms in every environment, so they biodegrade

(= carbon conversion to CO 2

) in every environment, albeit

the rate of biodegradation depends on part geometry and

external conditions like temperature, humidity, and others


The result of the BioSinn project [4], on request of the

German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, describes

25 product-market combinations where biodegradation is a

viable end-of-life option. Biodegradability is an advantage

when it is difficult or even impossible to separate plastics

from organic materials that are destined for home or

industrial composting and when it is challenging or

(Photo: MAIP)

(Photo: Nuez Lounge Bio ® )

34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

prohibitively expensive to avoid fragments ending

up in the open environment or to remove them

after use.

Natural PHA-based end products

that are currently in the market are

for instance coffee capsules, waste

bags, mulch films, clips, non-wovens,

film for food packaging, microplastics

in cosmetics, and natural

PHA coated paper for coffee cups.

The last application has also been

accepted as recyclable by the paper

industry. There are many more

application opportunities according

to the BioSinn report. Currently, the

main challenge is the total global

manufacturing capacity of these natural PHA-materials,

but many new plant constructions are underway.

(Photo: Prodir)

That biodegradability is not the only Unique Selling Point

(USP) to talk about has been made clear by a compounding

company that significantly elevated the science level and

knowledge base for natural PHA-materials [5]. They develop

new PHA-compounds that are 100 % bio-based, have high

temperature resistance, are easy to process, and are tailormade

for a large variety of durable applications.

This compounding company has developed more than

500 different natural PHA-based formulations from stiff to

extremely flexible, thermal resistance up to 130 °C, weather

and UV resistance, fast nucleation from the melt, and

improved barrier properties, demonstrating that natural

PHA-materials can be turned into a new series of biotechnopolymers

that can be processed at as fast as or even

faster than the currently used polymers in the industry for

all conversion technologies currently in use.

Today we see compounders using a combination

of different natural PHA-materials to make them the

only polymers in compounds for film or 3D printing

for instance, while they were often used as additives

in combination with PBAT or PLA a few years ago. The

availability of high molecular weight amorphous and/or

very low crystallinity PHA grades (like P3HB4HB with

50 % 4HB or PHBHx with 30 % Hx) offer the opportunity

(Photo: Ohmie by Krill Design)

to blend low and high E-modulus grades to control


Several examples of these so-called bio-technopolymers

have been demonstrated and are used in applications for

spectacle cases (replacing ABS or PP Talc), pens (replacing

ABS), design chairs (replacing GFR-PP), lamps, electrical

light switches (replacing PC/ABS), etc. The design chair has

an injection moulded core of a 12 kg shot weight made in a

2,500 tonnes injection moulding machine. The chair comes

in several colours.

Also, some natural PHA-materials with low E-modulus

have been developed for use in hot melt adhesives, pressure

sensitive adhesives, and laminating adhesives & sealants.

So far, the use is still limited due to the low manufacturing


generic picture

(Photo: Reef Interest)

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 35


capacities, but this is a matter of time. Several materials

are used for matting agents in coatings to replace silica and

resulting in much better transparency and haptic properties

(soft feel). These haptic properties are one of the USPs of

these materials.

Finally, due to the enormous amount of plastic microfibres

ending up in our oceans every year many parties

are actively involved in developing fibres from natural

PHA-materials for both woven (textiles) and non-woven

applications. Although the first applications are on the

market, it is still small and application developments are in

an early stage, especially for textile applications. There are

fibres for textile applications on the market, but those are

based on compounds that also contain other polymers in

addition to natural PHA-material, so far.

2. Non-traditional plastic applications

Several non-traditional plastic applications have been

developed and result in business, given the long-known

role and appearance of natural PHA-materials in natural

habitats. One could consider applications in animal feed,

medical care (both humans and animals), denitrification,

artificial turf, and cosmetics for instance.

Denitrification is required when there is too much

ammonia in a certain environment (wastewater treatment,

aquaria, shrimp, fish and turtle farms, etc.). Ammonia

turns into nitrates and nitrites by oxidation. Natural PHAmaterials

are an excellent carbon source to reduce the

nitrates and nitrites to nitrogen or N 2

because through

biodegradation it provides the carbon for this denitrification

process. Today, material is being sold for these applications.

A completely different segment is to use natural PHAmaterials

for medical applications. Within the human

body one can use microspheres for the cultivation of stem

cells. These have a degradation time of about one year,

while the degradation product helps cell growth. They can

be used for bone/cartilage regeneration, skin damage

repair (wound closures), nerve guidance conduits, among

others. Scaffoldings made from such materials have been

demonstrated to take care of bone repair, but also repair

of a damaged oesophagus. The company Tepha (Lexington,

Massachusetts, USA) makes several products for the

abovementioned purposes for about 10 years and Medpha

(Beijing, China) is also active in this field and further extends

it. One of the newer applications is to use these materials

for controlled drug delivery.

Artificial sports fields like those for soccer always use a

filler. Although often ground old car tires have been used

for this application for a while, it has become unacceptable

for health and environmental safety reasons. Today also

natural PHA materials are used for artificial turf infill (FIFA


PHB and other natural PHA-materials are or can be used

as feed or feed additives for animals:

Feeding PHB to aquatic organisms has been well studied

[6, 7], confirming that PHB had a positive impact on

growth, survival, intestinal microbial structure, and disease

resistance of aquatic animals, serving as an energy source

for European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax juveniles [7],

helping to increase the lipid content of the whole body [6].

PHB was also used as an alternative to antibiotics for

protecting shrimps from pathogenic Vibrio campbelli [8], it

was observed to induce heat shock protein (Hsp) expression

and contribute partially to the protection of shrimp against V.

campbelli [9], improving the growth performance, digestive

enzyme activity, and function of the immune system of

rainbow trout [9], enhancing the body weights of Chinese

mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis juveniles [10].

PHB also improved the survival of prawn Macrobrachium

rosenbergii larvae [11], blue mussel Mytilus edulis larvae

[12] and Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus juveniles [13].

PHB can not only affect marine organisms but also large

livestock. The feed composition shapes the gut bacterial

communities and affects the health of large livestock [14,


It is concluded that PHB has no negative effect on the

growth of marine animals like large yellow croakers and

popular land animals like weaned piglets with sensitivity to

foods. In the future, plastics made of PHB, perhaps including

its copolymers PHBV and P3HB4HB, can be used again as

feed additives for animals. More positively, plastics made

of natural PHA-materials could replace petrochemical

plastics to avoid the death of marine or land animals that

mistakenly consume plastic packaging garbage [16].

Based on the origin of this natural PHA-materials

platform and on the application examples discussed here,

we are convinced that this new material platform is a

sleeping giant [5] with a very promising future.


[1] Michael Carus, Which polymers are “natural polymers” in the sense of

single-use plastic ban?, Open letter to DG Environment signed by 18

scientific experts, 8 October 2019.

[2] Jan Ravenstijn and Phil Van Trump, What about recycling of PHApolymers?,

bioplastics MAGAZINE, Volume 15, 03/20, 30-31.

[3] Bruno De Wilde, Biodegradation: one concept, many nuances,

Presentation at the 2 nd PHA-platform World Congress, 22 September


[4] Verena Bauchmüller, BioSinn: Products for which biodegradation

makes sense, Report from nova Institute and IKT-Stuttgart, 25 May


[5] Eligio Martini, The compounding will be the success of the Sleeping

Giant, Presentation at the 2 nd PHA-platform World Congress, 22

September 2021.

[6] Najdegerami, E. H., Aquacult. Res. 2015, 46, 801-812.

[7] De Schryver, P., Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2010, 86, 1535-1541.

[8] Defoirdt, T., Halet, D., Vervaeren, H., Boon, N., Van de Wiele, T.,

Sorgeloos, P., Bossier, P., Verstraete, W., Environ. Microbiol. 2007, 9,


[9] Baruah, K., Sci. Rep. 2015, 5, 9427.

[10] Sui, L., Ma, G., Aquacult. Res. 2016, 47, 3644-3652.

[11] Thai, T. Q., Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2014, 98, 5205-5215.

[12] Hung, N. V., Aquaculture 2015, 446, 318-324.

[13] Situmorang, M. L., Vet. Microbiol. 2016, 182, 44-49.

[14] Lalles, J. P., Proc. Nutr. Soc. 2007, 66, 260-268.

[51] Ma, N., Front Immunol. 2018, 9.

[16] Wang, X., Biotechnol J. 2019, e1900132.

36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

7 th PLA World Congress


organized by

Call for papers is now open

PLA is a versatile bioplastics raw material from renewable

resources. It is being used for films and rigid packaging, for

fibres in woven and non-woven applications. Automotive,

consumer electronics and other industries are thoroughly

investigating and even already applying PLA. New methods

of polymerizing, compounding or blending of PLA have

broadened the range of properties and thus the range of

possible applications. That‘s why bioplastics MAGAZINE is

now organizing the 7 th PLA World Congress on:

Early June 2022 in Munich / Germany

Experts from all involved fields will share their knowledge

and contribute to a comprehensive overview of today‘s

opportunities and challenges and discuss the possibilities,

limitations and future prospects of PLA for all kind

of applications. Like the five previous congresses the

7 th PLA World Congress will also offer excellent networking

opportunities for all delegates and speakers as well as

exhibitors of the table-top exhibition. Based on the good

experices with the hybrid format (bio!TOY and PHA World

Congress 2021) we will offer this format also for future

conferences, hoping the pandemic does no longer force us

to. So the participation at the 7 th PLA World Congress will

be possible on-site as well as online.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 37



A needed shift towards a sustainable biobased circular economy and

the role of cellulose in it



Storage &








(e.g. LCA)


Nutrients /




Fibre and







End products




Figure 1: New value

chains based on

biogenic residues

for textile, food

and agricultural

industries in


Overview of possibilities presented by utilization

of cellulose

Cellulose is one of the most important scaffold formers

in the biosphere and an abundant raw material with highly

interesting properties to science and industry. Cellulose is

formed by linkages of single D-glucose building blocks. It

is considered 100 % biodegradable [2], semi crystalline [3],

and can be chemically modified. As cellulose is the primary

component of plant-based cell walls, it can be found in

high weight percentages especially in wood and cotton but

also in crops such as corn and wheat to name a few known

examples, that are currently in technical use. [4] However,

from an ecological point of view, the use of potential food

crops or cotton is not sustainable in the long run, as

precious space and resources that would otherwise have

been used for the food or textile industry, now has to be

converted for technical use. [5] Various pioneers took the

mission to focus on sustainable biobased solutions and

shifted from using primary cellulose feedstocks to utilizing

readily available waste materials such as various straw and

grass types, wood chips, and chaff which indicates the shift

from 1 st generation to 2 nd generation feedstocks, enabled by

physical or chemical biomass transformation technologies

such as Steam Explosion, Soda-, Kraft-, Organosolv, and

the holistic Organocat process. [6–9]

Focusing on the rapidly expanding research and product

development worldwide over the past decade, the current

knowledge of cellulose and its chemistry including the use

of derivatives are found in well-known products such as

coatings, films, membranes, building materials, textiles,

composite materials and biobased polymers. [10]

While direct plant fibres are easily accessible for the textile

industry the need for refined materials with customizable

properties are of higher interest. Pure cellulose can be

industrially found predominantly in form of paper pulp or

chemical pulp. Depending on whether the pulp is intended

for regeneration or derivatization, each field requires its

own set of processes. While paper pulp tolerates higher

impurities such as lignin and hemicellulose the chemical

pulp also known as dissolving grade pulp is mainly defined

through its high cellulose quality. Due to its susceptibility

to certain chemicals, cellulose can be effectively

functionalized in processes such as etherification, nitration,

acetylation, and xanthation. Cellulose ethers can be used

as food additives, binders, and glues. The well-known

nitrocellulose for film bases from the early 20 th century

can be made via nitration. Cellulose acetates are used

as filaments in cigarette filters or mouldings, and films.

Xanthation is one step especially well known through the

viscose process, heavily used in the textile industry. The

highly versatile viscose process is one way to generate

filaments, staple fibres, cords and yarns as well as

cellophane films, sponges, and casings. Other processes

that are of importance in regard to regeneration are Cupro,

Lyocell/Tencell, Vulcanized fibre as well as Loncell that are

of importance in the textile industry. Among others, the

regenerated cellulose finds application in apparel-, home-,

and technical textiles. Technical textiles include geo-agro

textiles, insulation and composite materials. [11, 12]

Since cellulose consists of single unit glucose molecules,

the possible use cases once biotechnology comes into play

are enormous. With enzymes being able to break down

cellulose and organisms being able to process glucose to

platform chemicals, the path to future biobased plastics is


By far the best-known platform chemical known to date is

ethanol. Bioethanol has been in the spotlight for the last few

decades with multiple companies, investing in commercial

facilities to process either lignocellulose, starch or sugar

in ethanol that can be used in fuel mixing to produce e.g.

the E20 high-performance biofuel mixture. Other uses for

biobased ethanol include bio-PE or MEG (monoethylene

glycol) produce bio-PET or PEF.

Other important platform-chemicals are succinic

acid, levulinic acid, 3-hydropropionic acid, furfural,

hydroxymethylfurfural (5 HMF), and lactic acid.

Through these platform chemicals, polymers such as

polylactic acid (PLA) and Polybutylene succinate (PBS) can

38 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

Figure 1: Overview of a

simplified cellulose value chain

from biomass


be synthesized. PLA originates from lactic acid while PBS

has its origin from succinic acid as a building block.

Under certain conditions these biopolymers are

biodegradable and thus interesting to the food, packaging,

agro- and textile industry especially. On the other hand,

drop-in solutions such as polyethylene furanoate (PEF)

from bio-MEG and 5 HMF based FDCA present a suitable

option for the industry as PEF is currently known to be a

perfect replacement of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).





[3] M. Mariano, N.E. Kissi, A. Dufresne, J. Polym. Sci. Part B: Polym. Phys.,

2014, 52: 791-806.

[4] C. Ververis, K. Georghiou, N. Christodoulakis, P. Santas, R. Santas, J.

Ind. Crop. 2004, 3, 245-254

[5] Eisentraut, A., IEA Energy Papers, 2010, No. 2010/01, OECD Publishing,


[6] H-Z. Chen, Z-H. Liu, Biotechnol. J. 2015, 10, 6, 866-885

[7] D. Montane, X. Farriol, J. Salvado, P. Jollez, E.Chornet, Biomass and

Energy, 1998, 14, 3, 241-276

[8] A. Johansson, O. Aaltonen, P. Ylinen, Biomass, 1987, 13, 1, 45-65

[9] P.M. Grande, J. Viell, N.Theyssen, W. Marquardt, P. D. Maria, W. Leitner,

Green Chem., 2015,17, 3533-3539

[10] Nova-Institute GmbH, Industrial Material Use of Biomass in Europe


[11] Strunk, Peter. “Characterization of cellulose pulps and the influence of

their properties on the process and production of viscose and cellulose

ethers.” (2012).

[12] Seisl S., Hengstmann R., Manmade Cellulosic Fibres (MMCF)—A

Historical Introduction and Existing Solutions to a More Sustainable

Production. In: Matthes A., Beyer K., Cebulla H., Arnold M.G., Schumann

A. (eds) Sustainable Textile and Fashion Value Chains. Springer, Cham.


[13] Biopolymers- Facts and statistics, Institute for Bioplastics and Bio

composites, 2018

[14] McAdam, B., Brennan Fournet, M., McDonald, P., & Mojicevic, M. (2020).

Polymers, 12(12), 2908

[15] S. Saravanamurugan, A. Pandey, R. S. Sangwan, Biofuels, 2017, 51-67

INGRAIN, short for “Spitze im Westen: Innovationsbündnis

Agrar-Textil-Lebensmittel” (Innovation Alliance – Agro-Textile-Nutrition)

has a set goal to upcycle residual streams to

valuables and nutrition. Since the approval by the German

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in

late August 2021, the project focuses on and around the

westernmost administrative district in Germany, the rural

district of Heinsberg (State: North Rhine-Westphalia), which

has been characterized by various structural changes for

decades including the decline of the formerly formative

textile industry, end of coal mining, including its regional

neighbourhood. With a possible funding capped at EUR 15

million for a duration of 6 years, INGRAIN focuses to create

a biobased circular economy within that project region.

The program will be self-governed by the key consortium

creating a new approach to fast-track projects that are of

high importance to the overall goal. The key consortium

consists of the Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft für den

Kreis Heinsberg mbH, Institute of Textile technology and

Chair for Information Management in Material Engieering

of the RWTH Aachen University, Niederrhein University of

Applied Sciences Mönchengladbach as well as Rhine-Waal

University of Applied Sciences Kleve. In this program, cellulose

among other important resources is of high interest

due to the mass flux within and around the project region.[1]


Sea-Hyun, Lee

Scientific Assistant

Institut für Textiltechnik RWTH Aachen University

Aachen, Germany

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 39



Years ago

Published in

bioplastics MAGAZINE



Stefano Facco

New Business Development Director

Novamont SpA

Novara, Italy

The Future of the

Shopping Bag in Italy

Are newly developed, biodegradable and

compostable polymers the ideal solution?


urrently we are facing a quite chaotic debate about the ideal

solution for the incredible amount of disposable shopping

bags used by consumers today. Recycling, environmental

impact, re-use, littering and especially marine litter are

some of the main keywords arising when this important topic is


Some facts related to the use of such bags are quite impressive.

In Italy, some 300 bags per year per capita are used, which

corresponds roughly to 25% of the total European consumption,

and corresponding to 100 billion units. About 2/3 of these products

are imported from countries such as China, Indonesia or Thailand,

where many of them are being produced under conditions which

are not allowed in Europe. This creates an unfair competitive

advantage. The recycling quota of post-consumer shopping bags

is below 1% on a world-wide level, albeit in some countries the

collection rate is much higher, but not all collected bags end up

in recycling.

At this point, I feel that beside the environmental discussion

about raw materials and products, we should strongly bear

in mind the fact that right now the plastic converting industry,

especially the European companies producing bags and sacks,

are not facing easy times. The competing converters, mainly

located in the Asia/Pacific area, quite often accept commercial

conditions which may be described as dumping conditions (on

an EU level, only a few years ago, some anti-dumping measures

were taken). Especially in the southern European region, where

most of the European production was located, more and more

medium and small size companies are struggling to survive.

Taking these aspects into account, it really may be considered

a natural reaction to somehow strengthen again our European

industry by converting new families of polymers (also produced in

the EU) locally. A fair competition would arise again, and the basis

for a healthy economic growth.

Furthermore, the use of renewable resources combined with

the property of being B&C (biodegradable and compostable)

would, in addition to the aspects related to the growth of local

companies, help us to better deal with the scarcity of fossil raw

materials and to add new end-of-life options such as the organic

recycling of polymers.

The new Italian decree, which came in force on January 1 st ,

2011, imposing the use of B&C shopping bags, somehow

perfectly supported the three major aspects I have described

above: the strengthening of local or European enterprises,

the use of renewable resources (as most of the polymers

available on the market do contain a significant amount of

renewable raw materials (RRMs)) and their compostability,

which finally offers an end-of-life option which may help

the Italian composting industry to get rid of some of the

100,000 tonnes of plastic film pollutants sieved out during

the composting process itself.

The incredible speed with which major Italian B&C polymer

producers (such as Novamont) and other European groups

(such as BASF) were able to increase production capacity has

enabled most of the traditional shopping bag converters to

switch to these new materials in order to satisfy the growing

market request. Due to the high technological level of these

materials, the production switch was immediately carried out

without loss of time and without additional investment.

22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/11] Vol. 6

40 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16


In November 2011, Stefano Facco,

New Business Development Director,

Novamont, said:

Ten years ago, plastic bags were one of the main

topics of discussion in Europe. In 2011 Italy paved

the way to implement legislation banning single-use

plastic bags and allowing only very thick reusable

ones and compostable singl-use ones. A few years

later the European Union applied a very similar Plastic

Bags Directive.


In the last ten years, in Italy, the consumption of

carrier bags heavily decreased (-58 % between 2010

and 2020 [1]), the quantity and quality of organic recycling

improved (Italy collects around 47 % of biowaste

against the 16 % European average [2] ) and the compostable

plastics value chain grew (2,775 employees

and a turnover of 815 million Euros [3]), allowing the

development of a virtuous model, an example of circular

bioeconomy, with the production of high-quality


In 2020 Biorepack started its activity, the world’s

first National Consortium for the biological recycling

of compostable plastics. It is the first European-wide

system of extended responsibility to manage the end

of life of certified compostable packaging.

This circular bioeconomy model of a European MS

is now ready to be extended as well to foodserviceware

and compostable packaging.

Major groups such as Matrica (ENI/Novamont JV),

Roquette, Cereplast and other companies started, or

have announced, huge investments in the production of

monomers, intermediates and polymers based on RRMs or

in compounding facilities. Therefore, the coming into force

of this new decree not only boosted once more the optimism

of local converters, but it also helped to attract huge

investments in future-oriented technologies such as fully

integrated biorefineries.


[1] Plastic Consult, 2021, La filiera dei polimeri compostabili. Dati

2020 e prospettive

[2] BIC and Zero Waste Europe, Bio-waste generation in the EU:

Current capture levels and future potential

[3] Plastic Consult, 2021, La filiera dei polimeri compostabili. Dati

2020 e prospettive

Briefly summarizing the positive outcome of the new

situation that we are experiencing in Italy, we may affirm

that the composting industry is easily able to handle the

increase and treatment of the new compostable shopping

bags. Retailers have reduced consumption of shopping

bags in general by 30% to 50%, which may be considered

environmentally beneficial, converters are again increasing

their production and replacing partially imported products,

and new industrial investments have proven that investors

believe firmly in the future of these new technologies.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/11] Vol. 6 23


Glossary 5.0 last update issue 06/2021

In bioplastics MAGAZINE the same expressions appear again

and again that some of our readers might not be familiar

with. The purpose of this glossary is to provide an overview

of relevant terminology of the bioplastics industry, to avoid

repeated explanations of terms such as

PLA (polylactic acid) in various articles.

Bioplastics (as defined by European Bioplastics

e.V.) is a term used to define two different kinds

of plastics:

a. Plastics based on → renewable resources

(the focus is the origin of the raw material

used). These can be biodegradable or not.

b. → Biodegradable and → compostable plastics

according to EN13432 or similar standards (the

focus is the compostability of the final product;

biodegradable and compostable plastics can

be based on renewable (biobased) and/or nonrenewable

(fossil) resources).

Bioplastics may be

- based on renewable resources and biodegradable;

- based on renewable resources but not be

biodegradable; and

- based on fossil resources and biodegradable.

Advanced Recycling | Innovative recycling

methods that go beyond the traditional mechanical

recycling of grinding and compoundig

plastic waste. Advanced recycling includes

chemical recycling or enzyme mediated recycling

Aerobic digestion | Aerobic means in the presence

of oxygen. In →composting, which is an

aerobic process, →microorganisms access the

present oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere.

They metabolize the organic material to

energy, CO 2

, water and cell biomass, whereby

part of the energy of the organic material is released

as heat. [bM 03/07, bM 02/09]

Anaerobic digestion | In anaerobic digestion,

organic matter is degraded by a microbial

population in the absence of oxygen

and producing methane and carbon dioxide

(= →biogas) and a solid residue that can be

composted in a subsequent step without practically

releasing any heat. The biogas can be

treated in a Combined Heat and Power Plant

(CHP), producing electricity and heat, or can be

upgraded to bio-methane [14]. [bM 06/09]

Amorphous | Non-crystalline, glassy with unordered


Amylopectin | Polymeric branched starch molecule

with very high molecular weight (biopolymer,

monomer is →Glucose). [bM 05/09]

Since this glossary will not be printed

in each issue you can download a pdf version

from our website (

[bM ... refers to more comprehensive article previously published in bioplastics MAGAZINE)

Amylose | Polymeric non-branched starch

molecule with high molecular weight (biopolymer,

monomer is →Glucose). [bM 05/09]

Biobased | The term biobased describes the

part of a material or product that is stemming

from →biomass. When making a biobasedclaim,

the unit (→biobased carbon content,

→biobased mass content), a percentage and the

measuring method should be clearly stated [1].

Biobased carbon | Carbon contained in or

stemming from →biomass. A material or product

made of fossil and →renewable resources

contains fossil and →biobased carbon.

The biobased carbon content is measured via

the 14 C method (radiocarbon dating method) that

adheres to the technical specifications as described

in [1,4,5,6].

Biobased labels | The fact that (and to

what percentage) a product or a material is

→biobased can be indicated by respective labels.

Ideally, meaningful labels should be based

on harmonised standards and a corresponding

certification process by independent third-party

institutions. For the property biobased such

labels are in place by certifiers →DIN CERTCO

and →TÜV Austria who both base their certifications

on the technical specification as described

in [4,5]. A certification and the corresponding

label depicting the biobased mass content was

developed by the French Association Chimie du

Végétal [ACDV].

Biobased mass content | describes the amount

of biobased mass contained in a material or

product. This method is complementary to the


C method, and furthermore, takes other chemical

elements besides the biobased carbon into

account, such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen.

A measuring method has been developed

and tested by the Association Chimie du Végétal

(ACDV) [1].

Biobased plastic | A plastic in which constitutional

units are totally or partly from →

biomass [3]. If this claim is used, a percentage

should always be given to which extent

the product/material is → biobased [1].

[bM 01/07, bM 03/10]

Biodegradable Plastics | are plastics that are

completely assimilated by the → microorganisms

present a defined environment as food

for their energy. The carbon of the plastic must

completely be converted into CO 2

during the microbial


The process of biodegradation depends on the

environmental conditions, which influence it

(e.g. location, temperature, humidity) and on the

material or application itself. Consequently, the

process and its outcome can vary considerably.

Biodegradability is linked to the structure of the

polymer chain; it does not depend on the origin

of the raw materials.

There is currently no single, overarching standard

to back up claims about biodegradability.

One standard, for example, is ISO or in Europe:

EN 14995 Plastics - Evaluation of compostability

- Test scheme and specifications.

[bM 02/06, bM 01/07]

Biogas | → Anaerobic digestion

Biomass | Material of biological origin excluding

material embedded in geological formations

and material transformed to fossilised

material. This includes organic material, e.g.

trees, crops, grasses, tree litter, algae and

waste of biological origin, e.g. manure [1, 2].

Biorefinery | The co-production of a spectrum

of biobased products (food, feed, materials,

chemicals including monomers or building

blocks for bioplastics) and energy (fuels, power,

heat) from biomass. [bM 02/13]

Blend | Mixture of plastics, polymer alloy of at

least two microscopically dispersed and molecularly

distributed base polymers.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) | Monomer used to produce

different polymers. BPA is said to cause health

problems, because it behaves like a hormone.

Therefore, it is banned for use in children’s

products in many countries.

BPI | Biodegradable Products Institute, a notfor-profit

association. Through their innovative

compostable label program, BPI educates

manufacturers, legislators and consumers

about the importance of scientifically based

standards for compostable materials which

biodegrade in large composting facilities.

Carbon footprint | (CFPs resp. PCFs – Product

Carbon Footprint): Sum of →greenhouse gas

emissions and removals in a product system,

expressed as CO 2

equivalent, and based on a →

Life Cycle Assessment. The CO 2

equivalent of a

specific amount of a greenhouse gas is calculated

as the mass of a given greenhouse gas

multiplied by its → global warming potential


Carbon neutral, CO 2

neutral | describes a

product or process that has a negligible impact

on total atmospheric CO 2

levels. For example,

carbon neutrality means that any CO 2


when a plant decomposes or is burnt is offset

by an equal amount of CO 2

absorbed by the

plant through photosynthesis when it is growing.

Carbon neutrality can also be achieved by buying

sufficient carbon credits to make up the difference.

The latter option is not allowed when

communicating → LCAs or carbon footprints

regarding a material or product [1, 2].

Carbon-neutral claims are tricky as products

will not in most cases reach carbon neutrality

if their complete life cycle is taken into consideration

(including the end-of-life).

42 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

If an assessment of a material, however, is

conducted (cradle-to-gate), carbon neutrality

might be a valid claim in a B2B context. In this

case, the unit assessed in the complete life cycle

has to be clarified [1].

Cascade use | of →renewable resources means

to first use the →biomass to produce biobased

industrial products and afterwards – due to

their favourable energy balance – use them

for energy generation (e.g. from a biobased

plastic product to → biogas production). The

feedstock is used efficiently and value generation

increases decisively.

Catalyst | Substance that enables and accelerates

a chemical reaction

CCU, Carbon Capture & Utilisation | is a broad

term that covers all established and innovative

industrial processes that aim at capturing

CO2 – either from industrial point sources or

directly from the air – and at transforming it

into a variety of value-added products, in our

case plastics or plastic precursor chemicals.

[bM 03/21, 05/21]

CCS, Carbon Capture & Storage | is a technology

similar to CCU used to stop large amounts of

CO2 from being released into the atmosphere,

by separating the carbon dioxide from emissions.

The CO2 is then injecting it into geological

formations where it is permanently stored.

Cellophane | Clear film based on →cellulose.

[bM 01/10, 06/21]

Cellulose | Cellulose is the principal component

of cell walls in all higher forms of plant

life, at varying percentages. It is therefore the

most common organic compound and also the

most common polysaccharide (multi-sugar)

[11]. Cellulose is a polymeric molecule with

very high molecular weight (monomer is →Glucose),

industrial production from wood or cotton,

to manufacture paper, plastics and fibres.

[bM 01/10, 06/21]

Cellulose ester | Cellulose esters occur by

the esterification of cellulose with organic acids.

The most important cellulose esters from

a technical point of view are cellulose acetate

(CA with acetic acid), cellulose propionate (CP

with propionic acid) and cellulose butyrate (CB

with butanoic acid). Mixed polymerisates, such

as cellulose acetate propionate (CAP) can also

be formed. One of the most well-known applications

of cellulose aceto butyrate (CAB) is the

moulded handle on the Swiss army knife [11].

Cellulose acetate CA | → Cellulose ester

CEN | Comité Européen de Normalisation (European

organisation for standardization).

Certification | is a process in which materials/

products undergo a string of (laboratory) tests

in order to verify that they fulfil certain requirements.

Sound certification systems should be

based on (ideally harmonised) European standards

or technical specifications (e.g., by →CEN,

USDA, ASTM, etc.) and be performed by independent

third-party laboratories. Successful

certification guarantees a high product safety

- also on this basis, interconnected labels can

be awarded that help the consumer to make an

informed decision.

Circular economy | The circular economy is a

model of production and consumption, which

involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing,

refurbishing and recycling existing materials

and products as long as possible. In this way,

the life cycle of products is extended. In practice,

it implies reducing waste to a minimum.

Ideally erasing waste altogether, by reintroducing

a product, or its material, at the end-of-life

back in the production process – closing the

loop. These can be productively used again and

again, thereby creating further value. This is a

departure from the traditional, linear economic

model, which is based on a take-make-consume-throw

away pattern. This model relies

on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible

materials, and green energy.

Compost | A soil conditioning material of decomposing

organic matter which provides nutrients

and enhances soil structure.

[bM 06/08, 02/09]

Compostable Plastics | Plastics that are

→ biodegradable under →composting conditions:

specified humidity, temperature,

→ microorganisms and timeframe. To make

accurate and specific claims about compostability,

the location (home, → industrial)

and timeframe need to be specified [1].

Several national and international standards exist

for clearer definitions, for example, EN 14995

Plastics - Evaluation of compostability - Test

scheme and specifications. [bM 02/06, bM 01/07]

Composting | is the controlled →aerobic, or oxygen-requiring,

decomposition of organic materials

by →microorganisms, under controlled

conditions. It reduces the volume and mass

of the raw materials while transforming them

into CO 2

, water and a valuable soil conditioner

– compost.

When talking about composting of bioplastics,

foremost →industrial composting in a managed

composting facility is meant (criteria defined in

EN 13432).

The main difference between industrial and

home composting is, that in industrial composting

facilities temperatures are much higher

and kept stable, whereas in the composting

pile temperatures are usually lower, and

less constant as depending on factors such as

weather conditions. Home composting is a way

slower-paced process than industrial composting.

Also, a comparatively smaller volume of

waste is involved. [bM 03/07]

Compound | Plastic mixture from different raw

materials (polymer and additives). [bM 04/10)

Copolymer | Plastic composed of different


Cradle-to-Gate | Describes the system boundaries

of an environmental →Life Cycle Assessment

(LCA) which covers all activities from the

cradle (i.e., the extraction of raw materials, agricultural

activities and forestry) up to the factory


Cradle-to-Cradle | (sometimes abbreviated as

C2C): Is an expression which communicates

the concept of a closed-cycle economy, in which

waste is used as raw material (‘waste equals

food’). Cradle-to-Cradle is not a term that is

typically used in →LCA studies.

Cradle-to-Grave | Describes the system

boundaries of a full →Life Cycle Assessment

from manufacture (cradle) to use phase and

disposal phase (grave).

Crystalline | Plastic with regularly arranged

molecules in a lattice structure.

Density | Quotient from mass and volume of a

material, also referred to as specific weight.

DIN | Deutsches Institut für Normung (German

organisation for standardization).

DIN-CERTCO | Independant certifying organisation

for the assessment on the conformity of


Dispersing | Fine distribution of non-miscible

liquids into a homogeneous, stable mixture.

Drop-In bioplastics | are chemically indentical

to conventional petroleum-based plastics,

but made from renewable resources. Examples

are bio-PE made from bio-ethanol (from

e.g. sugar cane) or partly biobased PET; the

monoethylene glycol made from bio-ethanol.

Developments to make terephthalic acid from

renewable resources are underway. Other examples

are polyamides (partly biobased e.g. PA

4.10 or PA 6.10 or fully biobased like PA 5.10 or


EN 13432 | European standard for the assessment

of the → compostability of plastic packaging


Energy recovery | Recovery and exploitation of

the energy potential in (plastic) waste for the

production of electricity or heat in waste incineration

plants (waste-to-energy).

Environmental claim | A statement, symbol

or graphic that indicates one or more environmental

aspect(s) of a product, a component,

packaging, or a service. [16].

Enzymes | are proteins that catalyze chemical


Enzyme-mediated plastics | are not →bioplastics.

Instead, a conventional non-biodegradable

plastic (e.g. fossil-based PE) is enriched with

small amounts of an organic additive. Microorganisms

are supposed to consume these

additives and the degradation process should

then expand to the non-biodegradable PE and

thus make the material degrade. After some

time the plastic is supposed to visually disappear

and to be completely converted to carbon

dioxide and water. This is a theoretical concept

which has not been backed up by any verifiable

proof so far. Producers promote enzymemediated

plastics as a solution to littering. As

no proof for the degradation process has been

provided, environmental beneficial effects are

highly questionable.

Ethylene | Colour- and odourless gas, made

e.g. from, Naphtha (petroleum) by cracking or

from bio-ethanol by dehydration, the monomer

of the polymer polyethylene (PE).

European Bioplastics e.V. | The industry association

representing the interests of Europe’s

thriving bioplastics’ industry. Founded in Germany

in 1993 as IBAW, European Bioplastics

today represents the interests of about 50

member companies throughout the European

Union and worldwide. With members from the

agricultural feedstock, chemical and plastics

industries, as well as industrial users and recycling

companies, European Bioplastics serves

as both a contact platform and catalyst for

advancing the aims of the growing bioplastics


Extrusion | Process used to create plastic

profiles (or sheet) of a fixed cross-section consisting

of mixing, melting, homogenising and

shaping of the plastic.

FDCA | 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid, an intermediate

chemical produced from 5-HMF. The

dicarboxylic acid can be used to make → PEF =


bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 43


polyethylene furanoate, a polyester that could

be a 100% biobased alternative to PET.

Fermentation | Biochemical reactions controlled

by → microorganisms or → enyzmes (e.g. the

transformation of sugar into lactic acid).

FSC | The Forest Stewardship Council. FSC is

an independent, non-governmental, not-forprofit

organization established to promote the

responsible and sustainable management of

the world’s forests.

Gelatine | Translucent brittle solid substance,

colourless or slightly yellow, nearly tasteless

and odourless, extracted from the collagen inside

animals‘ connective tissue.

Genetically modified organism (GMO) | Organisms,

such as plants and animals, whose

genetic material (DNA) has been altered are

called genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Food and feed which contain or consist of such

GMOs, or are produced from GMOs, are called

genetically modified (GM) food or feed [1]. If GM

crops are used in bioplastics production, the

multiple-stage processing and the high heat

used to create the polymer removes all traces

of genetic material. This means that the final

bioplastics product contains no genetic traces.

The resulting bioplastics are therefore well

suited to use in food packaging as it contains

no genetically modified material and cannot interact

with the contents.

Global Warming | Global warming is the rise

in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere

and oceans since the late 19th century

and its projected continuation [8]. Global warming

is said to be accelerated by → greenhouse


Glucose | is a monosaccharide (or simple

sugar). It is the most important carbohydrate

(sugar) in biology. Glucose is formed by photosynthesis

or hydrolyse of many carbohydrates

e. g. starch.

Greenhouse gas, GHG | Gaseous constituent

of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic,

that absorbs and emits radiation at

specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared

radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface,

the atmosphere, and clouds [1, 9].

Greenwashing | The act of misleading consumers

regarding the environmental practices of a

company, or the environmental benefits of a

product or service [1, 10].

Granulate, granules | Small plastic particles

(3-4 millimetres), a form in which plastic is sold

and fed into machines, easy to handle and dose.

HMF (5-HMF) | 5-hydroxymethylfurfural is an

organic compound derived from sugar dehydration.

It is a platform chemical, a building

block for 20 performance polymers and over

175 different chemical substances. The molecule

consists of a furan ring which contains

both aldehyde and alcohol functional groups.

5-HMF has applications in many different industries

such as bioplastics, packaging, pharmaceuticals,

adhesives and chemicals. One of

the most promising routes is 2,5 furandicarboxylic

acid (FDCA), produced as an intermediate

when 5-HMF is oxidised. FDCA is used to

produce PEF, which can substitute terephthalic

acid in polyester, especially polyethylene terephthalate

(PET). [bM 03/14, 02/16]

Home composting | →composting [bM 06/08]

Humus | In agriculture, humus is often used

simply to mean mature →compost, or natural

compost extracted from a forest or other spontaneous

source for use to amend soil.

Hydrophilic | Property: water-friendly, soluble

in water or other polar solvents (e.g. used in

conjunction with a plastic which is not waterresistant

and weatherproof, or that absorbs

water such as polyamide. (PA).

Hydrophobic | Property: water-resistant, not

soluble in water (e.g. a plastic which is water

resistant and weatherproof, or that does not

absorb any water such as polyethylene (PE) or

polypropylene (PP).

Industrial composting | is an established process

with commonly agreed-upon requirements

(e.g. temperature, timeframe) for transforming

biodegradable waste into stable, sanitised products

to be used in agriculture. The criteria for industrial

compostability of packaging have been

defined in the EN 13432. Materials and products

complying with this standard can be certified

and subsequently labelled accordingly [1,7]. [bM

06/08, 02/09]

ISO | International Organization for Standardization

JBPA | Japan Bioplastics Association

Land use | The surface required to grow sufficient

feedstock (land use) for today’s bioplastic

production is less than 0.02 % of the global

agricultural area of 4.7 billion hectares. It is not

yet foreseeable to what extent an increased use

of food residues, non-food crops or cellulosic

biomass in bioplastics production might lead to

an even further reduced land use in the future.

[bM 04/09, 01/14]

LCA, Life Cycle Assessment | is the compilation

and evaluation of the input, output and the

potential environmental impact of a product

system throughout its life cycle [17]. It is sometimes

also referred to as life cycle analysis,

eco-balance or cradle-to-grave analysis. [bM


Littering | is the (illegal) act of leaving waste

such as cigarette butts, paper, tins, bottles,

cups, plates, cutlery, or bags lying in an open

or public place.

Marine litter | Following the European Commission’s

definition, “marine litter consists of

items that have been deliberately discarded,

unintentionally lost, or transported by winds

and rivers, into the sea and on beaches. It

mainly consists of plastics, wood, metals,

glass, rubber, clothing and paper”. Marine debris

originates from a variety of sources. Shipping

and fishing activities are the predominant

sea-based, ineffectively managed landfills as

well as public littering the mainland-based

sources. Marine litter can pose a threat to living

organisms, especially due to ingestion or


Currently, there is no international standard

available, which appropriately describes the

biodegradation of plastics in the marine environment.

However, several standardisation

projects are in progress at the ISO and ASTM

(ASTM D6691) level. Furthermore, the European

project OPEN BIO addresses the marine

biodegradation of biobased products. [bM 02/16]

Mass balance | describes the relationship between

input and output of a specific substance

within a system in which the output from the system

cannot exceed the input into the system.

First attempts were made by plastic raw material

producers to claim their products renewable

(plastics) based on a certain input of biomass

in a huge and complex chemical plant,

then mathematically allocating this biomass

input to the produced plastic.

These approaches are at least controversially

disputed. [bM 04/14, 05/14, 01/15]

Microorganism | Living organisms of microscopic

sizes, such as bacteria, fungi or yeast.

Molecule | A group of at least two atoms held

together by covalent chemical bonds.

Monomer | Molecules that are linked by polymerization

to form chains of molecules and then


Mulch film | Foil to cover the bottom of farmland.

Organic recycling | means the treatment of

separately collected organic waste by anaerobic

digestion and/or composting.

Oxo-degradable / Oxo-fragmentable | materials

and products that do not biodegrade! The

underlying technology of oxo-degradability or

oxo-fragmentation is based on special additives,

which, if incorporated into standard resins, are

purported to accelerate the fragmentation of

products made thereof. Oxo-degradable or oxofragmentable

materials do not meet accepted

industry standards on compostability such as

EN 13432. [bM 01/09, 05/09]

PBAT | Polybutylene adipate terephthalate, is

an aliphatic-aromatic copolyester that has the

properties of conventional polyethylene but is

fully biodegradable under industrial composting.

PBAT is made from fossil petroleum with

first attempts being made to produce it partly

from renewable resources. [bM 06/09]

PBS | Polybutylene succinate, a 100% biodegradable

polymer, made from (e.g. bio-BDO)

and succinic acid, which can also be produced

biobased. [bM 03/12]

PC | Polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyester,

petroleum-based and not degradable, used for

e.g. for baby bottles or CDs. Criticized for its

BPA (→ Bisphenol-A) content.

PCL | Polycaprolactone, a synthetic (fossilbased),

biodegradable bioplastic, e.g. used as

a blend component.

PE | Polyethylene, thermoplastic polymerised

from ethylene. Can be made from renewable

resources (sugar cane via bio-ethanol). [bM 05/10]

PEF | Polyethylene furanoate, a polyester made

from monoethylene glycol (MEG) and →FDCA

(2,5-furandicarboxylic acid , an intermediate

chemical produced from 5-HMF). It can be a

100% biobased alternative for PET. PEF also

has improved product characteristics, such as

better structural strength and improved barrier

behaviour, which will allow for the use of PEF

bottles in additional applications. [bM 03/11, 04/12]

PET | Polyethylenterephthalate, transparent

polyester used for bottles and film. The polyester

is made from monoethylene glycol (MEG),

that can be renewably sourced from bio-ethanol

(sugar cane) and, since recently, from plantbased

paraxylene (bPX) which has been converted

to plant-based terephthalic acid (bPTA).

[bM 04/14. bM 06/2021]

PGA | Polyglycolic acid or polyglycolide is a

biodegradable, thermoplastic polymer and the

simplest linear, aliphatic polyester. Besides its

44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

use in the biomedical field, PGA has been introduced

as a barrier resin. [bM 03/09]

PHA | Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) or the polyhydroxy

fatty acids, are a family of biodegradable

polyesters. As in many mammals, including

humans, that hold energy reserves in the form

of body fat some bacteria that hold intracellular

reserves in form of of polyhydroxyalkanoates.

Here the micro-organisms store a particularly

high level of energy reserves (up to 80% of their

own body weight) for when their sources of nutrition

become scarce. By farming this type of

bacteria, and feeding them on sugar or starch

(mostly from maize), or at times on plant oils or

other nutrients rich in carbonates, it is possible

to obtain PHA‘s on an industrial scale [11]. The

most common types of PHA are PHB (Polyhydroxybutyrate,

PHBV and PHBH. Depending on

the bacteria and their food, PHAs with different

mechanical properties, from rubbery soft

trough stiff and hard as ABS, can be produced.

Some PHAs are even biodegradable in soil or in

a marine environment.

PLA | Polylactide or polylactic acid (PLA), a

biodegradable, thermoplastic, linear aliphatic

polyester based on lactic acid, a natural acid,

is mainly produced by fermentation of sugar or

starch with the help of micro-organisms. Lactic

acid comes in two isomer forms, i.e. as laevorotatory

D(-)lactic acid and as dextrorotary L(+)

lactic acid.

Modified PLA types can be produced by the use

of the right additives or by certain combinations

of L- and D- lactides (stereocomplexing), which

then have the required rigidity for use at higher

temperatures [13]. [bM 01/09, 01/12]

Plastics | Materials with large molecular chains

of natural or fossil raw materials, produced by

chemical or biochemical reactions.

PPC | Polypropylene carbonate, a bioplastic

made by copolymerizing CO 2

with propylene oxide

(PO). [bM 04/12]

PTT | Polytrimethylterephthalate (PTT), partially

biobased polyester, is produced similarly to

PET, using terephthalic acid or dimethyl terephthalate

and a diol. In this case it is a biobased

1,3 propanediol, also known as bio-PDO. [bM


Renewable Carbon | entails all carbon sources

that avoid or substitute the use of any additional

fossil carbon from the geosphere. It can come

from the biosphere, atmosphere, or technosphere,

applications are, e.g., bioplastics, CO2-

based plastics, and recycled plastics respectively.

Renewable carbon circulates between

biosphere, atmosphere, or technosphere, creating

a carbon circular economy. [bM 03/21]

Renewable resources | Agricultural raw materials,

which are not used as food or feed, but as

raw material for industrial products or to generate

energy. The use of renewable resources

by industry saves fossil resources and reduces

the amount of → greenhouse gas emissions.

Biobased plastics are predominantly made of

annual crops such as corn, cereals, and sugar

beets or perennial cultures such as cassava

and sugar cane.

Resource efficiency | Use of limited natural

resources in a sustainable way while minimising

impacts on the environment. A resourceefficient

economy creates more output or value

with lesser input.

Seedling logo | The compostability label or

logo Seedling is connected to the standard

EN 13432/EN 14995 and a certification process

managed by the independent institutions

→DIN CERTCO and → TÜV Austria. Bioplastics

products carrying the Seedling fulfil the criteria

laid down in the EN 13432 regarding industrial

compostability. [bM 01/06, 02/10]

Saccharins or carbohydrates | Saccharins or

carbohydrates are named for the sugar-family.

Saccharins are monomer or polymer sugar

units. For example, there are known mono-,

di- and polysaccharose. → glucose is a monosaccarin.

They are important for the diet and

produced biology in plants.

Semi-finished products | Plastic in form of

sheet, film, rods or the like to be further processed

into finished products

Sorbitol | Sugar alcohol, obtained by reduction

of glucose changing the aldehyde group to an

additional hydroxyl group. It is used as a plasticiser

for bioplastics based on starch.

Starch | Natural polymer (carbohydrate) consisting

of → amylose and → amylopectin, gained

from maize, potatoes, wheat, tapioca etc. When

glucose is connected to polymer chains in a

definite way the result (product) is called starch.

Each molecule is based on 300 -12000-glucose

units. Depending on the connection, there are

two types known → amylose and → amylopectin.

[bM 05/09]

Starch derivatives | Starch derivatives are

based on the chemical structure of → starch.

The chemical structure can be changed by

introducing new functional groups without

changing the → starch polymer. The product

has different chemical qualities. Mostly the hydrophilic

character is not the same.

Starch-ester | One characteristic of every

starch-chain is a free hydroxyl group. When

every hydroxyl group is connected with an

acid one product is starch-ester with different

chemical properties.

Starch propionate and starch butyrate | Starch

propionate and starch butyrate can be synthesised

by treating the → starch with propane

or butanoic acid. The product structure is still

based on → starch. Every based → glucose

fragment is connected with a propionate or butyrate

ester group. The product is more hydrophobic

than → starch.

Sustainability | An attempt to provide the best

outcomes for the human and natural environments

both now and into the indefinite future.

One famous definition of sustainability is the

one created by the Brundtland Commission, led

by the former Norwegian Prime Minister G. H.

Brundtland. It defined sustainable development

as development that ‘meets the needs of the

present without compromising the ability of future

generations to meet their own needs.’ Sustainability

relates to the continuity of economic,

social, institutional and environmental aspects

of human society, as well as the nonhuman environment.

This means that sustainable development

involves the simultaneous pursuit of economic

prosperity, environmental protection, and

social equity. In other words, businesses have to

expand their responsibility to include these environmental

and social dimensions. It also implies

a commitment to continuous improvement

that should result in a further reduction of the

environmental footprint of today’s products, processes

and raw materials used. Impacts such as

the deforestation of protected habitats or social

and environmental damage arising from poor

agricultural practices must be avoided. Corresponding

certification schemes, such as ISCC

PLUS, WLC or Bonsucro, are an appropriate tool

to ensure the sustainable sourcing of biomass

for all applications around the globe.

Thermoplastics | Plastics which soften or melt

when heated and solidify when cooled (solid at

room temperature).

Thermoplastic Starch | (TPS) → starch that was

modified (cooked, complexed) to make it a plastic


Thermoset | Plastics (resins) which do not soften

or melt when heated. Examples are epoxy

resins or unsaturated polyester resins.

TÜV Austria Belgium | Independant certifying

organisation for the assessment on the conformity

of bioplastics (formerly Vinçotte)

WPC | Wood Plastic Composite. Composite

materials made of wood fibre/flour and plastics

(mostly polypropylene).

Yard Waste | Grass clippings, leaves, trimmings,

garden residue.


[1] Environmental Communication Guide, European

Bioplastics, Berlin, Germany, 2012

[2] ISO 14067. Carbon footprint of products -

Requirements and guidelines for quantification

and communication

[3] CEN TR 15932, Plastics - Recommendation

for terminology and characterisation of biopolymers

and bioplastics, 2010

[4] CEN/TS 16137, Plastics - Determination of

bio-based carbon content, 2011

[5] ASTM D6866, Standard Test Methods for

Determining the Biobased Content of Solid,

Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon


[6] SPI: Understanding Biobased Carbon Content,


[7] EN 13432, Requirements for packaging recoverable

through composting and biodegradation.

Test scheme and evaluation criteria

for the final acceptance of packaging,


[8] Wikipedia

[9] ISO 14064 Greenhouse gases -- Part 1:

Specification with guidance..., 2006

[10] Terrachoice, 2010,

[11] Thielen, M.: Bioplastics: Basics. Applications.

Markets, Polymedia Publisher, 2012

[12] Lörcks, J.: Biokunststoffe, Broschüre der

FNR, 2005

[13] de Vos, S.: Improving heat-resistance of

PLA using poly(D-lactide),

bioplastics MAGAZINE, Vol. 3, Issue 02/2008

[14] de Wilde, B.: Anaerobic Digestion, bioplastics

MAGAZINE, Vol 4., Issue 06/2009

[15] ISO 14067 onb Corbon Footprint of Products

[16] ISO 14021 on Self-declared Environmental


[17] ISO 14044 on Life Cycle Assessment


bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 45

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


Ludwigshafen, Germany

Tel: +49 621 60-99951

Mixcycling Srl

Via dell‘Innovazione, 2

36042 Breganze (VI), Italy

Phone: +39 04451911890

1.1 bio based monomers

1.2 compounds

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

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.

Gianeco S.r.l.

Via Magenta 57 10128 Torino - Italy


Cardia Bioplastics

Suite 6, 205-211 Forster Rd

Mt. Waverley, VIC, 3149 Australia

Tel. +61 3 85666800

FKuR Kunststoff GmbH

Siemensring 79

D - 47 877 Willich

Tel. +49 2154 9251-0

Tel.: +49 2154 9251-51

For Example:

39 mm

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.

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

Earth Renewable Technologies BR

Estr. Velha do Barigui 10511, Brazil


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


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

46 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

1.3 PLA

1.5 PHA

2. Additives/Secondary raw materials

NUREL Engineering Polymers

Ctra. Barcelona, km 329

50016 Zaragoza, Spain

Tel: +34 976 465 579

a brand of

Helian Polymers BV

Bremweg 7

5951 DK Belfeld

The Netherlands

Tel. +31 77 398 09 09

Sukano AG

Chaltenbodenstraße 23

CH-8834 Schindellegi

Tel. +41 44 787 57 77

Fax +41 44 787 57 78

Total Corbion PLA bv

Stadhuisplein 70

4203 NS Gorinchem

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 183 695 695

Fax.: +31 183 695 604

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

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

1.6 masterbatches


Waldecker Straße 21,

99444 Blankenhain, Germany

Tel. +49 36459 45 0


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

4. Bioplastics products

Bio4Pack GmbH

Marie-Curie-Straße 5

48529 Nordhorn, Germany

Tel. +49 (0)5921 818 37 00

Suppliers Guide

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


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


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


Parque Industrial e Empresarial

da Figueira da Foz

Praça das Oliveiras, Lote 126

3090-451 Figueira da Foz – Portugal

Phone: +351 233 403 420

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

Plant-based and Compostable PLA Cups and Lids

Great River Plastic Manufacturer

Company Limited

Tel.: +852 95880794

Minima Technology Co., Ltd.

Esmy Huang, Vice president

Yunlin, Taiwan(R.O.C)

Mobile: (886) 0-982 829988




w Direct Supply Branding (B2C)

w Total Solution/Turnkey Project






bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 47

7. Plant engineering

10. Institutions

10.1 Associations

Suppliers Guide

Natur-Tec ® - Northern Technologies

4201 Woodland Road

Circle Pines, MN 55014 USA

Tel. +1 763.404.8700

Fax +1 763.225.6645


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

EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen

und Anlagen GmbH

Unterfeldstrasse 3

4052 Ansfelden, AUSTRIA

Phone: +43 (0) 732 / 3190-0

Fax: +43 (0) 732 / 3190-23

9. Services

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

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.

48 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

08/09/20 16:54

06 / 2021


now at

the next six issues for €169.– 1)

Special offer

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

You can meet us

16th European Bioplastics Conference

30.11. - 01.12.2021 - Berlin, Germany

International Conference on Cellulose Fibres 2022

02.02. - 03.02.2022 - Cologne, Germany

8th European Biopolymer Summit

03.02. - 04.02.2022 - London, UK

bio!PAC 2021/22 (NEW DATE !)

by bioplastics MAGAZINE

15.03. - 16.03.2022 - Düsseldorf, Germany

Conference on CO2-based Fuels and Chemicals

23.03. - 24.03.2022 - Cologne, Germany


25.04. - 28.04.2022 - Shanghai, China


daily updated eventcalendar at

The Renewable Materials Conference

10.05. - 12.05.2022 - Cologne, Germany

Plastics for Cleaner Planet - Conference

26.06. - 28.06.2022 - New York City Area, USA

Bioplastics - CO 2 -based Plastics - Advanced Recycling



bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 16

Bioplastics - CO 2 -based Plastics - Advanced Recycling


Fibres, Textiles, Nonwovens | 16

Biocomposites | 34


CO 2 based plastics | 50

bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 16


... is read in 92 countries

Cover Story

Caroline Kjellme,

entrepreneurial speaker

at bio!TOY 2021 | 8

Coating | 10

Films, Flexibles, Bags | 40


... is read in 92 countries

05 / 2021

Cellulose based bioplastics | 50

ISSN 1862-5258 Sep/Oct

Cover Story

First straw bans

begin to topple | 7

ISSN 1862-5258 ... is read in 92 countries Nov/Dec

Bioplastix India

29.07. - 30.07.2022 - Bangalore, India

Subject to changes.

For up to date event-info visit



Use the promotion code ‘watch‘ or ‘book‘

and you will get our watch or the book 3)

Bioplastics Basics. Applications. Markets. for free

(new subscribers only).

1) Offer valid until 30 Nov 2021.

3) Gratis-Buch in Deutschland leider nicht möglich (Buchpreisbindung).

Watch as long as supply lasts.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 49

Companies in this issue

Company Editorial Advert Company Editorial Advert Company Editorial Advert

Agrana Starch Bioplastics 46 Green Dot Bioplastics 22 46 Polyone 23

APK 30

Green Serendipity 8 48 Positive Plastics 19

ARGE cyclos / HTTP 31

GSK 18

Precedence Research 12

Arkema 19

Helian Polymers 24 47 Procter & Gamble 16

Avantium 8

Herbal Essences 16

Prodir 35

Avient 23

HS Niederrhein 39


BASF (Ecovio) 46 HS Rhein-Waal Kleve 39

Reef Interest 35

Bio4Pack 8 47 Huhtamaki 31

Robert Kraemer 13

Bio-Fed Branch of Akro-Plastic 46 INGRAIN 39

Rodenburg Biopolymers 8

Biofibre 47 Inst. F. Bioplastics & Biocomposites 48 RWDC 8

Biotec 8 47 Institut f. Kunststofftechnik, Stuttgart 48 Sabic 5

Biowert Industrie 19

Institute of Textile Technology RWTH 32,28

Saida 48


JinHui ZhaoLong High Technology 46 Sansu 6

Borealis 5,19

JOI 17

Sappi 19

BPI 48 Kaneka Belgium 10 47 Scion 26

Buss 21,48

Caprowachs, Albrecht Dinkelaker 47

Cardia Bioplastics 46

Cargill 23

Chanel 17

Changchun Meihe Science & Techn. 20

CJ Bio 24

Clariant 23

Climate Partner 18

Coca-Cola 20

Corbion 26

Covestro 33

Customized Sheet Extrusion 47

Danimer Scientific 5,7

Difas 23

Dr. Heinz Gupta Verlag 29

Earth Renewable technologies 46

Earthfirst Biopolymer Films by Sidaplax 8

Eastman Chemical Company 16

Emballator 5

Erema 48

European Bioplastics 3,8 48

European Patent Office 33

FKuR 8 2, 46

Fraunhofer IAP 27

Fraunhofer UMSICHT 48

Gehr 47

Gema Polimers 47

Gianeco 46

Global Biopolymers 46

Go!PHA 7,34 48

Grafe 46,47

Granula 47

Kingfa 46

Kolon 6

Kompuestos 46,47

Krill Design 35

Kyoto Univ. 28

Lamberti 10

Lanxess 7,22

Lignin Industries 19

Looplife 6


Mayco International 22

MedPHA 36

Michigan State University 48

Microtec 46

Minima Technology 47

Mixcycling 46

Mocom 19

NaKu 8

narocon InnovationConsulting 48

Naturabiomat 47

Natureplast-Biopolynov 47

NatureWorks LLC 8

Natur-Tec 48

Neste 8

nova Institute 8 11,12,25,49

Novamont 40 48,52

Novamont 8

Novozymes 26

Numi Organic Tea 8

Nurel 47

Origin Materials 6


plasticker 27

Silbo 8

Sirmax 19

Stahl 14

StoraEnso 19

Sukano 47

Sulapac 8

Sulapac 17

Superfoodguru 8

Taghleef Industries 8

Tecnaro 43 47

Tepha 36

TianAn Biopolymer 24 47

Tipa 8,16

Tokyo Inst. of Techn. 28

Total Corbion PLA 5,6,8 47

Treffert 47

Trinseo 46

Tsinghua Univ. 34

TU Delft 8

UBQ 19

United Biopolymers 47

Univ. California Berkley 26

Univ. Stuttgart (IKT) 48

Univ. Tech. Chemitz 13

Univ. Tokyo 28

UPM 19, 20

Vaude 31

Virent 20

WinCup 7

Wirtsch.Förderungsges. Heinsberg 39

Worcester Polytechnic Institute 15

Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe Polyester 46

Zeijiang Hisun Biomaterials 47

Great River Plastic Manuf. 47

Next issues







polymediaconsult 48

Edit. Focus 1 Edit. Focus 2 Basics

01/2022 Jan/Feb 07.02.2022 23.12.2021 Automotive Foams Biodegradadation

02/2022 Mar/Apr 04.04.2022 04.03.2022 Thermoforming /

Rigid Packaging

Additives /

Masterbatch / Adh.

03/2022 May/Jun 07.06.2022 06.05.2022 Injection moulding Beauty &


04/2022 Jul/Aug 01.08.2022 01. Jul 22 Blow Moulding Polyurethanes/


05/2022 Sep/Oct 04.10.2022 02.09.2022 Fiber / Textile /


06/2022 Nov/Dec 05.12.2022 04.11.2022 Films/Flexibles/


Building &




plastic or "no plastic" -

that's the question

Biocompatability of PHA


Feedstocks, different


Chemical recycling



Chinaplas Preview

Chinaplas Review

K'2022 Preview

K'2022 Review

Subject to changes

50 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16






• Food contact grade

• Odourless

• Plasticizer free

• Industrial and home




(according to EN 13432)


as chestnut shell


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