issue 01/2022

Highlights: Automotive Foam Basics: Biodegradation

Basics: Biodegradation


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Bioplastics - CO 2

-based Plastics - Advanced Recycling

Vol. 17

Cover Story

The Bioconcept-Car

of 2007 has now three

new siblings | 30

bioplastics MAGAZINE

Jan/Feb 01 / 2022



Automotive | 18

Foam | 36


Biodegradation | 50

... is read in 92 countries

... is read in 92 countries

ISSN 1862-5258




With its new “BIO variant” PUSTEFIX offers a sustainable alternative

to its traditional bubble bottle. PUSTEFIX trusts on closures made of

bio-based I’m green Polyethylene in combination with a bottle made

Bio-Flex ® . The injection-moldable Bio-Flex ® used for the bottle is characterized

by a balanced ratio of stiffness and toughness combined with a good

flow-ability and processability. In terms of strength, stability and weight,

the Pustefix “BIO variant” can easily compete with those made from

fossil plastics. An all-round successful "green message in a bottle" for

dazzling soap bubbles that simply last longer. Let us show you how

FKuR bioplastics and recyclates support you on your way to a

circular economy.




Alex Thielen, Michael Thielen

With the current cover, we are taking a small trip down memory lane –

15 years ago we had our first issue featuring automotive applications and

have since made it a tradition to kick off the new year with everything new

and innovative in and around bioplastics in cars. Looking back at the first

Bioconcept-Car from 2007 makes me realize how much has changed.

Back then they were just like us, “crazy dreamers” thinking this whole

bio-thing has a shot in our all too often “bottom-line driven” world. Now,

15 years later they have three Bioconcept-Cars proving on the track how

competitive bio-materials really are. However, they are not alone anymore

as more and more big car brands are including biobased materials.

One of them is Mercedes-Benz with their ambitious VISION EQXX an

electrical vehicle that uses bioplastics for both interior design as well as

technically demanding parts. Turns out, the crazy dreamers were right

“going bio” – or better “going renewable” – has become a normal, even

desirable choice for many in and outside the automotive industry.

Bioplastics - CO 2

-based Plastics - Advanced Recycling

Jan/Feb 01 / 2022

Our second focus point is almost as much a tradition as the first,

Foam. Here we have new developments in both the fields of bioplastics

and chemical recycling. But that is not all, we have an interesting

look at Biodegradability in our Basics section as it is (sadly) a topic

often misunderstood or misrepresented. Last but not least we talk

about a topic that is important for everybody doing anything with

bioplastics – LCAs. Those of you that were at the European Bioplastics

Conference last year will know about the current debate about the LCA

methodology the Joint Research Centre (JRC) developed for the European

Commission – and the controversy around it. If you haven’t heard of it and

are wondering what this is all about, the answer is 42.

Vol. 17

bioplastics MAGAZINE



Automotive | 18

Foam | 36


Biodegradation | 50

... is read in 92 countries

... is read in 92 countries

ISSN 1862-5258

Even if our conference season starts with a purely digital bio!PAC on

March 15 + 16, we desperately hope to meet you in person at our

7 th PLA World Congress on May 24 + 25 in Munich, Germany. And for

October we are already getting excited about the upcoming K-show and our

Bioplastics Business Breakfast.

Follow us on twitter!


Until then, we hope you all got good into the new year, let’s hope it will be

better than the last. Stay healthy, stay crazy, keep dreaming.

Yours sincerely

Like us on Facebook!


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 3



34 Porsche launches cars with biocomposites

32 Bacteriostatic PLA compound for 3D printingz

Jan/Feb 01|2022

3 Editorial

5 News

45 Application News

30 Cover Story

50 Basics

53 10 years ago

54 Suppliers Guide

58 Companies in this issue

Publisher / Editorial

Dr. Michael Thielen (MT)

Alex Thielen (AT)

Samuel Brangenberg (SB)

Head Office

Polymedia Publisher GmbH

Dammer Str. 112

41066 Mönchengladbach, Germany

phone: +49 (0)2161 6884469

fax: +49 (0)2161 6884468



Media Adviser

Samsales (German language)

phone: +49(0)2161-6884467

fax: +49(0)2161 6884468


Michael Thielen (English Language)

(see head office)


Kerstin Neumeister


Poligrāfijas grupa Mūkusala Ltd.

1004 Riga, Latvia

bioplastics MAGAZINE is printed on

chlorine-free FSC certified paper.

bioplastics magazine

Volume 17 - 2022


9 European Bioplastics Conferene 2021

14 bio!PAC 2022

16 Chinaplas 2022

17 7 th PLA World Congress


18 Bio-PA composites

20 Lightweight biobased cellulose

reinforcement for automotive applications

22 Tyre News


24 Automotive Bioplastics Market

26 Why cycle when you could travel in style?

28 Sustainable materials in high-end luxury car

34 Car headliner from plastic waste and old tyres

Cover Story

30 The Bioconcept Car has 3 new siblings


12 And the winner is ...


36 Mattress recycling now a reality

38 PHBH foam products


39 New 3D printing powder for

the food industry


40 Extrusion lines for natural

fibre waste

41 PLA crystallisation and drying


42 The new JRC’s “Plastics LCA

method” already needs an update


50 Biodegradation

One concept - many nuances

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

www.bioplasticsmagazine.com 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 Sidaplax/Plastic Suppliers



Michael Thielen, from cover shooting for

issue 01/2007

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Bio-based acrylonitrile

for carbon fibers

Solvay (Brussels, Belgium) and Trillium

Renewable Chemicals (Knoxville, Tennesse, USA)

have signed a letter of intent to develop the supply

chain for biobased acrylonitrile (bio-ACN). Trillium

will supply Solvay with bio-ACN from Trillium’s

planned commercial asset, and Solvay will evaluate

bio-ACN for carbon fibre manufacturing as part of its

long-term commitment to developing sustainable

solutions from biobased or recycled sources. The

aim of this partnership is to produce carbon fibre

for use in various applications such as aerospace,

automotive, energy, and consumer goods.

Acrylonitrile is a chemical intermediate typically

made from petroleum-based feedstocks like

propylene and is the primary raw material used

in the production of carbon fibre. Trillium’s Bio-

ACN process delivers acrylonitrile from plantbased

feedstocks like glycerol with a lower carbon


“We are thrilled to be partnering with Trillium

which aligns well with our Solvay One Planet

commitment to more than double our revenue

based on renewable or recycled materials by 2030,”

comments Stephen Heinz, head of composite

research & innovation, Solvay. “Innovation

partnerships such as this are driven by a desire to

make a real-world sustainability impact. Biobased

feedstocks are a key part of Solvay’s sustainability

strategy, and we look forward to being a consumer of

bio-ACN from Trillium’s first biobased acrylonitrile


“Trillium’s bio-ACN process technology enables

bio-carbon fibre,” explains Corey Tyree, CEO of

Trillium. “We are excited to continue our partnership

with Solvay, who have supported the bio-ACN

process technology development since 2014. Solvay

is a leader in the most rapidly-growing acrylonitrile

segment (carbon fibre) and is market leader in biocarbon

fibre and sustainable development.”MT

www.trilliumchemicals.com | www.solvay.com

NatureWorks: New headquarter

and R&D facilities

In response to rapid growth in the market for sustainable

biomaterials, NatureWorks (Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA)

recently announced their intent to open a new headquarters and

advanced biopolymer research facility in Plymouth, Minnesota.

Expanded laboratory capabilities will support research into the

full circular lifecycle of Ingeo PLA biopolymers from nextgeneration

fermentation technology to new applications, to

increased functionality.

The expanded R&D capabilities will also support the

construction and operation of NatureWorks’ new fully integrated

Ingeo PLA manufacturing complex located in Thailand. With

an expected opening in 2024, the facility will have an annual

capacity of 75,000 tonnes of Ingeo biopolymer and produce the

full portfolio of Ingeo grades.

“In the face of these challenging times, we’ve designed a

space that will enable research, invention, and collaboration

between us, our partners, and the market, no matter where

we are located in the world,” said Rich Altice, President & CEO

of NatureWorks. “These new facilities will help accelerate the

pace of research and innovation as the urgent need for real,

safe solutions that help address climate and environmental

challenges from plastics and chemicals continues to grow.”

The new space is designed to embody NatureWorks’s

mission to create sustainable, high-performance materials by

incorporating low environmental impact materials including

lighting, flooring, and art made with Ingeo as well as systems for

reducing water and energy usage. A robust organics recycling

collection system will divert food waste away from landfills to

compost with compostable food serviceware, coffee pods, and

tea bags all available to visitors and employees.

Whether participating in trials in NatureWorks’ applications

lab or meeting with employees, visitors will find a redesigned

experience that facilitates collaboration and showcases

examples of Ingeo in applications from appliances to 3D printing,

to compostable and recyclable paper coatings.

The move to the new headquarters and R&D facility will begin

in February 2022. 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 bioplasticsmagazine.com was:


Global bioplastics production will more than triple

within the next five years

(01 December 2021)

At the 16 th EUBP Conference, taking place on 30 November and 1 December

in Berlin, European Bioplastics presented a very positive outlook for the

global bioplastics industry. Production is set to more than triple over the next

five years according to market data which was compiled in cooperation with

the nova-Institute (Hürth, Germany); (see also p. 11).

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 5


daily updated News at


Helian's PHA alliances

Bluepha (Beijing, China) and Dutch company

Helian Polymers (Belfeld) recently announced their

cooperation. The aim of the cooperation is to bring a

new PHA based building block to the market, targeting

various applications as a replacement for existing

petrochemically based plastics. This addition will enable

Helian Polymers to create and offer an even broader

range of PHA based material formulations.

Helian Polymers has been active in bioplastics ever

since 2007, as well as trading in colour concentrates

and additives on an international scale. With increased

regulatory pressure and social concerns regarding

petrochemically based plastics, Helian is stepping up

its efforts to supply both biobased and biodegradable

materials and develop bespoke applications with its


Founded by scientists with interdisciplinary

backgrounds in 2016, Bluepha has strong research and

engineering expertise in the area of cellular agriculture

for molecule and material innovations. On Jan 1 st , 2022,

Bluepha's first industrial PHA project with 25,000 tonnes

capacity per annum broke ground.

Helian Polymers, who culminated in their own brand

PHAradox last year, will start importing and using

Bluepha's unique PHBH based building blocks for

developing specific PHA based compounds. Under the

PHAradox umbrella, multiple PHA based materials have

been developed with the aim of offering more sustainable

alternatives compared to existing materials.

By using various PHA grades like P3HB, PHBV, and

P3HB4HB, Helian Polymers is uniquely suited in the

world to combine these grades with Bluepha's PHBH

material to compound custom-made materials for

various applications. By utilizing these natural building

blocks Helian Polymers is able to mimic properties of

more traditional plastics like 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.

Earlier in January, Helian already announced a

cooperation with Genecis Bioindustries. (headquartered

in Toronto, Canada). Together both companies will

develop various resin formulations that include Genecis’

PHAs for high-value applications, such as 3D printing

filaments and biomedical applications. By combining

both companies’ strengths, converting food waste into

biodegradable plastics for Genecis and creating unique

PHA based materials from various building blocks for

Helian Polymers, the possibilities of unique materials


Genecis is a high growth biotechnology company that

upcycles organic waste into compostable plastics. Their

rapid scaling model makes high throughput production

capacities possible by adding adding their technology

onto biogas plants. MT

www.pharadox.com |

www.bluepha.com | www.genecis.co

Green light for

Avantium's FDCA

flagship plant

Avantium (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), a leading

technology company in renewable chemistry, announced

that on January 25 the shareholders have granted the

requested approvals for all items on the agenda of the

Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

This includes the green light for Avantium's FDCA

Flagship Plant. The company can begin the execution of

all relevant documentation to complete the transaction

(“Financial Close”), which is expected in the first quarter

of 2022. Construction of the FDCA Flagship Plant is

planned to start after Financial Close and to be completed

by the end of 2023. Avantium expects that the FDCA

Flagship Plant will be operational in 2024, enabling the

commercial launch of PEF from 2024 onwards. MT


Total Corbion PLA

transitions to

TotalEnergies Corbion

Total Corbion PLA will transition to TotalEnergies

Corbion, launching a new company name and logo over

the coming months. TotalEnergies Corbion is a 50/50

joint venture between TotalEnergies and Corbion.

The name change follows the recent rebranding of

TotalEnergies earlier last year, anchoring its strategic

transformation into a broad energy company.

TotalEnergies Corbion expects to launch its updated

brand identity in a phased approach from this January.

Earlier last summer TotalEnergies Corbion celebrated

the cumulative production volume milestone of 100kT

of Luminy ® PLA at its production plant in Thailand. The

company has also entered the engineering stage for a

second facility in Grandpuits (France) in order to respond

to the growing PLA market demand.

Luminy PLA resins from TotalEnergies Corbion are

biobased and made from annually renewable resources,

offering a reduced carbon footprint versus many

traditional plastics. At the end of their useful life, PLA

products can be mechanically or chemically recycled.

The biodegradable and compostable functionalities of

PLA make it the material of choice for a wide range

of markets and applications including fresh fruit

packaging, food service ware, durable consumer goods,

toys, and 3D printing. TotalEnergies Corbion recently

announced the launch of Luminy rPLA: the world’s first

commercially available chemically recycled bioplastics

product. MT


6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

WWF released new position:

Chemical Recycling Implementation Principles

On January 26, as part of the No Plastic in Nature vision, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Gland, Switzerland, released "Chemical

Recycling Implementation Principles" (see link below). These principles aim to help decision-makers determine if and how

chemical recycling – an emerging technology with unknown environmental and social outcomes – should be pursued as a

plastic waste mitigation tactic. Alix Grabowski, director of plastic and material science at WWF said:

“Even as technologies advance, we can’t recycle our way out of the growing plastic waste crisis. Instead of just focusing on

recycling, we should prioritize strategies like reducing our overall single-use plastic consumption and scaling up reuse, which

offer the best opportunity to achieve the widescale change we need.

“For a technology like chemical recycling to be part of a sustainable material management system, we must carefully look at

how it is designed and implemented and whether or not it offers environmental benefits over the status quo, adheres to strong

social safeguards, and truly contributes to advancing our circular economy. These principles are designed to do exactly that.”


daily updated News at


The paper lays out considerations for plastic-to-plastic recycling, not plastic-to-fuel applications. Plastic-to-fuel activities

should not be considered recycling, nor a part of the circular economy.

The paper also states that "Based on currently available evidence, there are significant concerns that these technologies

are energy-intensive, pose risks to human health, and/or will not be able to practically recycle plastic beyond what mechanical

recycling already achieves."

bioplastics MAGAZINE strongly encourages its readers,

especially those involved in chemical recycling, to read and

comment on the WWF paper. MT


1: The Chemical Recycling Implementation Principles can be

downloaded form https://tinyurl.com/WWF-Principles


Arkema increases Pebax elastomer production

Arkema (headquartered in Colombes, France) announced

a 25 % increase in its global Pebax ® elastomer production

capacity by investing in Serquigny in France. This investment

will notably enable increased production of the bio-circular

Pebax Rnew ® and traditional Pebax ranges.

This new capacity will produce a variety of highly

specialized grades to meet growing demand in numerous

demanding applications thanks to the lightweight,

flexibility, and excellent energy return of these materials.

These properties are particularly appreciated in sports

equipment, such as soles for running shoes, ski boots, or

technical textile, in consumer goods such as smartphones

and flexible screens, as well as in other markets such as

medical equipment.

delighted to add this new capacity to support our customers’

growing demand for high-performance sustainable

materials," said Erwoan Pezron, Senior Vice-President of

Arkema’s High Performance Polymers Business Line. "We

will also continue to produce many of these materials at our

Birdsboro plant in Pennsylvania”. MT


Derived from renewable castor seeds, Pebax Rnew

advanced bio-circular materials offer sustainables solution

that have a carbon footprint that is up to 50 % lower, compared

to other elastomers on the market, and can be fully recycled.

In addition, this investment, which is scheduled to come on

stream mid-2023, will lower the water consumption of the

site by 25 % thanks to process optimization.

“The Serquigny plant has a long proven legacy in the

production of these advanced materials, and we are

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 7


daily updated News at


United Nations recommends bioplastics as a

sustainable alternative to conventional plastics

In mid-December, the Food and Agriculture Organisation

of the United Nations (FAO) published a report assessing the

sustainability of agricultural plastic products recommending

the replacement of non-biodegradable, conventional

polymers with biodegradable, biobased polymers (see link

below) . “We welcome this recognition of the environmental

benefits of these bioplastic products,” commented François

de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics (EUBP). “Biobased

and soil-biodegradable mulch films help both in reducing

dependence on fossil carbon sources, by using renewable

carbon instead, and by playing a valuable role in reducing

residual plastic pollution in soil, which can significantly

impact agricultural productivity.”

The FAO study focuses on agricultural plastic products

used in a range of different value chains. A qualitative risk

assessment, which accompanies the study, analyses 13

specific agricultural products. “Significantly, for six out of

13 assessed products, biodegradable, biobased plastics are

recommended as preferable substitutes for conventional

plastic material,” said de Bie. The list of recommended

products included mulch films, fishing gear, polymer-coated

fertilizers, tree guards and shelters, plant support twines, and

pesticide impregnated fruit protection bags.

Mulch films represent the second largest share of plastic

films used in agriculture. “These films, made from soilbiodegradable

plastics, provide significant benefits where

retrieval, recycling, and reuse of conventional plastics pose

significant problems. They are specifically designed to

biodegrade effectively in situ and can therefore be incorporated

into the soil post-harvest," explained François de Bie. In

contrast, especially thin, non- biodegradable mulching films

display an insufficient collection, management, and retrieval,

which can lead to a significant level of plastic pollution in

the fields in which they are used. Even where conventional

mulch films are removed from the field, they are often heavily

contaminated with soils and plant residues, which inhibits the

recycling process.

The FAO report also emphasises the need to develop

polymers that are biodegradable in the marine environment.

“Although any kind of littering, should be avoided, a certain

level of unavoidable loss of fishing gear will always take place.

Therefore, it is important to foster the adoption of marinebiodegradable

solutions,” stated the Chairman of EUBP. In

the case of used products contaminated with fish residues,

such as fish collection boxes, biopolymers, according to FAO,

may ease the organic recycling process.

Commenting on the study, Hasso von Pogrell, Managing

Director of EUBP said: “EUBP welcomes all studies, such as

this one, that contribute towards improving knowledge of the

current data situation. This can’t be done by the bioplastics

industry alone, and in order to establish a proper data pool,

we also need stronger political support. For the European

market, the European Commission should lead efforts to

facilitate and coordinate data pooling in order to develop a

more accurate picture of where the use of bioplastics brings

real benefits in reducing conventional plastic pollution.” The

report also highlights the role of research and innovation

grants as means of pump-priming new ideas which lead to

the development of new products. “However, the funding of

research alone is not enough. An appropriate policy framework

for biobased, biodegradable, and compostable plastics is also

needed, to capture potential for innovation and the economic,

environmental, and societal sustainable benefits of these

products for the European Union,” concluded von Pogrell. MT



Danimer Scientific and TotalEnergies Corbion cooperate

Danimer Scientific (Bainbridge, Georgia, USA) and TotalEnergies Corbion (Gorinchem, The Netherlands) have entered a

long-term collaborative arrangement for the supply of Luminy ® PLA, a biobased polymer used to manufacture compostable

products. The strategic collaboration is meant to support long-term growth of biopolymer production requiring a blend of

polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and polylactic pcid (PLA) inputs.

As Danimer continues to scale up the commercial production of Nodax ® , its signature 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 Chief Executive Officer of 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 TotalEnergies Corbion provides an ideal solution to support our

long-term growth strategy while ensuring our short-term customer needs remain fulfilled.”

Thomas Philipon, Chief Executive Officer of TotalEnergies Corbion, 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

www.danimerscientific.com | www.totalenergies-corbion.com

8 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

Engineering tomorrow’s materials

Your benefits

International Congress

March 30-31, 2022, Mannheim, Germany


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• International industry meeting-point with over 60 exhibitors

• 42 hand-picked keynotes & lectures

• Auto show

• PIAE Afterparty


Sustainable use

of plastics!

Sign up!


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 9


European Bioplastics Conference

At the 16 th annual European Bioplastics (EUBP) Conference, which

took place from 30 November to 1 December in Berlin, industry

experts discussed the role of bioplastics within the European

Green Deal. The conference discussions confirmed that bioplastics

make significant contributions to help with achieving the European

Union’s ambitious climate goals described in the EU strategy.

In his opening remarks, François de Bie, Chairman of European

Bioplastics (EUBP), began by giving a clear answer to the overarching

conference question about the role of bioplastics within the European

Green Deal. “There are many fields of interaction between the European

Commission’s Green Deal and bioplastics where our industry can

make significant contributions towards helping achieve the European

Union’s ambitious climate goals,” said de Bie. “Bioplastics are part of

the solution needed to fix the issue that we have with plastics today,” he

continued, referring to the challenges caused by plastic waste. The varied

two-day conference programme, which examined key issues along the

bioplastics value chain, strongly reinforced his statement. In ten different

sessions, which included an exciting keynote and presentations as well

as lively panel discussions, over 40 speakers and moderators focused on

the contribution that biobased, biodegradable, and compostable plastics

can make to achieve a circular economy.

In a pre-recorded address, Kestutis Sadauskas, Director for Circular

Economy and Green Growth at the European Commission’s DG

Environment, said “While biobased and biodegradable and compostable

plastics can be part of the solution, they also present certain challenges.

The feedback received tells us a policy framework is needed.” The

subsequent policy session went on to discuss bioplastics’ role in

achieving Europe’s Green Deal objectives by focussing on key processes,

such as the framework for bioplastics and the Packaging and Packaging

Waste Directive.

Further conference sessions highlighted new opportunities for

compostable plastics and discussed their performance in different

open environments. New European Bioplastics market data, based

on research from the nova-institute, gave a very positive outlook for

bioplastics production, which is expected to more than triple within the

next five years with a growth rate of over 200 % (see next page). The

results correspond to the industry leaders’ perspectives on bioplastics

shared during the conference as well as to the latest insights that were

provided from emerging markets, such as textiles, packaging, and


During the session on communicating sustainability of biobased

plastics, participants followed a lively discussion on sustainability,

including the results of a study developed by the Joint Research Centre

(JRC) assessing the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of alternative feedstock for

plastics. This coincided with the publication of a position by the European

Bioeconomy Alliance criticising the methodology for favouring fossilbased

over biobased plastics (see p. 42).

This year, bioplastics’ leading business and networking platform was

held in a hybrid format attracting over 320 participants. Around 140

participants attended in person, while the other attendees were able to

follow and actively engage online. At the conference exhibition, around

20 companies and institutions showcased the high diversity of new

products, materials, and applications. Innovation also requires research

– thus the conference also included a poster exhibition with fifteen

different universities and research institutes presenting bioplasticsrelated

projects. MT


10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

and market development update


Bioplastics currently represent still less than 1 % of

the more than 367 million tonnes of plastic produced

annually1. However, contrary to a slight decrease in the

overall global plastic production, the market for bioplastics

has continuously grown. This development is driven by a rising

demand combined with the emergence of more sophisticated

applications and products. Global bioplastics production

capacity is set to increase significantly from around 2.41 million

tonnes in 2021 to approximately 7.59 million tonnes in 2026.

Hence, the share of bioplastics in global plastic production will

pass the two % mark for the first time.

Applications and market segments

Bioplastics are used for an increasing variety of applications,

ranging from packaging and consumer products to

electronics, automotive, and textiles. Packaging remains the

largest market segment for bioplastics with 48 % (1.15 million

tonnes) of the total bioplastics market in 2021.

Global production capacities of bioplastics by market segment (2021)

Global production capacities of bioplastics

Material development and diversification

Bioplastic alternatives exist for almost every conventional

plastic material and corresponding application. Due to a

strong development of polymers, such as PBAT (polybutylene

adipate terephthalate) but also PBS (polybutylene succinate)

and PAs (polyamides) as well as a steady growth of polylactic

acids (PLAs), the production capacities will continue to

increase significantly and diversify within the next 5 years.

Global production capacities of bioplastics by material type

top: 2021, bottom: 2026

Land use share for bioplastics estimated to be at

0.01 % of the global agricultural area

The land used to grow the renewable feedstock needed to

produce bioplastics is estimated to remain at approximately

0.70 million hectares in 2021. This accounts for just only

over 0.01 % of the global agricultural area of 5.0 billion

hectares. Along with the projected increase of bioplastics

production in 2026, the land use share is expected to be still

below 0.06 %. In relation to the available agricultural area,

this share is minimal. Thus, there is no competition between

the renewable feedstock for food and feed and the production

of bioplastics.

Land use estimation for bioplastics 2021 to 2026

About this market data update

The market data update 2021 has been compiled in

cooperation with the market experts of the nova-Institute

(Hürth, Germany). The market data graphs are available for

download (see link below). MT



bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 11


And the winner is ...

The 15 th Global Bioplastics Award 2021

was given to Gruppo Fabbri Vignola

for their Home Compostable Cling Film

This year the prestigious annual Global Bioplastics

Award, presented by bioplastics MAGAZINE, was given to

Gruppo Fabbri Vignola (Vignola, Italy) for their Home

Compostable Cling Film.

Other than in previous years, the winner was not chosen

by a jury. This year for the first time, the attendees of the

16 th European Bioplastics Conference, which was held in

a hybrid format in Berlin, Germany on November 30 th and

December 1 st , voted for the winner, both on-site in Berlin

and online.

Nature Fresh is the first cling film worldwide suitable for

both manual and automatic food packaging and certified

as Home Compostable and Industrial Compostable (EN


The formulation of Nature Fresh is based on the BASF

certified compostable polymers ecoflex ® and ecovio ® .

It is also the first of its range to combine optimal

breathability for an extended shelf life of fresh food with

high transparency and excellent mechanical properties

for automatic packaging: its tensile strength, elongation

at break, breathability, transparency, gloss, extensibility,

and anti-fogging are comparable to those of traditional

films. Furthermore, Nature Fresh shows a better water

vapour transmission rate, which is essential for optimal

packaging. It preserves the freshness, and the nutritional

and organoleptic properties of food, avoiding food waste.

The shelf-life of mushrooms, for instance, can be extended

to 5-fold, for lettuce even up to 7-fold.

Nature Fresh can be used in minimal thickness and is

also printable with compostable inks.

It is food-contact approved according to the US and

European standards and since no plasticisers are used,

it can pack any kind of fresh foods, even those with high

fat content.

“It took us five years to develop this product,” said Stefano

Mele, CEO of Gruppo Fabbri Vignola in his short statement,

“and I am grateful for the support of our partners.” He

also added that “Nature Fresh has already been produced

in hundreds of tonnes and tens of thousands of reels with

millions of packages already released onto the market.”

Michael Thielen presenting the Award to Stefano Mele

12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17


Leading compounding technology

for heat- and shear-sensitive plastics

The runner up was Refork from the Czech Republic.

The company has developed a new material based on

sawdust, waste from wood processing combined with

natural polymers PHB(V). Their first iconic product is a

fork, but the company is already developing a toothbrush

for the dental market to launch early next year.

Last but not least, third place went to the bio!TOY

conference (which was anonymously nominated).

The 3D-printed award itself is of course also made from

bioplastics. The two different PHA/PLA blends are filled

with wood or stone flour, respectively. The trophy was

provided by colorFabb from Belfeld, The Netherlands. MT


Uniquely efficient. Incredibly versatile. Amazingly flexible.

With its new COMPEO Kneader series, BUSS continues

to offer continuous compounding solutions that set the

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

industries, including for biopolymers.

• Moderate, uniform shear rates

• Extremely low temperature profile

• Efficient injection of liquid components

• Precise temperature control

• High filler loadings


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 13


bioplastics MAGAZINE presents:

The 4 th bio!PAC conference on Biplastics & Packaging, a co-production of bioplastics

MAGAZINE and Green Serendipity, will now be held strictly virtual, due to the latest

developments of the Corona pandemic. The conference fee has been reduced.

Experts from all areas of bioplastics & packaging will present their latest

developments or research. The conference will also cover discussions like endof-life

options, consumer behaviour issues, availability of agricultural land for

material use versus food and feed etc.

bio!PAC uses the WHOVA app and web-platform to offer excellent opportunities for

attendees to connect and network with other professionals in the field.

All presentations will be recorded for a convenient “video-on-demand“ experience

in your time zone. A local meet-up will be organized if covid measures allow!

bio PAC



Bioplastics & Packaging


15 - 16 March 2022

Online Event

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

08:00 - 08:40 Welcome, solve technical issues, if necessary

08:45 - 09:00 Michael Thielen Welcome remarks

09:00 - 09:20 Gert-Jan Gruter, University of Amsterdam Future of bioplastics & packaging

09:20 - 09:40 Constance Ißbrücker, European Bioplastics European bioplastics pespective for bioplastics (t.b.c.)

09:40 - 10:00 Christopher vom Berg, nova-Institute Packaging from Renewable Carbon Plastics (t.b.c.)

10:00 - 10:15 Q&A

10:15 - 10:40 Coffee– and Networking Break

10:40 - 11:00 Heidi Koljonen, Sulapac Microplastics & Packaging

11:00 - 11:20 Thijs Rodenburg, Rodenburg Biopolymers Starch-based compounds for packaging applications

11:20 - 11:40 Patrick Zimmermann, FKUR From linear to circular - how bioplastics provide solutions for packaging

11:40 - 12:00 Ella Yao, PureGreen PLA coated paper-based packaging

12:00 - 12:15 Q&A

12:15 - 13:15 Lunch- and Networking Break

13:15 - 13:35 Bineke Posthumus, Avantium Plant-based solutions to realize a fossil-free & circular economy

13:35 - 13:55 Martin Bussmann, Neste Renewable carbon solutions for packaging

13:55 - 14:15 Allegra Muscatello, Taghleef Industries New developments in biobased and biodegradable packaging solutions

15:15 - 14:35 Jan Pels, TNO Torwash: a new system for bioplastics recycling

14:35 - 14:50 Q&A

14:50 - 15:15 Coffee– and Networking Break

15:15 - 15:35 Patrick Gerritsen, Bio4pack Bio4Pack moves the earth

15:35 - 15:55 Blake Lindsey, RWDC Moving Past Recycling: Can We Stem the Microplastics Crisis?

15:55 - 16:15 Jane Franch, Numi Organic Tea Practical application of bioplastics in packaging: Brand perspective

16:15 - 16:30 Q&A

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

08:45 - 09:00 Michael Thielen Welcome remarks

09:00 - 09:20 Lise Magnier, TU Delft Insights in consumer behaviour in relation to sustainable packaging

09:20 - 09:40 Bruno de Wilde, OWS Environmental Benefits of biodegradable packaging?

09:40 - 10:00 Johann Zimmermann, NaKu PLA packaging: returnable, recyclable, re...

10:00 - 10:20 Erwin Vink, NatureWorks The Compostables Project

10:20 - 10:35 Q&A

10:35 - 11:00 Coffee- and Networking Break

11:00 - 11:20 Jenifer Mitjà, Total Corbion Expanding end-of-life options for PLA bioplastics

11:20 - 11:40 Remy Jongboom, Biotec The added value of compostable materials in packaging applications

11:40 - 12:00 Julia Schifter, TIPA Creating a circular bio-economy through compostable packaging

12:00 - 12:20 Philippe Wolff, Ricoh Europe (t.b.c.) PLAIR – a new material made from plants and air

12:20 - 12:35 Q&A

12:35 - 13:35 Lunch- and Networking Break

13:35 - 13:55 Tom Bowden, Sidaplax Evolutions of Biopolymer Film Performance and Environmental Degradability

13:55 - 14:15 Jojanneke Leistra, Superfoodguru PLA bottles from a brand owners perspective

14:15 - 14:35 Alberto Castellanza, Novamont Mater-Bi ® : Novel Developments in Food Packaging Applications

14:35 - 14:55 Caroli Buitenhuis, Green Serendipity Bioplastics in Packaging - Review and outlook

14:55 - 15:10 Q&A

15:10 - 15:30 Caroli Buitenhuis, Michael Thielen Closing remarks

Subject to changes

14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

io PAC

bioplastics MAGAZINE presents:




International Conference on Bioplastics & Packaging

15 - 16 March 2022 - ONLINE

Bioplastics packaging

• can be recyclable, biodegradable and/or compostable

• can be made from renewable resources or waste streams

• can offer innovative features and beneficial barrier properties

• can offer multiple environmental benefits in the end-of-life phase

• helps to reduce the depletion of finite fossil resources and CO 2


At the bio!PAC the focus will be on packaging based on biobased feedstock that leads to genuine environmental benefits in the

future. Specific and considerable attention will also be paid to the criteria for these applications.

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Coorganized by

supported by

Media Partner


Green, the theme Colour

of Chinaplas 2022

The advent of the dual-carbon era has triggered further

efforts in reducing carbon emissions. Many countries,

regions and chemical enterprises have set the goal of

net-zero emissions and carbon neutrality. Green and low

carbon have become hot topics in the plastics and rubber

industries. Chinaplas 2022, to be held from April 25 to 28,

will bring together more than 4,000 prominent exhibitors

from all over the world to launch innovative green solutions.

A lot of can’t-miss concurrent events will be organized

during Chinaplas 2022, focusing on green topics such as

carbon neutrality and sustainable development.

Plastics Recycling & Circular Economy

Conference: Inspiring green ideas

What are the macro trends in the global circular economy?

What are the hot topics and technologies? By attending

the 3 rd Chinaplas x CPRJ Plastics Recycling and Circular

Economy Conference and Showcase, to be held one day

prior to Chinaplas 2022 in Shanghai, attendees can get the

answers from renowned speakers, who are to share their

insights on relevant policies and industry trends, as well as

the showcase of innovative solutions.

Government officials, representatives from industry

organizations, brands, machinery and material suppliers

from different countries and regions are invited. They

will deliver more than 50 speeches online and offline to

400+ industry elites, of which over 60 % are end-product

/ targeted manufacturers. The conference will outline the

landscape and prospect of the plastics recycling industry

in Asia and worldwide at large, by focusing on topics such

as international trends and latest policies for plastics

recycling, successful cases and achievements in recycling

experiences, and innovative ideas.

Thematic seminars will be held at the conference to

facilitate the discussions on carbon neutrality, PCR/

PIR, renewable plastics, recycled ocean plastics, monomaterials,

eco-design/design for recycling, chemical

recycling, innovative solutions for plastics recycling, and

new technologies for recycled materials. At the same time,

world-leading enterprises in the scope of plastics recycling

will showcase their latest solutions for new materials,

technologies, and automation. Experts will also introduce

their latest technological achievements and interact with

the participants.

Tech Talk: a showcase for green technologies

Green will be seen as a focus of Chinaplas 2022 from the

topics of Tech Talk. This concurrent event is a series of open

forums under 8 themes, including antibacterial solutions,

surface treatment solutions, in-mould electronic solutions,

5G applications, eco-friendly solutions, lightweight

solutions, innovative materials, of which the last three are

more relevant to the green technologies and development.

Leading enterprises from the plastics and rubber

industries will participate in the event. Among others, Cathay

Biotech will show its thermoplastic high-temperatureresistant

biobased polyamide engineering plastic products

and green lightweight materials (see also p. 18).

Chinaplas has become a product debut platform for the

plastics and rubber industries, where exhibitors launch a

wide range of new products. Tech Talk is the annual stage

for the plastics and rubber industries, to bring the spotlight

to the new and edge-cutting products, helping new

technological products to gain more exposure while visitors

can get quick access to the resources of quality suppliers.

Under the theme of “New Era · New Potential · Innovation

for Sustainability”, Chinaplas 2022 will proudly return to the

National Exhibition and Convention Center in Hongqiao,

Shanghai, from April 25 - 28, 2022. MT


National Exhibition and Convention Center in Hongqiao, Shanghai

16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

7 th PLA World Congress

24 + 25 MAY 2022 > MUNICH› GERMANY



organized by

Call for papers still 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:

24 + 25 May 2022 in Munich / Germany

Hybrid event

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 six 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 [01/22] Vol. 17 17




Renewable 1,5 pentanediamine

based polyamide composites for

automotive applications

250 —

200 —

150 —

100 —

50 —

Comparison of basic physical properities of different materials

Cathay Biotech, Shanghai, China, is a leader in

synthetic biology specializing in the production of

biobased polyamides that are based on its 100 %

renewable 1,5-pentanediamine (DN5). The option of using

either fossil-based or renewable diacids enables the biocontent

level of PA5X to be as high as 100 %. Cathay has

been engaged in the application and development of

biobased PA5X and marketed these engineering polyamides

under the tradename ECOPENT ® . The melting point of its

Ecopent engineering materials can be varied from 197 ºC

of Ecopent 3300 (E-3300) to 300 ºC of Ecopent 6300, which

fulfils a plethora of different application requirements of


Recently, Cathay focused on the investigation and

production of fibre-reinforced PA5X composite such as

prepreg tape, which is an alternative solution for metal

replacement. The continuous glass/carbon fibre-reinforced

biobased PA5X (CFRT-PA5X) shows excellent mechanical

properties, high specific strength, and specific modulus,

among others. By modifying the manufacturing process,

the fibre content of such CFRT-PA5X could be tuned flexibly

from 50 % to 70 %, by weight, which provides for a high

design flexibility of these products and would contribute to

a significant weight reduction for automobile applications

(among others).

Using Ecopent 2260 (E-2260) as the matrix and glass/

carbon fibre as reinforcement, composites with different

mechanical properties could be easily produced by

employing proper processing technology. The produced

composite exhibits increased tensile strength and tensile

modulus with increasing fibre retention length. For

example, the CFRT of E-2260 70 % GF possesses tensile

strength higher than 1,000 MPa, while its density is onefourth

that of steel. More importantly, its specific strength is

three times that of super-steel.

Moreover, CFRT-PA5X composites with higher mechanical

properties could be produced by using continuous carbon

fibre instead of glass. For instance, the CFRT of E-2260

50 % CF has only one-third the density of super-steel but

exhibits 10 % higher tensile strength than it. In addition, the

specific strength and specific modulus of CFRT of E-2260

50 % CF are six times and two times that of super-steel,


Continuous fibre reinforced unidirectional

prepreg tape

Basically, the thickness of CFRT-PA5X unidirectional

prepreg tape is between 0.25 mm and 0.30 mm. Their

tensile strength is usually higher than 1,000 MPa, which is

0 —

1600 —

1400 —

1200 —

1000 —

800 —

600 —

400 —

200 —

Steel Super steel Aluminium E-2260-

70%GF (CFRT)

Tensile modulus (GPa)

E-2260-70GF tape

Tensile modulus (MPa)


50%CF (CFRT)

Specific modulus (GPa-cm3/g)

Properities of different unidirectional prepreg tape

0 —

E-3300-70GF tape

1200 —

1000 —

800 —

600 —

400 —

200 —

700 —

600 —

500 —

400 —

300 —

200 —

100 —

Comparison of different composite board

0°C/90°C Bending strength (Mpa)


0 —

E3300-70%GF board E-2260-70%GF board PP-composite board

0 —

E-2260-50CF tape

0°C Bending strength (Mpa)

0°C Interlaminar shear strength (Mpa) 90°C Bending strength (MPa)

Comparison of bending strength of PA5X-70%GF at 23°C and 70°C for 2h












18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

1800 —

1600 —

1400 —

1200 —

1000 —

800 —

600 —

400 —

200 —

0 —

Comparison of basic physical properities of different materials

Steel Super steel Aluminium E-2260-

70%GF (CFRT)

Tensile strength (MPa)

E-2260-70GF tape

Tensile modulus (MPa)


50%CF (CFRT)

Specific strength (MPa-cm3/g)

Properities of different unidirectional prepreg tape

90 —

80 —

70 —

60 —

50 —

40 —

30 —

20 —

10 —

0 —

E-3300-70GF tape

70 —

60 —

50 —

40 —

30 —

20 —

10 —

0 —

Comparison of different composite board


70%GF board


70%GF board

0°C/90°C Bending modulus (Gpa)

90°C Bending modulus (Gpa)





55%CF board

0°C Bending modulus (Gpa)

Comparison of bending modulus of PA5X-70%GF at 23°C and 70°C for 2h

25 —




Yuanpin Li, Qilei Song

Engineering Plastics Application Development Engineer

Cathay Biotech Inc.

Shanghai, China

affected by the fibre content and fibre type. Furthermore,

through winding or moulding process technology, these

prepreg tapes could be further applied in automobiles such

as fender, front cover, and battery pack etc.

Biobased PA5X composite board

In terms of 70 % continuous glass fibre reinforced E-2260

composite, its 0° bending strength could be up to 1,033 MPa,

twice as strong as a PP composite with the same glass fibre

content. Its 0° bending modulus also reaches 38 MPa, which

is 30 % higher than that of a 70 % glass fibre reinforced

PP composite. Furthermore, the 90° bending strength

and 0° interlaminar shear strength of such biobased PA5X

composite are 1.5 times that of PP composites with the

same glass fibre content.

When CFRT of E-2260 70 % GF, CFRT of E-3300 70 % GF,

and PP composite are baked at 70 ºC for 2 h, the bending

strength of E-3300 70 % GF and CFRT of E-2260 70 % GF is

increased by 5 %, while PP ones are reduced by 12 %. The

bending modulus of CFRT of E-2260 70 % GF is higher 40 %

than that of PP composite at 70 °C.


CFRT of PA5X, due to their extremely high strength-toweight

and stiffness-to-weight ratios, can be a sustainable

lightweight solution to meet increasingly challenging

requirements from different industries, e.g., automotive,

construction, or shipping. In addition, CFRT of PA5X have

shown excellent chemical resistance, anti-fatigue and antimar

performance depending on the biobased polyamide

selected. The increase in temperature will lead to a decrease

in the rigidity of composites. CFRT of biobased polyamides

(E-3300 and 2260) have proven its advantage of mechanical

performance at 70 °C, when compared with general plastic,

like PP. This can make CFRT of biobased polyamides strong

candidates for new vehicles, compressed gas tanks, or

shipping containers, which needs much lighter, safer, and

more efficient materials.



20 —

15 —

16,74 17,07



10 —

5 —

0 —






bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 19






for automotive


The automotive industry continuously strives to

improve the driving range of cars. Whether being per

litre of petrol for a combustion engine or in kilowatthour

(kWh) for electrically powered vehicles. Car owners

thereby receive a better mileage at lower cost, while CO 2

emissions per kilometre driven are reduced as well. One

way of achieving this is by reducing the overall weight of

the car, which is becoming increasingly important for the

comparatively heavier battery-powered electric vehicles.

Cellulose fibre is one of the answers to address this

need for weight reduction. Sappi Symbio is a lightweight

cellulose solution to reinforce conventional thermoplastic

and biobased plastics. Symbio provides a double advantage,

it’s not only a lightweight material filler, but it also answers

the increasingly important demand for more renewable and

non-fossil based carbon materials.

Symbio is a bio-renewable wood-based cellulose fibre

that is an alternative to incumbent mineral materials like

talc and (short) glass fibre. Due to its relatively low density

of about 1.5 g/cm 3 , it decreases the overall material weight

when added to a thermoplastic, in comparison to talc or

glass. These are commonly used fillers to give a material

more stiffness and strength. Figure 1 shows an example

for a 20 % loaded polypropylene and its influence on the

resulting material property in terms of weight. This weight

saving opportunity, which can go up to 15 % (at 40 % cellulose

load) has drawn the attention of several automotive OEMs

who are already manufacturing car components with

Symbio today.

Symbio cellulose fibre reinforced compounds easily meet

industry requirements of mechanical performance and can

be a renewable alternative to typical mineral fillers. Table 1

shows how the stiffness, in terms of flexural modulus, of

polypropylene can be enhanced by Symbio in comparison

to talc and short glass fibre (SGF). It also shows the heat

deflection temperature for the various solutions which is

increased compared to unfilled polypropylene but also to a

talc-filled compound.

As mentioned already, Symbio consists of wood-based

cellulose. Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer

on earth and can be found in any plant-like material.

There are many different sources today for cellulose fibre,

like grass or bamboo, and likewise as many variations in

quality and performance. Symbio is a premium quality

cellulose fibre that is also used within Sappi for producing

high-quality speciality paper or high-end paperboard. The

fibre consistency, as well as the very high purity, is why

car manufacturers and brand owners select Symbio as a

material to use for interior car components. Where other

natural fibres can have issues with odour or emission of

volatile components, Symbio passes the most stringent

requirements measured by internationally accepted

standards. In the VDA 270 odour test, Sappi Symbio,

measured on a plaque produced with Symbio PP40

(containing 40 % cellulose) by a German OEM, receives a

rating 2 classified as “perceptible, non-disturbing” (the

scale ranges from 1 “imperceptible” to 6 “unbearable”). This

rating allows the parts to be used in automotive interiors.

Fig. 1

Glass fibre




Density of 20 % filled polypropylene

0,94 0,96 0,98 1 1,02 1,04 1,06

Specific gravity g/cm 3

Table 1


Test method







PP + 20% talc PP + 20% SGF Units



- 20 20 20 20 20 Weight %

Density ISO 1183 0.98 0.99 0.98 1.05 1.04 g/cm³

Tensile strength ISO 527-2/1A 49 34 23 28 85 MPa

Flexural modulus ISO 178, 23°C 3,080 2,545 1,678 2,400 4,200 MPa

Impact, Charpy

notched (23°C)

ISO 179-1 4.2 4.3 10 6 11 KJ/m²

HDT-B at 0.45 MPa ISO 75 141 136 123 100 155 °C

20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

Symbio has also been selected for other fields of

application besides interior car components. Manufacturers

of home appliances and lifestyle & furniture are interested

in Symbio due to its haptic response and the warmer

touch which provides a part with a natural touch and feel.

The examples given above were based on polypropylene


Juul Cuijpers, Product Manager Symbio

Sappi Europe | Sappi Netherlands Services BV

Maastricht, The Netherlands

but of course, Symbio is not limited to this thermoplastic.

Applications made from biobased and/or biodegradable

filled polymers like PLA and PHA are also possible and

are receiving increased interest. The aim is to expand the

current portfolio of Symbio products in the coming period.



Instrument panel

Interior trims

Air ducts

Luggage board

Centre console and armrest

Cable tray

23 – 24 March • Hybrid Event

Leading Event on Carbon Capture & Utilisation

• Strategy & Policy

• Green Hydrogen Production

• Carbon Capture Technologies

• Carbon Utilisation (Power-to-X): Fuels for Transport and Aviation, Building Blocks,

Bulk and Fine Chemicals, Advanced Technologies, Artificial Photosynthesis

• Innovation Award “Best CO2 Utilisation 2022

Call for Innovation

Vote for the Innovation

Award “Best CO2

Innovation Award


Innovation Award



Utilisation 2022




Dominik Vogt


Tel.: +49 2233 / 481449


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 21

Tyre News

How plastic bottles end up in tyres

Tyres can’t last forever. However, the life cycle of the

materials used in one tyre can be much longer than that

of the tyre itself. Continental just got one

step closer to the goal of tyres made

from 100 % recycled or sustainable

materials. “We are at the vanguard

of a more eco-friendly automotive

industry and are already committed

to using new technologies that utilize

recycled materials. From 2022, we will

be able to use reprocessed polyethylene

terephthalate (PET) in the construction

of Continental tyre carcasses, completely

replacing the use of conventional

virgin PET,“ as a press release stated

To re-use recycled PET bottles in tyres,

Continental teamed up with OTIZ, a fibre

specialist and textile manufacturer, to develop a specialized

technology that produces high-quality polyester yarn from

recycled PET without the chemical steps

previously required in the recycling

process. Polyester may not be the first

material you think of when you see a car

tyre, PET yarn is actually an essential

ingredient that makes up the tyre carcass

in the form of textile cords that run from

bead to bead (the inner circle of the

tyre). The horseshoe-shaped layer sits

just above the inner liner, affecting tyre

durability, load carriage, and comfort.

It’s the backbone of the tyre, sustains

loads, and absorbs shock. It maintains its

Picture: Continental

shape even at very high temperatures, so

thermal stability is crucial. MT


Biobased itaconate butadiene rubber

Last year the the Beijing University of Chemical Technology introduced biobased itaconate butadiene rubber. This project, led

by professor Liqun Zhang started the research in 2008. After 13 years a new generation of high performance and biobased

itaconate butadiene rubber has been successfully developed by professor Zhang’s team. The first class of macromolecular

chain structures based on an itaconic acid resource is epoxy group functionalized poly(dibutyl itaconate-co-butadieneglycidyl

methacrylate) (PDBIBG). It can realize the high value-added utilization of biomass resources and promote green and

sustainable development within the rubber industry.

Itaconic acid is a promising organic acid that has been categorized as one of the top 12 building block molecules in advanced

biorefineries. The specific steps for constructing high molecular weight, crosslinkable biobased rubber with itaconic acid as

the main raw material are as follows (see graph):

• Step 1: Fermentation of biomass resources such as corn and sugar cane to obtain itaconic acid.

• Step 2: In order to obtain high molecular weight polymers, itaconate monomer is obtained by

esterification of biobased alcohol.

• Step 3: Preparation of itaconate/butadiene/glycidyl methacrylate copolymer by low-temperature

redox emulsion polymerization.

The comprehensive properties of the functionalized biobased itaconate butadiene rubber finally obtained are comparable

or even superior to traditional rubbers. By calculation, the production of biobased itaconate butadiene rubber per tonne can

reduce carbon emissions by 1.44 tonnes compared with traditional petroleum-based rubber, which can provide positive support

for the world’s carbon peak and carbon neutral strategy.

By combining a molecular structural design with non-petroleum based silica and an in situ process to tune the viscoelastic

properties of the elastomer composites, silica/PDBIBG nanocomposite based green tyres that have low rolling resistance,

excellent wet skid resistance, and good wear resistance were successfully manufactured, which can promote fuel efficiency

and reduce dependence on petrochemical resources.

With the joint efforts of the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Shandong Chambroad Sinopoly New Material, Shandong

Linglong Tire and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the world’s first one-tonne production line of PDBIBG materials

was successfully established

in China, and PDBIBG tyres

were manufactured and tested.

The rolling resistance and

wet skid resistance are rated

at the B level by the EU Tyre

Labeling Regulation 1222/2009,

which includes the first batch

of functionalized biobased

itaconate butadiene rubber

radial tyres in the world. MT


22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17


The amount of plastics used in the production of a car is

over 20 % of its weight, excluding car tyres. The automotive

sector production, despite the increasing use of advanced

technologies and the implementation of further restrictions on

the emission of harmful substances, still generates significant

environmental costs. Shrinking crude oil resources and higher

costs of its acquisition, as well as the production and recycling

of plastics, are essential drivers of change throughout

the production chain. Polyurethane foams and materials,

synthetic components for vehicles in the automotive market,

all these products are petroleum-based and force the market

to look for sustainable alternatives.

The Biomotive project, which is part of the European

program Horizon 2020 and Bio-Based Industries Joint

Undertaking, is a project dedicated primarily to the automotive

sector, innovative technologies in the field of polyurethane

production and presentation of their advantages over the

previously used polyurethanes of petrochemical origin.

The European Union declares to achieve climate neutrality

by 2050, the solutions developed by the Biomotive Project offer

an opportunity for manufacturers to meet new challenges

and expectations of increasingly environmentally conscious

customers and new legislations.

The main objectives of the project are to demonstrate on

an industrial scale the production of innovative polymeric

materials of natural origin: thermoplastic polyurethanes,

2-component polyurethane foams and regenerated cellulose


The raw materials on which the production of Biomotive

polymers is based are mainly wood pulp, sugars, and vegetable

oils, they are fully renewable and do not interfere with food

production. Another advantage is also that it can be grown on

marginal lands, with low water demand and no special care

related to its cultivation.

Other materials were also tested: flexible car seat foams

with 60 % biobased carbon content have been developed,

offering the same level of comfort as current car seat foams.

Also, upholstery fabrics that covered biofoams, i.e. seats in the

broadly understood automotive industry (although they can

also be used in the furniture industry), were made of almost

100 % materials of biological origin. The use of natural fabrics

increases the overall biological content to nearly 70 %.

The Biomotive project brings together scientific and

research institutes, producers of biomass raw materials,

manufacturers of car parts as well as certification companies

in a European consortium. The result of this cooperation is a

complete, fully researched, and documented production chain,

from the acquisition of bio-raw materials to the subsequent

recycling of specific elements of car, coach, bus, and special

vehicle equipment, as well as the above-mentioned furniture

or vertical garden structures.

Bio-polyurethane production technologies developed under

the Biomotive project are also used in other industries in terms

of ready products and recycled raw materials. For example,

TPU and polyurethane foams will be used as additives for

asphalts, second-component adhesives, and the production

of soles.

The implementation of the Biomotive project will not only

significantly reduce the consumption of fossil resources in the

production process of polyurethane foam or TPU but could also

create new jobs in the sectors of bioproduction, green chemistry

and agriculture.

This project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries

Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020

research and innovation programme under grant agreement No

745766. MT


Low-carbon PLA Film for Various Applications

BiONLY TM , a novel PLA (polylactic acid)

film, developed by Xiamen Changsu

Industrial Co., Ltd.. This biodegradable

material can be degraded into carbon

dioxide and water under certain

conditions, which can effectively

reduce the carbon footprint. It’s an

ideal eco-friendly packaging material.

Biaxially oriented process greatly improves the mechanical properties

of PLA film and further expands its application field, which is of great

significance to packaging reduction, environmental protection and

carbon reduction.



bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 23


Automotive Bioplastics Market

Future Market Insights (FMI), Dubai, United Arab

Emirates, has forecasted the Automotive Bioplastics

Market to grow with a year on year growth of 10.3 % in

2022 reaching a value of about USD 687.5 Mn by 2022 end.

The new research study on the automotive bioplastic

market contains global industry analysis for 2014-2018 and

opportunity assessment for 2022–2029.

Automotive Bioplastics Market Base Year Value (2021A) USD 623.3 M

Automotive Bioplastics Market Estimated Year Value (2022E) USD 687.5 M

Automotive Bioplastics Market Projected Year Value (2029F) USD 1,442.2 M

Value CAGR (2022–2029) 10.7%

Collective Value Share: Top 3 Countries (2022E) 49.4%

The research study covers the latest trends, market

influencing factors, key success factors, forecasting factors,

macroeconomics factors, key information, and past market

scenario. The report examines the automotive bioplastic

market and delivers critical insights for the forecast period

of 2022–2029.

The global automotive bioplastic market is estimated

to be valued at ~USD 687.5 Mn in 2022 and is expected to

increase at a CAGR of ~11 % during the forecast period. As

per the comprehensive analysis provided in the report, the

global automotive bioplastic market is anticipated to witness

considerable growth in the coming years owing to the steady

increase in the adoption of bioplastic materials for various car


Application-wise, the interior segment is expected to hold

a prominent value share of the global automotive bioplastic

market. This segment includes seats, dashboard, air-duct,

HVAC, and other related interior components.

Automotive bioplastic materials tend to reduce dependency

on fossil resources, according to FMI’s analysis. They

materials are not as affected by oil price instability the way

petroleum-based materials are. Automotive bioplastics help

reduce the dependency on limited fossil resources, which is a

key growth driver for the market, with fuel prices projected to

surge significantly over the coming years.

Rising Demand for Electric Vehicles to Create

High Growth Opportunities

Increasing environmental awareness and inconsistent

fuel prices have influenced consumers, particularly in

developed countries of North America and Europe, to opt

for electric car models, such as plug-in hybrid electric

vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV).

Growing urban population, incentives for use of

electric vehicles, reducing battery prices, strengthening

transportation infrastructure in developed and emerging

countries, and inter-governmental steps for electric

vehicles are further driving the adoption of electric cars.

This, in turn, is anticipated to contribute to the demand for

automotive bioplastic materials during the forecast period.

Governments have put immense pressure on automotive

manufacturers to reduce vehicle weight to achieve fuel

economy. Nowadays, weights of vehicle modules in newer

vehicles are much lighter than conventional ones, which

had metal bodywork. It has been observed that these were

nearly 20 % heavier than today’s modules.

Companies are heavily investing in research &

development and manufacturing strategies to reduce the

weight of several body components. OEMs prefer bioplasticbased

materials over conventional raw materials (steel)

for specific applications as these help reduce the weight

of the vehicle significantly and have other technological

advancements over other materials.

The report highlights some of the prominent market

players, who have established themselves as leaders in the

global automotive bioplastic market. A few examples of key

players in the automotive bioplastic market are Mitsubishi

Chemical Corporation, Total Corbion PLA, NatureWorks

LLC, Solvay Group, Eastman Chemical, Arkema Group,

Braskem, Evonik Industries AG, BASF SE, and Dow

Chemical Company, among others.

The complete report can be purchased from USD 5,000

at Future Market Insights (see website). MT



for Plastics


• International Trade

in Raw Materials, Machinery & Products Free of Charge.

• Daily News

from the Industrial Sector and the Plastics Markets.

• Current Market Prices

for Plastics.

• Buyer’s Guide

for Plastics & Additives, Machinery & Equipment, Subcontractors

and Services.

• Job Market

for Specialists and Executive Staff in the Plastics Industry.

Up-to-date • Fast • Professional

24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17


available at www.renewable-carbon.eu/graphics









Thermal depolymerisation













© -Institute.eu | 2021

© -Institute.eu | 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 www.renewable-carbon.eu/graphics















© -Institute.eu | 2021

All figures available at www.bio-based.eu/markets

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)

© -Institute.eu | 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 www.renewable-carbon.eu/publications

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 www.bio-based.eu/reports

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 [01/22] Vol. 17 25


Why cycle

when you could travel in style?

By Alex Thielen

The Finnish entrepreneur and guitar maker Ari-Jukka

Luomaranta introduces a new way to travel in style – the

Kinner-car, a modern retro-style velomobile. The Kinner is a

two-seat four-wheel muscle-powered pedalcar – a humanpowered

sportscar if you will. It has an electrical engine

comparable to e-bikes with an assisted top speed of 25 km/h

– you can go faster, on pure muscle power. The electrical

assist can be turned off for the really ambitious drivers, but if

active it makes low speed driving easy and comfortable.

It has narrow and light road bike wheels, but tyres can be

changed bigger for gravel roads. All composite parts can

be made of fibreglass, carbon fibre, or a green biobased

composite material making it overall very light. The Kinnercar

won’t get a roof, but rather some kind of cover to protect

the cockpit from the elements when left outside.

However, at this point it is still a working prototype, so we

do not have any information on the exact weight just yet. The

first prototype is made of composites using fibreglass and

carbon fibre. So there is no green prototype yet, but Ari-Jukka

told bioplastics MAGAZINE that he plans to experiment with

composite parts infused with greenpoxy and flax fibre. “Here

in my area, west coast of Finland, we have a lot of knowhow

in composites as we have many boat factories. (They are)

making various kinds of motorboats, as well as sailboats also

for competition, with a range of extreme requirements. We got

the idea from Finnish boatmakers like Swan and Baltic-yacht.

Baltic, for example, is making their Cafe racer by using the

same principle to substitute as much carbon fibre as possible

with flax.”

What we do know are the general specs of the Kinner-car,

it’s (currently) 285 cm long, 100 cm wide and has a wheelbase

of 220 cm. Furthermore, it is registered as a power-assisted

bicycle – no driving license is needed (in the EU). It is great for

both shopping and travel as it has a large space for luggage

under the hood. An integrated PIN-code-activated anti-theft

system is planned as well.

There will be various customizable options for the Kinnercar.

Beyond the choice of various colours, there are also

nice extras like side windscreen, mirrors, lights & blinkers

integrated into the electric system which can be used like a

sport watch.

The stylish velomobile is a local production to make it as

eco-friendly as possible, no overseas production is used for

cheap labour or to get rid of environmental regulations. The

individual parts don’t have to travel far either – everything is

based around the town of Kokkola, Finland.

The Kinner-car certainly is a luxury means of transportation

with a price tag of 15,000 EUR (~12,000 EUR tax-free outside

of the EU). There is a reservation option of 500 EUR that will

help with getting the things rolling, which will be paid back

with a 20 % bonus (so 600 EUR) after delivery – starting in

April 2022.

www.kinner-car.com | https://greenpoxy.org

26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 27


Sustainable materials in

high-end luxury car

Pictures courtesy Daimler

The VISION EQXX is the result of a mission Mercedes-

Benz (Stuttgart, Germany) set themselves to break

through technological barriers across the board and

to lift energy efficiency to new heights. It demonstrates

the gains that are possible through rethinking the

fundamentals from the ground up. This includes advances

across all elements of its cutting-edge electric drivetrain as

well as the use of lightweight engineering and sustainable


While Vision EQXX offers many innovations that are

worthwhile to talk about this article will focus mainly on the

sustainable materials used.

Marking the launch of a new, super-purist design style,

the Vision EQXX represents a new expression of efficiency in

interior design. In a departure from the conventional design

approach, the interior layout focuses on just a few modules

and the beautiful simplicity of lightweight design. This is

expressed through the absence of complex shapes and

the integration of lightweight structures into the interior

aesthetic in a wholly organic way, making traditional trim

elements superfluous.

The interior features many innovative materials sourced

from start-ups around the world. For example, the

door pulls are made from AMsilk’s (Planegg, Germany)

Biosteel® fibre. This high-strength, certified-vegan, silklike

fabric is made using AMSilk’s proprietary biotechnology

expertise. AMSilk is the world’s first industrial supplier

of vegan silk biopolymers which are biodegradable,

recyclable, renewable, and zero-waste. Marking a first

in the automotive sector, Biosteel provides a solution to

the car industry whose need to replace petroleum-based

content with natural, biobased materials is increasingly

growing. (For some more info on Biosteel see bM 04/17)

Another sustainable material gracing the interior of the

Vision EQXX is Mylo TM (Emeryville, California, USA), a verified

vegan leather alternative made from mycelium, which is the

underground rootlike structure of mushrooms. It is certified

biobased, which means it is made predominantly from

renewable ingredients found in nature. This completely new

material category created by the power of biotechnology is

designed to be less harmful to the environment and is used

for details of the seat cushions in the Vision EQXX.

The animal-free leather alternative called Deserttex ® ,

made by Desserto’s (Guadalajara, Mexico), is a sustainable

cactus-based biomaterial made from pulverised cactus

fibres combined with a sustainable biobased polyurethane

matrix. In this combination, the leather alternative has

an exceptionally supple finish that is extremely soft to the

touch. Forthcoming versions have a higher cactus content,

giving this material the potential to halve the ecological

footprint associated with conventional artificial leathers.

On the floor, the carpets in the Vision EQXX are made

from 100 % bamboo fibre. In addition to being fastgrowing

and renewable, this natural raw material offers an

extremely luxurious look and feel. Mercedes-Benz chose

these sustainable, innovative, high-performance materials

because they, and others like them, have the potential to

replace all sorts of petroleum- and animal-based products

currently used in automotive applications. Together, they

show a way forward for luxury design that conserves

resources and is in balance with nature.

Elsewhere, the Vision EQXX makes extensive use of

recycled waste materials, such as the recycled PET bottles

used in a shimmering textile to enhance the floor area

and door trim. Higher up in the interior, the designers

used DINAMICA®, from Vyva Fabrics (Amsterdam, The

Netherlands) made from 38 % recycled PET to create a

wrap-around effect linking the upper edge of the onepiece

screen with the doors and headliner. The interior also

features UBQ material, a sustainable plastic substitute

made from household and municipal landfill waste.

28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17


UBQ is also used in the largest aluminium structural

casting at Mercedes-Benz, BIONEQXX is the major

structural component at the rear end of the VISION EQXX

– the rear floor.

The most important of the structural criteria here

is the need for very high stiffness and excellent crash

performance. The beauty of the one-part BIONEQXX casting

is the ability to pair this with functional integration within

an extremely lightweight single component rather than an

assembly of multiple parts joined together.

The one-part casting has a web-like appearance with gaps

where there is no need for structural elements. However,

the rear floor of a vehicle is subject to more than just

physical loads in everyday use. It has to withstand attempts

by nature to get inside the car in the form of water and dirt.

To address this, Mercedes-Benz engineers turned once

more to external partner UBQ Materials. The sustainable

plastic substitute developed by the Israel-based (Tel Aviv)

start-up is made from the kind of waste that typically ends

up in landfill. The cooperation between Mercedes and UBQ

won the Sustainability Award in Automotive 2021 in the “best

start-up” category. UBQ is not just suitable for prototype

applications, it also offers very strong potential for transfer

into series production in the near future.

The openings in the BIONEQXX rear-floor casting were

closed using patches made from UBQ produced on a 3D

printer. A total of 42 UBQ patches were designed using

shape optimisation to achieve extremely high stiffness

and good sound-dampening qualities. Once inserted into

the BIONEQXX casting using a special bonding process,

the final unit is fully sealed against the ravages of water

and dirt. The resulting part indicates that this innovative

engineering approach has the potential to achieve weight

savings of 15–20 % compared to a conventionally produced

component. It marks a milestone in lightweight design that

meets the exacting Mercedes-Benz quality requirements

Jack “Tato” Bigio, Co-CEO and Co-Founder at UBQ-

Materials, talked about their collaboration with Mercedes-

Benz. “UBQ is used for a large number of plastic parts (in

the Vision EQXX), it’s inside the rear of the car, it’s in the car,

it’s in the motor – it was a very fruitful collaboration. (…)

Mercedes-Benz is among the leading luxury car companies

in the world and working together with them has just been

really rewarding. They have very demanding requirements,

certifications, and validating processes. Crossing all those

barriers and becoming part of a Mercedes car is a dream

come true,” Tato told bioplastics MAGAZINE. Due to time and

space constraints we decided to publish the remainder of

this interview in a later issue focusing on UBQ materials

as a whole.

In any case, it is great to see so many renewable materials

used in high-end luxury cars, showing not only that they are

viable design choices, but can compete with conventional

plastic materials for technical applications as well. AT

www.daimler.com | www.biosteel-fiber.com | www.mylo-unleather.com

www.deserttex.com | www.vyvafabrics.com | www.ubqmaterials.com

VISION EQXX: key technical data at a glance*

Battery energy

content, usable

kWh 900

Energy consumption

kWh/100 km


cd value 0.17**

Max. power output kW ~150

Wheelbase cm 280

Gross vehicle weight kg ~1,750

*: Range figures preliminary and based on digital simulations in

real-life traffic conditions. The VISION EQXX has not undergone

type approval or homologation

** cd figure measured in the Daimler aero-acoustic wind tunnel at

a wind speed of 140 km/h

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 29


Bioconcept-Car has 3 new siblings

The development goes on with a lot of natural fibre composites, and more…

Photo: Four Motors, Johannes Nollmeyer


ongtime readers of bioplastics MAGAZINE know that the

Bioconcept-Car, created by Four Motors (Reutlingen,

Germany) has always been one of our favourite subjects.

When we visited the first edition (a biodiesel Ford Mustang) at

the famous Nürburgring racetrack in Germany for our 01/2007

cover story, Alex, still a teenager then, was already on board. A

Renault Mégane, a Volkswagen Scirocco and several Porsches

followed. Some editions were even presented live at our bio!CAR


For many, sustainability and racing sounds like a contradiction

in terms. But it is not: “Especially in view of today’s diesel and

particulate matter debates, environmentally-friendly mobility is

becoming increasingly important. A switch to electric mobility

is not possible from one day to the next. Alternatives must be

created for a continuous transition to conserve finite resources

and make them available to future generations for as long

as possible,” explained Thomas (Tom) von Löwis of Menar,

Managing Director of Four Motors.

Driven by this pioneering spirit, every two to three years

since 2006 unique prototypes have been created which serve

as a platform for environmentally-friendly technologies, set

standards and have had to prove themselves many times under

the extreme competitive conditions of motorsports. As the

“fastest test laboratory in the world,” Four Motors is competing

with the Bioconcept-Car in the Nürburgring Endurance Series

(NLS) and the international 24-hour race at the Nürburgring

to test the sustainable concepts under the toughest real-life

conditions and to make the abstract topic of renewables tangible.

“In our beloved Green Hell, we show that sustainable mobility and

driving pleasure are not mutually exclusive,” said driver Smudo,

who is – by the way – the frontman of the famous and successful

German Hip-hop band Die Fantastischen Vier (The Fantastic

Four – not to be confused with the Marvel superheroes). After

all, the aim of the project is not only to make effective use of

renewable resources and promote the development of a climatefriendly

car. Together with its various partners, Four Motors is

also providing food for thought to draw public attention to the

new possibilities and performance of these promising materials.

The Bio-Trio

Now the racing team around Tom owns and races three

Porsche Bioconcept-Cars at the same time. The Bio-Trio

consists of:

1) a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

2) a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport

3) a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport 981

The green pioneers take their responsibility seriously without

losing the fun of racing. In these three vehicles, the Bioconcept-

Car team combines three pillars of sustainability:

These are, of course, biobased materials which we will touch

on in more detail below. In addition, the team looks into reducing

CO 2

through re-refined engine and gearbox oil and advanced


The Bio-Trio is driving with re-refined engine and gearbox

oil from sponsor duo Wolf Oil Corporation and Teco2il. Using

patented high-tech processes, the Finnish refinery Teco2il

processes used oils up to high-quality base oils, which are

even purer than freshly produced base oils originating from

crude oil. The Belgian lubricants company Wolf Oil Corporation

formulates the base oils into high-performance oils so that they

can be used in the engine and transmission sector. The use of

these sustainable oils significantly reduces the CO 2


Consistently implemented, this means a crude oil saving of more

than two thirds and a corresponding reduction in CO 2


up to 80 % in the manufacturing process.

The second pillar is the fuel. The E20 high-performance fuel

from CropEnergies also ensures a significantly improved energy

balance of the three Porsche race cars. E20 is a blend of 80 %

petrol and 20 % sustainably produced bioethanol, which reduces

CO 2

emissions by approximately 70 % compared to a conventional

super petrol. During the production of bioethanol, the CO 2

emission is completely captured during the entire process chain,

annually examined and certified by independent institutions. The

production of domestic agricultural raw materials requires only

1 % of the agricultural land for the entire European bioethanol

industry. “And the development in terms of fuels goes on,” as

Tom von Löwis told bioplastics MAGAZINE.

And last but not at all least, lightweight components from

bio-fibre composites. Since the beginning, in 2006, Four Motors

has been using resource-conserving biomaterials in their

Bioconcept-Cars, which are also particularly light to reduce the

vehicle’s fuel consumption. They have been working together

with the Fraunhofer WKI application centre in Hannover,

Germany for nine years. In 2017, the partners were strengthened

for the first time by innovative German car manufacturer

Porsche. The development cooperation is funded by the German

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). Together with

the natural fibre specialists from Bcomp (Fribourg, Switzerland),

pioneering lightweight components made of natural fibre

composites are being developed, designed, produced, and tested

for suitability for series production in the Bioconcept-Car. By

using lightweight components based on flax fibres, the weight

of the bio-components has been almost matched to that of

lightweight carbon versions.

As part of the project, Bcomp conducted a full sustainability

analysis comparing the natural fibre composites to the

conventional carbon fibre parts. The Bcomp solution offered a

94 % reduction in material emissions and a 90 % reduction in

30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

cradle-to-gate emissions. While carbon fibre parts are often

discarded in landfills, Bcomp’s alternative brings a number of

sustainable end-of-life options to help further minimise the

cradle-to-grave impact. Thanks to highly efficient

thermal energy recovery, components that are no

longer in use or broken can be used to supply the

production of new parts with renewable energy and

form a sustainable process without residual waste.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

Vol. 2 ISSN 1862-5258

The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup II is the first car to

feature bio-fibre-doors produced using an RTM (Resin

Transfer Moulding) process that enables the lightweight

components to be mass-produced. In our interview,

Tom told bioplastics MAGAZINE that the 911 had a severe

accident in 2021, and “the whole car was destroyed, but

NOT the doors,” as he pointed out.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport

The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the first series-produced

racing car to rely on sustainably manufactured body parts: The

doors, rear wing, and front lip are made of the biocomposite

materials that were previously successfully tested by Smudo

on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In 2020 Four Motors, Bcomp,

Porsche Motorsport, and Manthey-Racing also constructed

and produced a lightweight kit with the natural fibre materials.

Front and rear bumper, as well as rear and front hood,

performed perfectly during the 24h race endurance test in the

Four Motors’ 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

In addition, the 718 has been equipped with a sustainable

interior since September 2021. Together with Porsche,

the Swiss sustainable lightweighting company Bcomp has

developed a high-performance natural fibre interior for this

car. Nine parts were subjected to reverse engineering by

Bcomp, including the air ducts, consoles, instrument cluster,

glove compartment, and roof module. All optical components

have been given a semi-transparent matt finish to match the

finish of the GT4 CS series rear wing, which also features

ampliTex and powerRibs from Bcomp. The powerRibs

reinforcement grid uses the high specific bending stiffness

of flax to build up height very efficiently, boosting the flexural

stiffness of thin-walled shell elements significantly (cf. bM

03/15, 06/17, 04/18, 01/19, 01/21).

The sustainable flax-fibre composite components also offer

250 % better vibration damping than carbon fibre, which leads

to less noise, less vibration, and harshness (NVH) advantages.

At the end of 2021, Porsche presented the successor to

the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport – the new GT4 RS. While the

previous 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport was the first-ever series

production race car to use body parts made of renewable

natural-fibre composite material. In the case of the new GT4 RS

Clubsport, even more extensive use of this material is made in

the vehicle as a whole. In addition to the doors and the rear wing,

the bonnet, the wings, the aerodynamic components at the front

end, and the steering wheel are now made of this material.

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport 981

And finally, “the 981 is our rolling test-lab,” as Tom von

Löwis explained. This car had an accident in 2021 as well.

In this case, the doors were damaged too. “But the doors

broke without splintering,” Tom said. “This is a big advantage,

especially in a race, as there are no sharp-edged splinters on

the road that could damage the tyres of the following cars.”

bioplastics MAGAZINE


bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 5 ISSN 1862-5258

01 | 2007

Biodiesel racing car

made of linseed oil acrylate | 10


Cellulosics | 44


Automotive | 10

Foam | 22

Bioplastics in

Automotive Applications | 10

How much „bio“ is in there? | 15

bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 7 ISSN 1862-5258

01 | 2010

. is read in 85 countries


January/February 01 | 2012


Automotive | 10


Basics of PLA | 54


Automotive | 10

Foam | 26

bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 8 ISSN 1862-5258

. is read in 91 countries

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

(Photo: Four Motors / Gruppe C Photography)

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport

(Photo: Four Motors / Gruppe C Photography)


PTT | 44

Cayman GT4 Clubsport 981

(Photo: Four Motors / ElfImages Motorsport)


By Michael Thielen

January / February


Bioconcept Car | 10

. is read in 91 countries

01 | 2013


bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 31

Conference Automotive Review

Porsche 718 GT4 CS Interieur (Photo: Four Motors)

Biocomposite rear wing and bumper

(Photo: Four Motors / ElfImages Motorsport)

Even the wheel rims (RONAL) are made of mostly recycled

aluminium and manufactured with 100 % green electricity.

The more durable tyres from Michelin, as well as the

planned development of low-abrasion and environmentally

friendly brake pads from PAGID Racing round off the

sustainable wheels

(Photo: Four Motors / ElfImages Motorsport)

In 2011, Michael Thielen took a round through the

Nürburgring Nordschleife himself in the Volkswagen

Scirocco Bioconcept-Car (Photo: Hans-Josef Endres)


“On the race track the evidence is shown: A racing car

with components made of plant fibres and other biogenic

raw materials is just as powerful as a conventional racing

car. And what works under high performance and extreme

conditions is even more reliable in everyday life. This once

again shows just how much potential the bio-economy

has to offer. It is all about sustainability and finding

environmentally-friendly mobility solutions. My goal is to

ensure that alternative raw materials, i.e. raw materials

that are not dependent on crude oil, are used to a much

greater extent in everyday products. In this way, we are

also making a contribution to climate protection and the

protection of our resources,” said the former German

Minister of Agriculture, Julia Klöckner.

Smudo added: “Bio in automotive engineering is hightech.

Biotechnologies make the car even more competitive.

For the first time, we have succeeded in winning an

automobile manufacturer in Porsche with whom we can

bring bio-lightweight components into series production.”

“Given the popularity of race-to-road technology transfer

– and the similarity between GT4 and road-going sportscars

– this proves the possibility of volume road applications

for our technology,” said Christian Fischer, CEO and Co-

Founder of Bcomp. “We look forward to continuing our work

with Porsche Motorsport and exploring new possibilities

and applications for sustainable composites in racing and


Eduard Ene, Specialist Interior GT-Road Cars, Porsche

Motorsport, commented: “We must all ensure that natural

fibre composites are used more and more in the world of

automotive components.”

Kay-Alexander Breitbach, project leader GT racecars,

adds: “Porsche has proven in the GT4 RS that natural fibrebased

plastics are competitive and believes in the potential

of sustainable racing.”

And finally, Tom von Löwis said: “Thanks to the

collaboration between the Porsche engineers and the

natural fibre specialists at Bcomp, the quality of natural

fibre components has been raised to a new level in recent

years and beats carbon fibre components particularly in

terms of the carbon footprint. We are pleased that with the

bio-interior we can now gradually replace all carbon fibre

parts in our 718 Cayman GT4 CS with natural-fibre parts.”


Four Motors and the Bioconcept-Car team are

enthusiastic about future developments. In 2022 they are

planning to investigate 100 % biobased composites. “We

call that B100, or Bio100,” as Tom von Löwis pointed out.

“We are thinking of combining the natural fibres with 100

% biobased resins in so-called prepregs.” The second

approach, while not exactly a bioplastics topic, is no less

important: “As electromobility is not an issue for us – at

least not yet – we are looking into more sustainable fuel

mixtures.” More details, however, could not be disclosed

so far. So, stay tuned. bioplastics MAGAZINE will continue

its now 15-year lasting observation of the Bioconcept-Car


www.fourmotors.com | www.bcomp.ch

32 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17



Conference Review










email: books@bioplasticsmagazine.com

phone: +49 2161 6884463

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 33


Car headliner from

plastic waste and old tyres

Grupo Antolin, (Burgos, Spain), a global supplier of

technological solutions for car interiors, presents the

first headliner substrate produced by thermoforming a

PU foam with materials made from urban & post-consumer

plastic waste and end-of-life tyres. Working with recycled

materials is a natural step in the company’s commitment

to developing a sustainable business. The aim is to reduce

waste and energy consumption during manufacturing and

to meet the demand for eco-friendly interiors, something

increasingly valued by car buyers’ choices.

The headliner part looks like a standard headliner and

performs exactly the same (sustainability surge comes

without any reduction in the physical properties of the

headliner). This accomplishment has been possible thanks

to a material’s manufacturing process developed by the

partner BASF (using of chemical recycling) that Antolin

has validated and introduced in a fully electric European

premium car that has just been launched to the market.

Approximately 50 % of the headliner weight is recycled. In

this particular project, 100 % of the textile, 70 % of the core

foam, and 70 % of the plastic sunroof reinforcement frame

have been obtained from residues that couldn’t be recycled

in any other way and would have been, ultimately, disposed

of in landfills or incinerated.

“This project is a step towards a more sustainable car

interior trim and a huge leap for the Wet PU technology.

A technology that has demonstrated to be the most

competitive in terms of cost and quality, fulfilling at the

same time the most demanding specifications from our

clients,” says Enrique Fernandez, Advanced Engineering

Director, Overhead Systems BU.

“We are going one step further by deploying the strategy

among our clients worldwide. Our next project featuring

recycled core PU foam will be unveiled in 2022 and it will be

manufactured using renewable electricity. Our commitment

is to reduce the generation of waste and emissions in all

our production processes,” highlights Javier Blanco, Grupo

Antolin’s Sustainability Director. These types of solutions are

an example of the company’s technological commitment to

help its customers to develop more sustainable vehicles by

reducing waste, weight and emissions.

This action is part of the Sustainability Master Plan that

has been designed with the United Nations Sustainable

Development Goals’ 2030 Agenda as a roadmap.

Mechanical recycling

As the leading overhead systems supplier, Grupo Antolin

focuses on different methods and technologies to recycle

interior trim parts as part of its objective to make a positive

contribution to society and reduce carbon footprint. In

this sense, mechanical recycling is another well-known

procedure that helps to reintegrate plastic products into

the production cycle. This is a mature technology that has

found many applications and it’s well integrated in industrial

processes. This type of recycling is currently being used

with thermoplastic structures. With thermoset materials,

mechanical recycling is not possible in many cases, though.

Antolin has developed

technologies that allow to process

a wider quality range of recycled

plastic sources that are transformed

into automotive parts using a

process called Novaform. On the

other hand, it has also introduced

in serial production in Europe a

method to recycle the thermoset

run-offs and technical scrap from

headliners and transform them

into construction boards. These

boards are currently being used in

Europe, Africa, and South America.

The product, branded Coretech, is

capable of transforming a composite

thermoset product (that couldn’t be

recycled in other ways) into a board

with outstanding insulation and

endurance properties. MT


34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 35


Mattress recycling now a reality

Dow Polyurethanes, a business division of Dow (Midland,

Michigan, USA), and Orrion Chemicals Orgaform

(Semoy, France) together with Eco-mobilier (Paris,

France), H&S Anlagentechnik (Sulingen, Germany), and The

Vita Group (Manchester, UK) have inaugurated a pioneering

mattress recycling plant as part of the RENUVA program.

Old mattresses made of polyurethane foam will now be

recovered, dismantled, and chemically recycled to create

a new polyol, which is a key starting material to produce

polyurethane. This Renuva polyol is designed for various

applications including mattresses. The recent unveiling

is a major step forward for the recovery and recycling of

polyurethane foam and a significant advance for closing the

loop for end-of-life mattresses. At full capacity, the plant

will process up to 200,000 mattresses per year to tackle the

growing mattress waste problem.

“We are immensely proud to have unveiled this plant.

By doing so we are answering the question of what can be

done with recycled polyurethane foam. It is part of Dow’s

strong commitment to delivering solutions that help close

the loop and protect our environment,” commented Marie

Buy, Sustainability Leader EMEAI, Dow Polyurethanes, “As

Renuva now shifts focus to the production phase and the

first foam made with the new polyol, our Dow Polyurethane

sustainability journey continues. We are actively exploring

future possibilities for recycled material and potential

applications. It is really a new beginning.”

The Renuva mattress recycling plant is the result of

strong collaboration between Dow and key players from

across the mattress lifecycle: chemical innovator Orrion

Chemicals Orgaform, expert mattress collector Ecomobilier,

turnkey solutions provider H&S Anlagentechnik,

and foam manufacturer The Vita Group.

“This really is a first for our company and for France.

We have a longstanding commitment to creating more

sustainable solutions and have long recognized the need

for the industry to be part of the solution,” commented

Christian Siest, President, Orrion Chemicals Orgaform,

“Our plant uses a chemical recycling process in which the

polyurethane foam is decomposed and converted into a

novel single product. The great thing about this is versatility;

we can process foam from any mattress and the Renuva

polyol recipe itself can be tailored for different applications.”

“Our ambition is to ensure the quality of the materials

collected and delivery to Renuva so that we keep to the

promise of a closed loop”, stated Dominique Mignon,

President of Eco-mobilier.

As previously announced, flexible polyurethane foam

solutions provider, The Vita Group will use the Renuva polyol

to create its award-winning Orbis flexible foam, providing a

more sustainable offering to the bedding market.

“Consumer attitudes have changed significantly, and

people are becoming a lot more focused on making

sustainable choices. We have already seen strong interest

from customers across Europe for Orbis foam and interest

in the Renuva technology, providing exciting opportunities

for our product lines,” commented Mark Lewis, Operations

and Projects Director at The Vita Group.

Last year in late September, Dow and Renuva partners

hosted a special virtual event “Closing the Loop for

Mattresses: A New Beginning with Renuva” to reflect on the

future of the program and share a closer look at what this

plant means for the bedding industry (see video link).

Eco-mobilier is also collaborating with materials

manufacturer Covestro (Leverkusen, Germany), aspiring

to generate enhanced value aiming at mattresses and

upholsteries. Both parties want to further develop waste

markets for foam used in such applications, to enable its

use in chemical recycling processes with high efficiency

at an industrial level. Furthermore, the parties underline

their commitment through an agreement, which sets out

a common understanding of strategic goals, projects, and

activities, forming the basis for a long-term cooperation

between them.

Covestro and Eco-mobilier want to keep mattrasses out

of landfill and minimize incineration, thus reducing their

environmental impact, and giving the material a new life.

For this purpose, they want to combine their expertise

and jointly develop a new solution and a business model

for the chemical recycling of polyurethane foam from postconsumer

mattresses and upholsteries.

Eco-mobilier has extensive experience in the collection,

logistics and processing of used furniture, such as

mattresses and upholsteries. This mainly concerns the

dismantling of used furniture and pre-sorting materials in

Dismantling of old matresses

Chemical recycling step

36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17


order to obtain pure foam parts as raw materials for

recycling. A key topic of the collaboration is to further

develop the decentralized dismantling process of

mattresses to avoid ecologically unfavourable transport

of the foam parts to the chemical recycling plant.

At a later stage, the partners also plan to evaluate

possibilities and develop a corresponding process

for recycling upholstered furniture with polyurethane





End customer



“For ten years, Eco-mobilier has been acting to set

up and improve a specific scheme for End-of-Life PU

foam collecting and recycling. The partnership between

Eco-mobilier and Covestro will allow to increase and

to diversify the existing solutions for the chemical

recycling of PU foam and to extend the perspectives

for a material which had been considered, yet recently,

as non-recyclable. Especially, by experiencing padded

furniture recycling with Covestro, Eco-mobilier is

delighted to start a new stage of development of its

strategy targeting ´zero landfilling´ for furniture,” said

Dominique Mignon.

As part of its new collaboration with Eco-mobilier,

Covestro intends to make use of a novel process

compared to other chemical recycling approaches,

which it has developed for recycling the foam chemically.

The technology has competitive advantages as it allows

the recovery of both core raw materials originally used.

To this end, the company also operates a pilot plant

for flexible foam recycling at its site in Leverkusen,

Germany, which is used for test purposes.

“We are thrilled to complement Eco-mobilier´s

unique expertise in furniture recycling with our chemical

recycling technology in this powerful partnership,” says

Christine Mendoza-Frohn, Executive Vice President &


See a video-clip at:








Collaborating across the value chain

(Source: www.corporate.dow.com)

Head of Sales EMLA for Performance Materials at Covestro.

“The strategic intent of our collaboration is to design and

validate a joint pilot model to encourage and make real an

accelerated adoption of recycling and reusing polyurethane

foams from used furniture in Europe and beyond.”

Both these collaborations aim at changing part of our

linear consumer system towards a more circular one, such

undertakings are difficult to implement as Mila Skokova,

Sales and Product manager at H&S Anlagentechnik, points

out, “Renuva has created an echo system that brings together

all the players in mattress recycling, otherwise it would never

be possible to implement innovative recycling solutions of this

magnitude. There are many hurdles to overcome in building

a new industrial echo system – a changed process can only

succeed if all players involved pull in the same direction. It

requires determination to make the shared vision a reality

– every partner must have the unconditional will to take on

the role of gamechanger. This way, barriers such as legal

frameworks or antiquated ways of thinking can be overcome.”

Hopefully, in the future more key players, not just in the fields

of mattress recycling and polyurethane, will work together to

change the system and as Mila astutely states, “this requires

a shared value system of trust, reliability, and fairness.” AT







Production of new matresses (all photos from the video (see link)

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 37


KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer Green Planet (Expanded beads)

Kaneka Corporation (Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan) announced

last year that they have been developing technology for

turning KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer Green Planet

(PHBH) into a foam material. Recently, Kaneka’s new foam

products were adopted by fishery businesses for fish boxes

that store fresh fish.

In search of measures to help solve the issue of marine

microplastics, the adoption by fishery businesses of Green

Planet PHBH foam products for fish boxes opens a door to

a solution that deals directly with ocean pollution, and there

is growing interest from the fisheries industry.

Kaneka’s biodegradable polymer Green Planet is a

100 % plant-derived biodegradable polymer (PHBH)

developed by integrating fermentation and macromolecule

technologies. It has excellent biodegradability in a wide

range of environments and has the unique characteristic

of biodegrading especially well in seawater. Already almost

four years ago, the OK Biodegradable MARINE certification

was issued to Green Planet TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium (then still

Vinçotte), an international certifying body headquartered in


By using Kaneka’s proven expandable plastic technology,

the company developed the Green Planet Molded Foam

Products, as a new use of its PHBH resins. It is the result

of the combination of technologies that Kaneka masters

particularly well. Kaneka announced to continue developing

materials for products such as containers for shipping

perishable foods for the fishing and farming industries,

fishing industry materials such as floats for culturing, and

cushions that are made of foam beads and shock-absorbing

materials for home electrical appliances and furniture.

Kaneka has declared its alignment with the

recommendations of the TCFD (Taskforce on Climaterelated

Financial Disclosures, as established by the

Financial Stability Board on the request of the G20).

Here, one particular area the company plans to tackle is

“Contributing to a Recycling-oriented Society”. Adoption

of Green Planet is progressing in various fields, including

straws and cosmetics packages. Kaneka will increasingly

broaden the usage of Green Planet PHBH as a material that

helps reduce the impact on the environment and provide

solutions to environmental issues. MT


PHBH foam


KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer

Green Planet Molded Foam

products adopted for fish boxes

Containers for storing and transporting fish boxes

(Green Planet particle foam products)

38 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

New 3D printing powder

for food industry


FABULOUS, an expert company in polymeric 3D

printing materials, brings innovation to a market now

focused on production. Fabulous is a French company

from Lyon. Recently they introduced BLUECARE, a mass

blue PA 11 based material for the powder-based additive

manufacturing (3D-printing) systems (LS, SLS, HSS, IRS).

It has been certified for Food Contact Application following

the European Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on

plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact

with food and alcohol.

Material requirements of the food industry

Additive Manufacturing is a production technology growing

in every market, changing from prototyping applications to

production. The food industry market (and others) follows

this trend and Bluecare comes to answer some of its needs:

1. Safety Blue Plastic Parts are used in different industrial

areas, as prevention in the food industry, due to their

visibility and identification in real-time production lines

(identification of foreign bodies or fragments of plastics in

food by visual or optical blue detection).

2. Final machinery parts certified for food contact: parts

made of plastic materials and in direct contact with food

must meet strict requirements in regard to the materials

used, especially when it comes to verifying that the contact

is not harmful from a physiological point of view. Blue

Care, through its certifications, meets the requirements

of international regulations for parts in contact with food.

Also, with Bluecare, component cleanliness is easier to

evaluate, as spores, mould, food, or detergent residue are

clearly visible.

Environmental benefits of Bluecare material :

In addition to safety blue colour needed for food line

production, Blue Care material got two main benefits for

sustainability :

More than ten European customers specialized in the

food industry are now using Bluecare. FDA certification is

currently in progress for USA/Canada market.

At https://tinyurl.com/fabulous-3D several videoclips

about Bluecare can be seen.

More powder innovations

Fabulous has become a key player in innovation in the

industrial 3D printing powders market. At the recent

Formnext world fair (November 2021, Frankfurt/M.,

Germany) two other materials were introduced:

• DETECT: Polymer metal composite, with magnetic

detection functionality and certifications for different


• RED STOP: the equivalent of Bluecare but mass red, to

manufacture parts requiring safety visibility. MT



See a video-clip at:



• Biosourced polymer, compared to conventional fossilbased


• Refresh rate is the highest possible for 3d printing

material: 50 % of the powder reusable

The first applications of Bluecare :

Partner customers already started producing parts using

Blue Care in January 2021: this is the case of the IDPRINT

3D printing service in Laiz, France: Bluecare powder was

used to design 30 cm wide modular food conveyor belts.

A success, according to Patrice Panchot, manager of

Idprint 3D, who believes that the material is perfectly

adapted to his needs: “Bluecare is the ideal material for

additive manufacturing of parts for food conveyors, avoiding

the manufacture of a mould that is too expensive for the

number of parts to be made.”

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 39


Extrusion lines

for natural fibre waste

Sustainability is now a key concept that affects all

economic sectors, first and foremost construction,

where attention is increasingly required when

dealing with innovative and eco-sustainable materials,

also for interior furnishings. In this respect, Bausano

(Rivaroio Canavese, Italy) leading international player in

the design and production of custom extrusion lines for the

transformation of plastic materials responds to the new

needs of the sector, enhancing its extrusion lines for plastic

waste (PVC, PE, or PP) and natural fibres, including wood

dust and substances of plant origin, such as rice husks,

coffee grounds, banana peels, seaweed, almond shells,

avocado kernels, cork, and other plant residues.

In detail, the market for composites obtained from

natural fibres is experiencing significant growth thanks to

the properties that make these materials unique in terms

of versatility, reliability, and environmental impact. In fact,

they are 100 % recyclable and can be transformed into a

new product at low cost. By virtue of their exceptional

performance characteristics, in terms of high resistance to

corrosion, atmospheric agents, UV rays, and impermeability,

they are ideal for cladding, furniture and indoor and outdoor

flooring, especially decking. Furthermore, thanks to their

increased lifespan, plant fibre-plastic composite materials

are also increasingly used in the automotive sector, for

the internal lining of door panels, dashboards, trunks and

for the production of particularly light components, which

contribute reducing the weight of vehicles.

Bausano’s extrusion technology has been perfected

to incorporate up to 100 phr of wood or natural fibre. The

specific counter-rotating twin-screw configuration makes

it possible to achieve an accurate mixing between melted

polymer and fibre, passing it through the die without the

need for a melting pump. Specifically, profiles can be

directly extruded from the raw material (direct extrusion)

or the material can be processed starting from the granule

(indirect extrusion). In direct extrusion, Bausano machines

ensure the processing of fibres with a moisture content

of up to 12 % at a speed three times higher with respect

to other solutions on the market. The granulation lines,

specifically designed to ensure maximum performance

at any production speed, also enable the use of recycling

materials and can be configured with premixing or

gravimetric dosing systems upstream. The granules

obtained can thus be transformed into a finished product

either through injection moulding or extrusion, with twin

or single screw. Lastly, the lines are distinguished by the

high degree of customisation, the wide range of modular

accessories and a special coating, on request, which

extends the useful lifespan of screws and cylinders up to

25,000 hours, before replacement is required.

Clemente Bausano, Vice President of the Company states

“The plant fibre-plastic composite materials are a valid

alternative in construction and architecture. In fact, they

are part of a circular economy perspective: for example, the

wood used is usually a product of waste from the furniture

industry that is recycled to be extruded again, thus reducing

deforestation”, and continues “Europe is currently the thirdlargest

market in the world for wood-plastic composites

and I believe that EU policies for the environment and

climate provide significant opportunities for the growth of

the sector, in particular through the “Renovation Wave”

strategy, an integral part of the Green Deal promoted by

Brussels.” And he concludes: “For Bausano, enhancing this

range of extruders is part of a broader programme, aimed at

pursuing the sustainable development goals drafted in the

United Nations 2030 Agenda. A path that sees us engaged

on three levels: social, environmental, and economic, acting

as the spokespeople for a virtuous change that also involves

our customers.”

Bausano also offers counter-rotating twin-screw

extrusion lined specially dedicated to the processing of

biodegradable polymers such as PVA. Bausano meets the

special requirements of such polymers thanks to its special

extrusion lines, of the MD Nextmover product family, for the

production of water-soluble bioplastic granules, which are

ideal for subsequent blown film extrusion. There are some

special aspects to be taken into consideration, including the

length of the barrel, which must allow the material to pass

through for the time strictly necessary. In fact, if it remains

there for too long, it will be subject to excessive stress.

The second aspect is temperature, as processing takes

place at much higher temperatures than with PVC, for

example. In addition, in order to obtain a granule without

impurities, the gel point must be determined with absolute

accuracy. bioplastics MAGAZINE will report about this in more

detail in one of the future issues. MT


40 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

PLA crystallization and drying

Now possible in just minutes instead of hours



particular challenge in processing PLA is

crystallization and drying. Because PLA is a

hygroscopic thermoplastic, it readily absorbs

moisture from the atmosphere. The presence of even small

amounts of moisture hydrolyzes the biopolymer in the melt

phase and reduces the molecular weight. As a result, the

mechanical properties of PLA decrease and the quality of

the final product is compromised. Therefore, PLA must be

thoroughly dried directly before melt-processing. In many

cases, recycled polymers must also be crystallized before


With its infrared rotary drum (IRD), KREYENBORG (Senden,

Germany) offers a fast, energy-saving and product-friendly

solution. Feed material is first introduced into the rotary

drum by a volumetric dosing system. High-level heat is then

quickly and directly introduced into the core of the material

by means of infrared light. With its special wavelength, the

infrared light penetrates the granules, thus the introduced

energy heats the material from the inside and drives the

moisture out through heat flow from the inside out. The air,

laden with moisture, is discharged by a constant flow of

air from within the drum. The air itself is not heated by the

infrared light, just by the heat coming from the granules.

This makes the process even more energy efficient.

A continuously moving spiral welded into the rotary

drum ensures a homogeneous mass-flow with a defined

residence time (first-in/first-out principle) (see picture).

The mixing elements integrated in the spirals, as well

as the rotation, ensure continuous mixing of the feed

material. In the process, the material at the surface is

constantly exchanged. These continuous rotary movements

prevent the product from blocking and clumping. With

these advantages, drying times of only 15 minutes can be


In conventional hot-air dryers, the previously crystallized

PLA can be dried at only 65–90 °C (150-190 °F) using

dehumidified air. Here, higher drying temperatures could

lead to softening and blocking of the polymer in the dryer.

Typically, this results in drying times of between 2 and

8 hours, while lower drying temperatures result in even

longer drying times. The energy input necessary for these

conventional processes is sometimes considerable.

Generally, PLA must be dried to a moisture level of < 250

ppm and maintained at this level to minimize hydrolysis

during melt processing. Achieving and maintaining these

kinds of levels is not optional, but is an absolute necessity,

and is feasible using Kreyenborg’s infrared rotary drum. A

dry granule helps control relative viscosity (RV) loss, which

should be less than 0.1. Controlling RV loss is critical to

maintaining impact resistance, melt-viscosity, and other

important properties of the feedstock.

Kreyenborg invites customers who want to see the

performance of the machinery in action to participate in

pilot plant trials, which now can even be conducted online.



Kreyenborg crystallisation and drying principle


Feeding+material flow+temperature scheme

1 Dosing hopper



Drum with weldedhelix






Temperature measurement


Material outlet


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 41


The new JRC’s

“Plastics LCA method”

already needs an update

Constance Ißbrücker, Head of Environmental Affairs at European Bioplastics e.V.

Erwin Vink, Sr. Sustainability Manager, NatureWorks LLC

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is basically the only tool

we currently have for making comparisons between

products from an environmental point of view. The

development of LCA tools started more than 30 years ago

but it seems that they are still far from perfect. In that time,

a wide range of different LCA methods and databases have

been created, all competing with each other. Do we really

need them all? Maybe we should have one globally accepted

methodology and database, but that probably will never

happen. Another serious shortcoming is that several very

critical environmental problems, like loss of biodiversity

and plastic pollution of our soil and oceans, are still not

incorporated in LCAs because the assessment methods

are not available yet. This means that LCAs still only

incorporate a part of the total environmental impact. For

some environmental impacts, such as climate change, one

would expect that the LCA tool would work very well, but

also here we see many different calculation procedures and

‘incomparable’ data sets. So, even for this most basic global

environmental impact, the tool comes with challenges. The

LCA community still has some significant challenges for

the years to come. So, at this point, it remains important to

be always very cautious and critical in judging LCAs and the

methodologies behind them.

In the EU Plastics Strategy, a vision was presented where

innovative materials and alternative feedstocks would

ultimately replace fossil resources. In this context, and

with the knowledge about the shortcomings of available

LCA methods, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) was tasked

in 2018 by the European Commission to develop a new

LCA methodology to evaluate the potential environmental

impacts of plastic products from different feedstocks. This

resulted in July 2021, in the publication of a 308-page LCA

methodology study called: ‘LCA of alternative feedstocks for

plastic products’ Part 1: the Plastics LCA methodology [1].

(In Part 2, ten LCA case studies will be published based on

this methodology.)

Over those three years, European Bioplastics (EUBP)

had had personal meetings with the JRC experts and

additionally provided numerous reports, reviews, and

comments. A significant amount of time was invested in

this effort for many reasons, one of them being that this

LCA methodology could become the basis to create policies

around biobased and biodegradable polymer products.

42 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

However, the resulting JRC “Plastics LCA method”, turned

out to be highly problematic and rather biased, making it

impossible to carry out complete and well-balanced LCA

comparisons between biobased and fossil-based plastics.

In its current form, the method strengthens the current

dominance of fossil-based plastics and often just neglects

the negative impacts of the extraction of fossil resources

on climate and environment. This is grossly at odds with

the EU’s commitment towards reducing the dependency

on fossil-carbon and becoming climate neutral. The

methodology also undermines many of the targets set out

in the EU Green Deal and Plastics Strategy. It is therefore

also not in line with the latest IPCC report saying we need

to stop using fossil resources.

However, the whole issue is not only about bioplastics.

European Bioplastics drafted a two-page Position Paper [2]

N.N.: EUBA position on the JRC LCA Methodology and got

the support of other European Biobased Industry Groups,

organized in the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA).

This is important support since this is not only touching the

bioplastics industry but the whole EU bioeconomy industry.

Therefore, EUBP, together with the other members of the

European Bioeconomy Alliance, have recently called upon

the Commission not to make use of the methodology until it

has been re-opened and significantly revised and improved.

Herewith a summary of our findings to illustrate

the significant asymmetry and shortcomings of the


Biogenic carbon sequestration

The methodology ignores the key advantage of biobased

products, which is the uptake of carbon dioxide from

the atmosphere, sequestering it into products, and so

preventing that carbon dioxide from contributing to climate

change. This is a key advantage over fossil-based plastics.

Biobased products replace fossil carbon in plastics and

reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. This fact should

be accounted for by being a mandatory part of a fair and

balanced assessment of environmental impacts. As an

example, the EU standard EN 16760 (“Biobased products –

Life cycle assessment”) provides guidance on how biogenic

carbon uptake should be accounted for in the assessment of

biobased plastics, but this calculation remains a voluntary,

meaningless option in the suggested methodology.

Comparing mature and immature production


For fossil-based plastics, the raw material extraction,

production, conversion, logistics, and end-of-life options

have been optimized for the last 50–70 years, while

many biobased plastics are still in their early stage of

development. They are at the beginning of their maturity or

optimization curve.

The LCA methodology provides no real answer on how to

compare systems that have different levels of maturity. In a

meaningful assessment (LCA should inform about decisions

that shape the future) of biobased plastics, this potential

for further improvements should be incorporated. By not

acknowledging these differences, the LCA methodology

mainly supports the status-quo and ignores the potential of

innovation. That clearly can’t be the goal.

Data reporting requirements

In an area where the report really goes wrong are the

requirements on data reporting (this is the basic data that

goes into the life cycle inventory). It is not demanding for

the same requirements for data sets for biobased and

fossil-based feedstocks. For biobased production systems,

detailed company-specific data are required, while for

fossil-based systems, the industry average (black boxes)

data sets are still acceptable. It is still allowed to just exclude

emissions coming from accidents, spills, and oil fires. After

30 years of performing LCA studies, these practices need

to be stopped. For biobased plastics products, all kind

sof details are requested, which as such is totally correct,

about agricultural emissions, machinery use, heavy metals,

chemical use, resource types, production locations and

water consumption, while there is no or hardly any attention

paid to similar aspects for the fossil-based alternatives.

Incorporation of Land Use Change (LUC)

For biobased plastics, LUC shall be included, while for

fossil-based plastics, the methodology is much less strict.

This is not correct, including aspects should be consistent

for all types of materials. Even if the contributions seem

to be relatively small (which is often used as an excuse for

ignoring it), they should be included to increase awareness

and the fact that several relatively small contributions

can lead to a significant contribution. Further, continuous

improvement of agricultural practices, such as soil carbon

uptake by improved management, needs to be taken up in

the LCA calculations, instead of being parked at the side-line

under the header: ‘additional environmental information.’

Inconsistent inclusion of indirect effects

Negative indirect effects for biobased plastics, such as

Indirect Land Use Change(iLUC), are considered relevant

and recommended to be included, while the inclusion of

negative indirect effects of fossil-based plastics is explicitly

ruled out. A big omission is the lack of methodology to

include the direct and indirect effects of the leakage of

persistent plastics into our environment. On the other

hand, great importance is given in the LCA methodology

to the scientifically controversial issue of Indirect Land

Use Change (iLUC). It’s based on mere model calculations

that vary greatly due to the lack of standardized methods

– interestingly, unlike the calculation methods for biogenic

carbon uptake. Despite of the uncertainty, the assessment

of iLUC is considered important and mandatory in the LCA

methodology. Further iLUC contributions are often included

while no proof has been provided if it also takes place.

Requirements for providing proof

Also, with this aspect, the methodology is not consistent.

For positive indirect effects of biobased plastic products,

such as soil carbon storage by improved agricultural

management, proof is required, while no proof is required

for negative indirect effects of biobased materials, like iLUC.

Biodiversity impacts

In the JRC LCA method, the topic of biodiversity is

strongly linked to the agricultural production process of

biobased products. For fossil-based products, there is

much less attention for this topic, while there is a direct,


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 43


clear link via climate change between the emissions of

fossil carbon and the effects on biodiversity. The main

reasons for the decrease in biodiversity are overpopulation,

global warming, deforestation, and pollution. And according

to the latest IPCC report, Global warming is largely driven

by emissions from fossil resources (including incineration

of fossil plastics) and agriculture (dominated by livestock).

Reflecting end-of-life realities

All recycling options, including organic recycling, need

to be treated equally and correctly represent existing and

potential future waste infrastructure. To capture the real

value of industrial composting in comparison to other EOL

options, the LCA should be performed on waste stream

level, rather than on product level.

Normalization and weighting

In the JRC LCA method, weighting is a mandatory step.

As such this is already a debatable step since a lot of

information is condensed (and lost) into one number and

the number is also excluding all information that should

be reported under ‘additional environmental information,’

as suggested many times in the report. Setting weighting

factors can be a subjective process. The suggested factors

are from 2018, which makes it unclear how representative

they are for current reality and the years to come. Finally, it is

always unclear how EU weighting factors can be applied for

non-EU production systems. The set up of such significant

factors might need a regular revision by a dedicated team

of experts.

Feedstock supply data requirements

For biobased plastics, feedstock certification schemes

like RSB, ISCC PLUS, and Bonsucro are developed and

in use. They deal with a wide range of topics such as

biodiversity, emission reductions, carbon sequestration,

and exposure to harmful substances. Nothing similar is in

place for fossil-based feedstock. This aspect is completely

excluded from a methodology comparing and judging the

life cycles of biobased and fossil-based systems, of which

feedstock production is one of the most important steps, if

not the most important one.

Some final considerations

EUBP and EUBA consider the LCA methodology, as

presented by the JRC, not fit for the purpose of comparing

biobased with conventional fossil-based plastics. The

Commission should stop the wider dissemination or

application of this methodology and start a new review.

Otherwise, it will adversely affect EU progress in the field of

sustainable and renewable climate-neutral materials.

It is disappointing to see how unfit for purpose the final

LCA methodology turned out to be after three years of

extensive discourse and contributions of scientific expertise

by the biobased industries and related experts. There is

a choice whether we want to continue with business as

usual or whether we are serious about a transition to a

fossil-independent, biobased circular economy. Of course,

it would be desirable for the EU Commission to consider

reopening the JRC study in order to make the necessary

adaptations to replace fossil carbon in plastics. LCAs are

seen as an important and popular method to assess the

sustainability of products. But are they, really? In the light

of the JRC method’s shortcomings, we might need to start

a discussion on whether LCAs, as currently conducted,

really are the best tool to properly assess the benefits and

impacts of a biobased circular economy.

Finally, plastics are essential to modern life. There is a

choice to make as to whether humanity continues to obtain

the required carbon for plastics from underground deposits

of oil and gas, or whether a transition towards obtaining this

necessary carbon from the atmosphere is not just desirable

but essential. But, unfortunately, the JRC study is again

a mere comparative life cycle assessment between fossil

and biobased products, affected by the above-mentioned

weaknesses and without a vision for the future, since the

pivotal role of bioplastics in building a renewable carbonbased

economy is, de facto, ignored.

[1] Nessi, S. et.al.: LCA of alternative feedstocks for plastic products’ Part

1: the Plastics LCA methodology; https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/


[2] N.N.: EUBA position on the JRC LCA Methodology; https://docs.



www.european-bioplastics.org | www.natureworksllc.com


For a more in-depth analysis of the JRC LCA

methodology, please view the presentation by

Erwin Vink, NatureWorks: “A review of the JRC

report on LCA of alternative feedstocks for plastics

production”, held at the recent 16 th European

Bioplastics Conference 2021 in Berlin

See a video-clip at: https://tinyurl.com/EUBP-Vink

44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

Celebrating 85 years of

twist wrapping!


A lifetime of wrapping sweets, with an end of life

to help the future

End of last year, Futamura (Wigton, Cumbria, UK)

celebrated a significant milestone in the history of its

packaging films: 85 years of twist wrapping individual

sweets. The company’s Cellophane films were used

for the first automated twist wrap machines. In the early

days, they were often referred to as a ‘transparent paper’

as they were made from renewable wood pulp. Over the

years, the films became synonymous with confectionery

wraps, being established as the packaging of choice thanks

to their excellent technical performance on the packaging

machinery and aesthetic appeal.

With its inherent dead-fold properties, Cellophane was

the ideal choice for twist wrapping: the films ran extremely

well on packaging machines, static-free, wrapping at high

speeds with an incredibly low level of miswraps. They also

held their twist naturally, without the need for heat sealing

or adhesives. This meant that the wraps could be easily

opened, even by younger consumers – a must when you

wrap sweets!

In the last 20 years, acknowledging the growing demand

for environmentally responsible packaging, Futamura

launched NatureFlex films. This new generation of films

is the natural evolution of the original Cellophane: the

technical performance of Cellophane, renewable raw

materials sourced from sustainably managed plantations

and the additional benefit of more sustainable end-of-life

options. NatureFlex is certified for home composting by

TUV Home compost and meets European and international

norms for industrial composting including EN13432 and

ASTM D6400.

Compostability, the solution to the small format

flexible issue

Whilst we have all seen companies and authorities

making statements and committing to the path of

mechanical recycling, it is becoming increasingly apparent

that recycling will not be the solution for all applications.

The study ‘Breaking the plastic wave’ made it very clear that

there is no silver bullet: the industry must use all options

available to resolve the current packaging end of life issues.

Today, brands and waste management operators are

acknowledging that small format flexibles will be extremely

difficult to handle and recycle. Small format, traditional

twist wraps fall into this category: small by definition and

often scrunched up or torn, rendering them even smaller.

In this specific application, using a compostable film such

as NatureFlex enables a positive end of life: consumers can

simply place it in a home compost bin and the film will break

down within 6 to 8 weeks. As facilities develop, industrial

composting will also become an option, and this is certainly

already happening in some European countries such as Italy

and Ireland. Both options – home and industrial composting

– enable the production of soil-enriching compost. Finally,

in the unfortunate event that sweet wrappers were littered

(not something Futamura would ever condone), then

NatureFlex wrappers would certainly break down, with

a lower environmental impact than ones produced with

conventional plastics.

According to Futamura Sales & Marketing Director,

Andy Sweetman; “the combination of exceptional wrapping

performance coupled with an enhanced end of life solution

make NatureFlex the logical choice in small format flexible

applications such as twist wrap.”

High-performance packaging

When it comes to twist wrapping, NatureFlex films offer

a renewable and compostable alternative. They are most

effective on packing machinery. SACMI Chocolate Spa.,

a machine manufacturer that began in 1907, under the

earlier name of Carle & Montanari, has been producing

wrapping machines for sweets since 1957, regularly runs

NatureFlex on their machines. Valentina Bergami from

SACMI Chocolate Spa. sales and marketing department

said: “NatureFlex is a very reliable material, with all the

features a material needs to have when running on a

wrapping machine: elasticity to withstand the traction in

the unwinding process, where the film is unwound from its

reel and fed to the wrapping area. Rigidity, so the film can

be pushed through the feeding unit of our wrappers where it

is cut to length right on top of the product. And last, but not

least: elasticity to be twisted and memory effect so that the

twists are held and don’t re-open.”

Valentina Bergami added: “We have tested various

versions of NatureFlex with various looks, transparent or

metallised, and the material passed with very good results

through our trials. This is why we actively recommend it

to our clients seeking for new eco-friendly alternatives to


NatureFlex films are used to wrap many different brands

of sweets, from your family’s favourite colourful chocolates

to niche vegan brands. MT


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 45

Application News


comes to yoga mats

Yoloha (Charleston, South Caroline, USA) is a company

that sets out to make things better. In their pursuit of

quality yoga mats made from high levels of renewable

materials, they chose to work with HEXPOL TPE.

Seven years ago, Yoloha Founder Chris Willey sat

down in his garage, thought outside the box and made

a yoga mat out of the most sustainable materials he had

on hand. By combining cork with recycled rubber, Chris

created the world’s first cork yoga mat.

The mat was more than just an eco-friendly alternative

to the traditional yoga mat. It was naturally high

performing with impeccable grip and antimicrobial

properties. It was then and there that Yoloha Yoga was

born with the mission of bringing sustainable movement

to people all around the world.

To support Yoloha’s sustainability goals, Hexpol TPE

developed a customised material from the Dryflex Green

family of biobased thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). The

TPE has 55 % biobased content. It has a high melt strength

and drawability to easily produce foamed materials with

a uniform foam structure. Foaming brings lightweight

advantages and cushioning in applications such as mats,

protective clothing, and seating.

“I have worked with and tested most foams on the

market from Natural rubber, EVA, PU, etc., and I have

found TPE foam to be the perfect blend of support,

durability, and weight,” said Yoloha founder Chris Willey.

“With that in mind, I discovered Hexpol TPE with their

focus on sustainability. We quickly developed a great

relationship and worked together to develop a customised


The Dryflex Green family of biobased TPEs contain

raw materials from renewable resources, including

by-products from agriculture rich in carbohydrates,

especially saccharides such as grain, sugar beet, or

sugar cane. TPEs are available with amounts of biobased

content to over 90 % (ASTM D 6866) with hardnesses from

15 Shore A to 60 Shore D.

Kathrin Heilmann, technical sales for sustainable

TPE at Hexpol TPE GmbH added, “We’re proud to work

with Yoloha on this project. We aimed to achieve a high

biobased content while keeping mechanical performance

and processability. The material shows a good foamability

for mats and other extruded products.” MT


| www.yolohayoga.com

Industrial compostable

stretch film

Cortec Corporation (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) just

received OK compost INDUSTRIAL certification of its Eco

Wrap ® stretch film from TÜV Austria.

Eco Wrap is the world’s first compostable industrialstrength

machine grade stretch film launched by the

company earlier last year. Considering Cortec’s longtime

focus on compostable films and green packaging materials,

this is a huge step forward. Eco Wrap users can benefit from

material/waste reduction in many ways. Most applications

requiring three wraps of standard film can use two wraps of

Eco Wrap without sacrificing strength or protection.

This green packaging solution may allow its users to

avoid tariffs, fines, and tip fees in areas where polyethylene

is prohibited or restricted. Eco Wrap is shelf and curb

stable and will retain its integrity until disposed of properly.

The latest formula of compostable Eco-Wrap uses a

tackifier additive to make an industrial-strength stretch

wrap that can be used on most standard automated stretch

wrap equipment. This is a breakthrough for the industrial

packaging and warehousing industries which rely heavily

on automated stretch wrapping to prepare pallets of goods

for storage, inventory, or shipment.

Eco Wrap can be used in numerous applications where

conventional stretch film is needed, such as:

• Agriculture bundling (e.g., hay bales and lumber)

• Corralling of goods for storage and shipment

• Pallet wrapping

• Luggage wrapping at airports

• Packaging construction materials

• Transporting furniture

Eco Wrap is extremely elastic and works on most existing

automated machines. The film is easily applied by adjusting

the tension. By opting for Eco Wrap, users can improve

their environmental image while getting the necessary

packaging job done. MT


46 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

Suntory introduces

100 % plant-based PET bottle prototypes

Suntory Group, Tokyo, Japan, announced in early December that, as a crucial step toward its aim to use 100 % sustainable

PET bottles globally by 2030 and eliminate all petroleum-based virgin plastic from its global PET supply, the company has

successfully created a prototype PET bottle made from 100 % plant-based materials. The prototype has been produced for

the company’s iconic Orangina brand in Europe along with its best-selling bottled mineral water brand in Japan, Suntory

Tennensui. This announcement marks a breakthrough after a nearly decade-long partnership with the US-based sustainable

technology company Anellotech.

PET is produced using two raw materials, 70 % terephthalic acid (PTA) and 30 % mono ethylene glycol (MEG). Suntory’s

prototype plant-based bottle is made by combining Anellotech’s new technology, a plant-based paraxylene derived from wood

chips, which has been converted to plant-based PTA, and pre-existing plant-based MEG made from molasses which Suntory

has been using in its Suntory Tennensui brand in Japan since 2013.

“The competitive advantage of Anellotech’s Bio-TCat generated paraxylene is its

process efficiency (it uses a single-step thermal catalytic process by going directly

from biomass to aromatics (benzene, toluene, and xylene)), as well as the opportunity

it creates for a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to its

identical fossil-derived paraxylene in the manufacture of PET, especially as it generates

required process energy from the biomass feedstock itself,” said David Sudolsky,

President and CEO of Anellotech.

This technology is one of the latest investments from Suntory in the company’s long

history of addressing the social and environmental impacts of containers and packaging.

In 1997, Suntory established its “Guidelines for the Environmental Design of Containers

and Packaging.” For plastic bottles specifically, it has used its 2R+B (Reduce/Recycle +

Bio) strategy to reduce the weight of containers, including labels and caps, and actively

introduce recycled or plant-based materials in its plastic bottles used globally. Most

significantly, it has created the lightest bottle cap, the thinnest bottle label, and the

lightest PET bottle produced in Japan to date. MT

www.suntory.com | www.anellotech.com

Application News

Sneakers made from fruit waste

Since the textile industry is the second most polluting in the world and intensive farming is a plague for the planet, Italian

sneaker brand ID.EIGHT now launched (first introduced via Kickstarter in 2020) sneakers made from the by-products of the

food industry. The company primarily use four materials drive from apples, grapes, seeds, and pineapples to manufacture the

upper part of the shoe.

Apple skin: In recent years, the amount of agro-food waste used to make sustainable products has increased from 0 to over

30 tonnes per month. A great resource is, for example, the cartamela (apple paper from dried, crushed, and pressed apple

peels)used for handkerchiefs and kitchen rolls, ID.EIGHT uses this material as a component to create the upper part of the


Pinatex, made with the waste leaves of pineapple growing in the

Philippines is also used as a component. The pineapple industry

produces about 40,000 tonnes of leaves every year, and since they are

considered a waste material, they are usually left to rot or burned.

Today it is possible to recover them to create a bio-material. With 480

leaves (16 pineapple plants) you can get 1 square meter of material.

The third component is Vegea, a material derived from the biopolymerization

of grape pomace in Italy. Over 7 million tonnes of

grape pomace are discarded every year by the wine industry. Thus,

grape scrapings, skins, and seeds (part of the pomace), are used in

the form of a durable, flexible material.

The upper sole, laces, and label are made from different recycled

materials. MT


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 47

Application News

Scotch & Soda partners with Tipa

Scotch & Soda (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is a fashion

brand that champions individuality, authenticity, and the power

of self-expression. Addressing sustainability is also at the core

of the brand’s approach, and begins, for them, with a focus on


In December 2021, Scotch & Soda announced

their partnership with TIPA (Hod HaSharon,

Merkaz, Israel), and in 2022, a minimum of one

million of Scotch & Soda’s garments will be

packed in TIPA ® bioplastic bags. For the Spring

and Summer 2022 collections, Tipa bags will

represent 21 % of the total product packaging

and will be used for high volume items, such

as T-shirts, jeans, sweatshirts, sweaters and

shirts, throughout menswear, womenswear, and


Polybags made of polyethylene (PE) are a

low-volume flexible film commonly used in the

fashion industry, and were previously the best

option for product packaging. However, on average, 24 % of

global non-fibre plastic consumption is incinerated while 58 %

ends up in landfill and natural ecosystems, taking hundreds of

years to break down.

Photo Scotch & Soda

When Scotch & Soda looked towards alternatives,

they found there are now innovative materials like

Tipa bags that offer the same level of protection

but are less reliant on fossil fuels return to earth as

nutrient-rich soil at their end-of-life, as opposed to

landfill and incineration.

The integration of Tipa bags is part of Scotch

& Soda’s sustainability mission to contribute to

environmental protection. Through its partnership

with Tipa, Scotch & Soda hopes to inspire customers

to start composting and raise awareness about

the environmental impact of both the production

and end-of-life of conventional packaging. The

brand aims to step away from conventional plastic

polybags for all product categories by 2025. MT

www.tipa-corp.com | www.scotch-soda.com

Pepsico Europe to eliminate

fossil-based plastic in crisp and chip bags

Following the introduction of PepsiCo Positive, the company’s strategic end-to-end transformation with sustainability at the

centre, PepsiCo Europe (Geneva, Switzerland) recently announced that by 2030, it plans to eliminate virgin fossil-based plastic

in all its crisp and chip bags. This ambition will apply to brands including Walkers, Doritos, and Lay’s and will be delivered by

using 100 % recycled or renewable plastic in its packets.

Consumer trials of the packaging will begin in European markets in 2022, starting with renewable plastic in a Lay’s range

in France in the first half of the year. Later in the year, a range from the Walkers brand in the UK will trial recycled content.

The recycled content in the packs will be derived from previously used plastic and the renewable content will come from byproducts

of plants such as used cooking oil or waste from paper pulp. PepsiCo estimates it may achieve up to 40 % greenhouse

gas emissions reduction per tonne of packaging material by switching to virgin fossil-free material.

Silviu Popovici, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Europe commented: “Flexible packaging recycling should be the norm

across Europe. We see a future where our bags will be free of virgin fossil-based plastic. They will be part of a thriving circular

economy where flexible packaging is valued and can be recycled as a new packet. We’re investing with our partners to build the

technological capacity to do that. We now need

an appropriate regulatory landscape in place

so that packaging never becomes waste.”

“Through collaboration and innovation, we

can progress to a viable circular economy for

our food packaging in Europe,” shared Archana

Jagannathan, Senior Director, Sustainable

Packaging, PepsiCo Europe. “Today, the

supply of recycled and renewable materials for

flexibles is limited. The regulatory environment

is very dynamic and we need more clarity on

policy and recognised technologies. If a policy

and waste infrastructure, similar to beverage

bottle packaging, accelerates for flexibles, we

will speed up our plans and go even faster to

meet our commitments.” MT


48 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

Recycled ocean plastic

for Ford Bronco

In early December

DSM Engineering

Materials (Emmen,

The Netherlands)

announced that Ford

Motor Company, HellermannTyton,


DSM earned an Innovation

Award from

the Society of Plastics

Engineers (SPE)

for the use of Akulon ® RePurposed recycled ocean plastic in

the Ford Bronco Sport. This application was also recognized

by Ford as the first of many potential uses for recycled ocean

plastics in a major vehicle platform.

Ford uses wiring harness clips made of ocean-harvested

plastic ghost gear in Bronco Sport models. Invisible to vehicle

occupants, the wiring harness clips fasten to the sides of the

Bronco Sport second-row seats and guide wires that power

various features in the vehicle’s cargo area. Ford testing

shows that the Akulon RePurposed material, despite having

spent time in saltwater and sunlight, is as strong and durable

as petroleum-based clips. MT


PLA water bottle

UK based online retailer DrinkWell has spent the last 12

months developing the UK’s first biodegradable on-the-go

water bottle.

The Eco Bottle was launched in mid-January and is made

from PLA, derived from corn starch. “The great tasting water

comes from a natural spring in Hereford, United Kingdom,”

as Tom Bell, founder and Managing Director of DrinkWell

told bioplastics MAGAZINE.

The new biobased packaging requires 50 % less fossil

fuel for production, compared with fossil-based PET plastic

bottles, and releases 60 % fewer carbon emissions.

The bottle can be fully recycled, will completely compost

within 3–6 months or if incinerated in general waste will

burn completely toxic-free.

DrinkWell is wholesaling the

water directly to the on-trade,

off-trade, and cash & carry

market. It will also be working

with gyms and leisure facilities.

Despite a slightly higher

price, consumers were “willing

to pay more for a product that

is going to be better for the

planet,” Tom explained. MT


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10-12 May – Cologne, Germany

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 49



One concept, many nuances

Over the course of the 20 th century, we have become

adapted to plastics and production and consumption

have skyrocketed these past decades. Plastics have

many different properties, are lightweight, can easily be

formed into any shape and most importantly are extremely

durable. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to imagine a

world without plastics. As a small thought experiment, it is

interesting to imagine your room without plastics.

However, it has become clear that the durability of plastics

is also the biggest disadvantage. Unmanaged disposal of

plastic waste in the environment results in visual pollution

nowadays appearing in the news daily. As a consequence

of this pollution, the (micro)plastic accumulation in nature

over time increases.

Over the last few decades, this growing concern about

plastics has encouraged governments and international

governing bodies to implement legislation and directives

with specific requirements on the reduction, re-usage, and

(organic) recycling of plastic products. These legislative

matters together with increasing awareness amongst

consumers and producers emanated the appearance

of (bio)degradable plastics in the market. Nonetheless,

there is currently still a lot of confusion on the definition

of (bio)degradable plastics and their actual behaviour

in the environment. As misinformation might give rise to

greenwashing and incorrect expectations for these products,

causing more harm than good for the environment, clear

terminology and communication between all parties are of

utmost importance. Topics like bioplastics, biodegradability

& compostability will be rolled out in the paragraphs below.

Bioplastics… What’s in a name?

The question “What are bioplastics?” might be more

difficult than it seems. What comes to mind when you think

of bioplastics? Plastics derived from natural materials?

Plastics that can be biodegraded? Or are bioplastics both

of the above? (Fig. 1).

First of all, it is important to note that the nature of

the raw material is not directly connected to its potential

to biodegrade. Plastics of petrochemical origin can be

biodegradable while plastics from natural feedstocks – known

as biobased plastics – are not necessarily biodegradable.

Examples of biobased but non-biodegradable plastics

include bio-PE and bio-PET. Since these have an identical

chemical structure as their petro-based alternatives, these

are not biodegradable and should be managed in the same

way as conventional PET. Vice versa, not all petro-based

polymers are non-biodegradable. Examples like PBAT and

PCL can be biodegraded in compost.

The fact is that the term ‘bioplastics’ is not clearly

defined and can be misleading or confusing to customers.

Therefore, experts are tending towards using biobased

plastics or biodegradable plastics over the term bioplastics.

Complete biodegradability

Biodegradation can be defined as the biochemical

conversion of materials into natural substances like CO 2

and water (and CH 4

if biodegradation is anaerobic) through

the activity of micro-organisms (Fig. 2). It is important to

note that not all organic carbon is converted, as a small part

is assimilated as microbial biomass. To take this biomass

assimilation into account, biodegradation is considered

complete if 90 % conversion of organic carbon to CO 2


achieved. It is important to understand this may absolutely

not be seen as 10 % microplastics remaining.

Conversion to CO 2

is the only correct way to quantify

biodegradation. Parameters like visual disappearance of

material, molecular weight reduction, loss of technical

material characteristics are often wrongfully used to make

claims on biodegradation. However, these parameters

only prove biological activity but do not guarantee actual


Biodegradation and the importance of the


Biodegradation is caused by enzymatic, microbial, and/

or fungal activity. As microbial ecology varies from one

environment to another, it is important to understand that

biodegradability is highly dependent on the environment.

The claim of biodegradability should always be linked

to a specific environment. For instance, lignin-rich

materials (e.g., hardwood) may biodegrade relatively fast

in environments with fungi present like in soil or compost,

while these materials can persist for decades in water or

landfills. There are cases of perfectly conserved newspapers

(high lignin content) from the 1960s found in landfills today.

As another example, standard PLA requires a thermal

trigger (> 50 °C) before the biodegradation process can be

started. These high temperatures are achieved in industrial

composting facilities or anaerobic digesters operating

at high temperatures. However, when thrown in the

composting heap at home this material will not biodegrade

in the required time frame. As this can be very frustrating

for customers it is important for producers to clearly

indicate in which environment the product is biodegradable

and generic claims on biodegradability should not be made.

Composting plants are very diverse and may operate at

a higher or lower technology level, with different loading

rates, process durations, temperatures, etc. Also, our

planet offers a great variety in soils, fresh & marine waters.

Some soils may be extremely hot and dry, while other soils

can be wet and almost anaerobic. It would be impossible

and impractical to have different testing standards for

each possible environment. It is therefore important to

have reliable test methods that can be used to prove

biodegradability of materials in various environments. The

purpose of lab testing is to prove the inherent nature of the

material to biodegrade under a given set of environmental

conditions. It is also important that results are accurate and

50 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17


Bruno De Wilde, Managing Director,

Astrid Van Houtte and Tristan Houtteman

Marketing & Sales Engineers


Gent, Belgium


reproducible. Lab tests are per definition always optimized

but not accelerated, meaning that all parameters like

temperature, pH, nutrients, etc. are optimized except for the

parameter which is studied. For biodegradation, testing this

limiting parameter will be the carbon source. Furthermore,

a positive reference material (easily biodegradable e.g.,

cellulose) is also included and used to validate the test.

The recurring question often asked is whether materials

that pass testing at optimized test conditions will also

biodegrade in the actual environment. The answer is that

in reality, the same level of biodegradation will be obtained,

yet, the rate will depend on local conditions (temperature,

humidity, etc.).

Composting, so much more than biodegradation

A well-known managed end-of-life environment is

compost. Very often compostability is used interchangeably

with biodegradability. The fact is that compostability is

a much broader concept. One European standard with

requirements on biodegradability is EN 13432 (2000) on

industrial compostability of packaging, covering also

requirements for chemical characteristics, disintegration,

and ecotoxicity. All four requirements must be met before

a product can be considered compostable. Compostable

products will therefore be biodegradable under composting

conditions but not necessarily vice versa (Fig. 3).

During chemical characterization, concentrations

of heavy metal & fluorine are compared to pre-defined

limits. The goal of ecotoxicity testing is to check whether

degraded material, present in the produced compost,

does not exert any adverse effects on test species (plants

and/or earthworms). Biodegradation can be seen as

degradation on a biochemical level, while disintegration is

the physical breakdown or fragmentation of material into

smaller particles. In real-life composting, disintegration &

biodegradation are closely intertwined. To further illustrate

the difference between biodegradation & disintegration one

can take wood as an example. Wood is biodegradable, that

is a fact. However, not all wood is compostable. A small twig

will disintegrate almost directly, while a big tree trunk might

take several decades to disintegrate. Another example is

conventionally non-biodegradable plastics enriched with

additives which are said to improve degradation. These

additives can indeed enhance disintegration of polymers and

are used as a solution for the visual contamination of litter.

However, complete biodegradation is not really proven and

the residual microplastics may persist in the environment

for a very long time. Therefore, these additives are regarded

more as an out of sight, out of mind solution, rather than as

a sustainable solution to combat plastic pollution.

Uncontrolled environments

Not all plastics end up in managed end-of-life sites. Some

materials may unintentionally disperse in uncontrolled

environments like soil, waterways, or marine due to littering


Fig. 1: biobased plastics, biodegradable plastics


+ O 2


CO 2

H 2




Fig. 2: “The circle of life”





(Heavy metals)


(Effect on plants)

Fig. 3: All four requirements must be met

Organic matter



(Degradation on

a chemical level)



a physicallevel)

Basic Photosynthesis


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 51


but also due to their functional use in these environments

(think about horticultural aids, fertilizer coatings, fishing

nets, etc.). Several specific test methods exist to assess

degradability of materials in these uncontrolled environments.

Recently, new test methods have been developed to assess

biodegradability in marine water habitats. The sea is a very

diverse environment with many different habitats, like the

open water, seawater/sediment interface, or the marine

sediment, and there is still a lot of research to be done here.

A standard specification with pass/fail criteria on

biodegradability of products intentionally used on and in

soil did not exist until 2018, at which point EN 17033 (2018)

for biodegradable mulch films was published. Aside from

biodegradability in soil, additional requirements linked to

heavy metals & toxicity are included.

Long-term biodegradation, an opportunity?

Certain products should biodegrade within a short

timeframe as these materials have a short functional life

(e.g., detergents) or as these materials often only spend a

limited time in the processing facility (e.g., food service ware)

like a composting plant or anaerobic digester. The main focus

of current certificates is also on these ready biodegradable


However, ready biodegradability is not always the best

option since certain materials first need to fulfil their (long)

functional life in the environment before biodegrading. This

offers a whole new range of challenges and opportunities

for producers. Examples of such materials can be found

in horticulture. Mulch films should have good mechanical

properties over their operational lifetime (one or multiple

seasons) and the degradation process should only start when

mulch films are ploughed into the soil. Another example from

horticulture is slow-release fertilizers. These polymers should

continuously degrade over a long period of time to guarantee

continuous release of the fertilizer. Also in pisciculture, there

are materials that end up in the ocean and cannot be easily

retrieved. For these materials in situ biodegradation in soil/

water offers an added value.

Day-to-day products like textiles, shoe soles or car tires are

another source of unintentionally dispersed microplastics.

Although these products should not be marketed as

biodegradable, it would be beneficial if these materials

degrade over time and would be non-persistent. For these

types of materials, long-term biodegradation and thus nonpersistency

has an added value.

However, biodegradability should never be used as a license

to litter. Therefore, a distinction should be made between

biodegradability as an inherent product characteristic that can

be communicated on a business-to-business or a businessto-government

level and biodegradability as an end-of-life

option that can be communicated to the public. For example,

it is beneficial if cigarette filters are biodegradable, although

they should not be marketed as such as to not encourage

littering. In a lot of regions, it is therefore also prohibited to

market products as biodegradable.

In summary

If we want to tackle the plastics waste problem, a systemic

approach with regard to waste will be needed. Products

should be designed for reusability & recyclability, however,

for certain applications including highly contaminated waste

like food service ware and coffee capsules, this is not always

possible. In such cases, organic recycling (biodegradation)

is a good alternative. Clear communication between

legislators, producers, consumers, and waste operating

facilities is vital to ensure proper waste management.

Biodegradability is highly dependent on the environment

as it is linked to the activity of different types of microorganisms

present. It is important to select the

environment in which to test the biodegradability based

on the foreseen end-of-life of the product. Managed

end-of-life options include composting and anaerobic

digestion. Unmanaged end-of-life environments include

soil, fresh water, and marine water. Products leaking into

uncontrolled environments should not necessarily be ready

biodegradable, although non-persistency for these types of

products is all the more important.

About the authors

This article was written by Bruno De Wilde (Managing

Director of OWS), Astrid Van Houtte & Tristan Houtteman

(both Marketing & Sales Engineers at OWS). OWS is a

strictly independent testing laboratory and has over 30

years of experience in the field of biodegradability and

compostability testing, for which it is certified & accredited

to ISO 17025. OWS is the only laboratory worldwide that

is recognized by all certification bodies active in the field

of biodegradability and compostability: TÜV AUSTRIA

(Belgium), DIN CERTCO (Germany), BPI (US), JBPA (Japan)

and ABA (Australia). Furthermore, OWS is a (very) active

member of several normalization organizations such as

ISO (international), CEN (European) and ASTM (US) and

is the official Belgian delegate of several ISO and CEN

committees. For more information about OWS, you can visit

their website.


52 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17



Years ago

Published in

bioplastics MAGAZINE

Rubber from


Could Taraxacum koksaghyz

be a future source of rubber

for the tyre industry?

Taraxacum koksaghyz

(photos: Christian Schulze Gronover)



ven the rubber industry has felt the impact of a shortage

of raw material and so is seeking alternatives to the supply

of natural rubber from the Hevea brasiliensis tree.

This tree grows very slowly and needs about 20 years before

it yields its harvest. “Natural rubber is gaining in interest

because of the price of oil”, says Dirk Prüfer, professor and

head of department at the Institute for Plant Biochemistry

and Biotechnology at the Wilhelms University in Münster. The

amount produced today will hardly be enough to cover demand.

As an alternative dandelions are possibly a solution. During

World War II the Americans, Soviets and Germans were looking

at such alternatives. The idea of using dandelions as a natural

source of raw materials was initiated by the Soviets in the

early 1930s. When the Japanese occupied South-East Asia the

Russians and Americans started to look seriously at producing

a natural product from dandelions. On the occupation of the

region by the Americans the Germans were using the technology

Dandelion produces in its root, amongst other things, natural

rubber, and can be successfully grown in wide areas of Europe

which in other respects are not particularly fertile. If this were to

be done on a commercial scale then the numerous existing wild

species would have to be grown under agricultural conditions.

In particular it will be a case of increasing the yield.

A German group of six research partners have been working

since spring 2011 on the methodical basis of a cultivation

programme for Caucasian or Russian dandelion (Taraxacum


The project is being promoted by the German Federal Ministry

of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) via the

Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR).

The first step in the research programme is the adaptation

of existing biotechnical cultivation methods to dandelion

cultivation. Alongside this the researchers want to obtain

seeds in kilogram quantities. The Continental Tyre Company

(Continental Reifen AG), an industrial partner of the group, is

planning tests of the first natural rubber samples.

In terms of cultivation the researchers, unlike in other

European R&D projects on the same topic, are focussing on

two year old plants. They expect to obtain, among other things,

a higher potential yield in the second year. The disadvantage of

a 2-year cycle is that the cultivation takes longer because only

in the second year do the plants produce seed. For this reason

the scientists want to use methods such as special analysis

techniques to accelerate the process as much as possible.

In February of this year, a new project, supported by the

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

will be launched. The project partners are: Continental Reifen

Deutschland GmbH, Synthomer, Südzucker AG, Fraunhofer

IME & ICB, Aeskulap GmbH, University Stuttgart, Max-Plack-

Institute for Plant Breeding, Julius Kühn Institut, LipoFIT

Analytic GmbH. The goal is the sustainable development of

dandelion as an alternative source to replace natural rubber,

latex and inulin. Stay tuned - bioplastics MAGAZINE will keep you

updated on this project. MT

In January 2022,

Fred Eickmeyer,

Managing director and plant breeder

Eskusa, Parkstetten Germany


Rubber made from dandelions, dismissed

as a crazy idea around 10 years

ago, is now the basis for the commercial

production of a first bicycle tyre - the Continental

Urban Taraxagum ® . To achieve

this, many innovations were made. First,

using molecular data on rubber biosynthesis,

high-rubber-yielding dandelion lines were established

through knowledge-based breeding

from wild varieties. In parallel, good agricultural

practices were developed for growing dandelions

in the field, from sowing to harvesting seeds

and roots. Field-cultivated plants formed the

basis for the development of an extraction process

that enables the environmentally

friendly extraction of natural rubber

from dandelion roots. Finally, the

process parameters were adapted

so that the new raw material found

its way into industrial bicycle production.

Subsequent tests showed

that the dandelion bicycle tyre performed

optimally in all categories.

And the story continues: currently,

all process steps are being scaled

up so that car tyres made of dandelion

rubber will also be found

on the roads in the future. Local

production of natural rubber with

dandelions will hopefully also

help to stop the further conversion

of unique tropical rainforests

into rubber tree monocultures

- which would be of great

importance for the preservation

of biodiversity and climate stability.

A core team of 5 partners

(Continental Reifen AG, Fraunhofer

IME, WWU Münster, JKI,

ESKUSA) still works with the

same enthusiasm on the development

of dandelion towards

a sustainable industrial

rubber plant. They are supported

by Continental and by

the German Federal Ministry

of Agriculture (BMEL) via the

Agency for Renewable Resources



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

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




Ludwigshafen, Germany

Tel: +49 621 60-99951



Mixcycling Srl

Via dell‘Innovazione, 2

36042 Breganze (VI), Italy

Phone: +39 04451911890



FKuR Kunststoff GmbH

Siemensring 79

D - 47 877 Willich

Tel. +49 2154 9251-0

Tel.: +49 2154 9251-51



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




Xiamen Changsu Industrial Co., Ltd

Tel +86-592-6899303

Mobile:+ 86 185 5920 1506

Email: andy@chang-su.com.cn

1.1 bio based monomers

1.2 compounds


Waldecker Straße 21,

99444 Blankenhain, Germany

Tel. +49 36459 45 0


39 mm

For Example:

Polymedia Publisher GmbH

Dammer Str. 112

41066 Mönchengladbach


Tel. +49 2161 664864

Fax +49 2161 631045



Sample Charge:

39mm x 6,00 €

= 234,00 € per entry/per issue

Sample Charge for one year:

6 issues x 234,00 EUR = 1,404.00 €

The entry in our Suppliers Guide is

bookable for one year (6 issues) and extends

automatically if it’s not cancelled

three month before expiry.

PTT MCC Biochem Co., Ltd.

info@pttmcc.com / www.pttmcc.com

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



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



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



NUREL Engineering Polymers

Ctra. Barcelona, km 329

50016 Zaragoza, Spain

Tel: +34 976 465 579







Tel: +86 351-8689356

Fax: +86 351-8689718



Global Biopolymers Co.,Ltd.

Bioplastics compounds


194 Lardproa80 yak 14

Wangthonglang, Bangkok

Thailand 10310



Tel +66 81 9150446

a brand of

Helian Polymers BV

Bremweg 7

5951 DK Belfeld

The Netherlands

Tel. +31 77 398 09 09



54 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

Sukano AG

Chaltenbodenstraße 23

CH-8834 Schindellegi

Tel. +41 44 787 57 77

Fax +41 44 787 57 78


Biofibre GmbH

Member of Steinl Group

Sonnenring 35

D-84032 Altdorf

Fon: +49 (0)871 308-0

Fax: +49 (0)871 308-183



Natureplast – Biopolynov

11 rue François Arago

14123 IFS

Tel: +33 (0)2 31 83 50 87



Bustadt 40

D-74360 Ilsfeld. Germany

Tel: +49 (0)7062/97687-0


P O L i M E R


Ege Serbest Bolgesi, Koru Sk.,

No.12, Gaziemir, Izmir 35410,


+90 (232) 251 5041



1.3 PLA

Total Corbion PLA bv

Stadhuisplein 70

4203 NS Gorinchem

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 183 695 695

Fax.: +31 183 695 604



Zhejiang Hisun Biomaterials Co.,Ltd.

No.97 Waisha Rd, Jiaojiang District,

Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, China

Tel: +86-576-88827723




- Sheets 2 /3 /4 mm – 1 x 2 m -


Mannheim / Germany

Tel: +49-621-8789-127



1.4 starch-based bioplastics


Biologische Naturverpackungen

Werner-Heisenberg-Strasse 32

46446 Emmerich/Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 2822 – 92510



Plásticos Compuestos S.A.

C/ Basters 15

08184 Palau Solità i Plegamans

Barcelona, Spain

Tel. +34 93 863 96 70




Parque Industrial e Empresarial

da Figueira da Foz

Praça das Oliveiras, Lote 126

3090-451 Figueira da Foz – Portugal

Phone: +351 233 403 420



1.5 PHA

Kaneka Belgium N.V.

Nijverheidsstraat 16

2260 Westerlo-Oevel, Belgium

Tel: +32 (0)14 25 78 36

Fax: +32 (0)14 25 78 81


TianAn Biopolymer

No. 68 Dagang 6th Rd,

Beilun, Ningbo, China, 315800

Tel. +86-57 48 68 62 50 2

Fax +86-57 48 68 77 98 0



1.6 masterbatches


Waldecker Straße 21,

99444 Blankenhain, Germany

Tel. +49 36459 45 0


Albrecht Dinkelaker

Polymer- and Product Development

Talstrasse 83

60437 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Tel.:+49 (0)69 76 89 39 10



Treffert GmbH & Co. KG

In der Weide 17

55411 Bingen am Rhein; Germany

+49 6721 403 0


Treffert S.A.S.

Rue de la Jontière

57255 Sainte-Marie-aux-Chênes,


+33 3 87 31 84 84



2. Additives/Secondary raw materials


Waldecker Straße 21,

99444 Blankenhain, Germany

Tel. +49 36459 45 0


3. Semi finished products

3.1 Sheets

Customised Sheet Xtrusion

James Wattstraat 5

7442 DC Nijverdal

The Netherlands

+31 (548) 626 111



4. Bioplastics products

Bio4Pack GmbH

Marie-Curie-Straße 5

48529 Nordhorn, Germany

Tel. +49 (0)5921 818 37 00



Plant-based and Compostable PLA Cups and Lids

Great River Plastic Manufacturer

Company Limited

Tel.: +852 95880794



Minima Technology Co., Ltd.

Esmy Huang, Vice president

Yunlin, Taiwan(R.O.C)

Mobile: (886) 0-982 829988

Email: esmy@minima-tech.com

Website: www.minima.com


w Direct Supply Branding (B2C)

w Total Solution/Turnkey Project


AT: office@naturabiomat.at

DE: office@naturabiomat.de

NO: post@naturabiomat.no

FI: info@naturabiomat.fi


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


Suppliers Guide

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 55

6. Equipment

6.1 Machinery & Molds

10.2 Universities

Suppliers Guide

Buss AG

Hohenrainstrasse 10

4133 Pratteln / Switzerland

Tel.: +41 61 825 66 00

Fax: +41 61 825 68 58



6.2 Degradability Analyzer

MODA: Biodegradability Analyzer


143-10 Isshiki, Yaizu,



Fax: +81-54-623-8623



7. Plant engineering

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

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

E-Mail: contact@nova-institut.de


Bioplastics Consulting

Tel. +49 2161 664864


10. Institutions

10.1 Associations

BPI - The Biodegradable

Products Institute

331 West 57th Street, Suite 415

New York, NY 10019, USA

Tel. +1-888-274-5646


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

Green Serendipity

Caroli Buitenhuis

IJburglaan 836

1087 EM Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 6-24216733


Osterfelder Str. 3

46047 Oberhausen

Tel.: +49 (0)208 8598 1227



European Bioplastics e.V.

Marienstr. 19/20

10117 Berlin, Germany

Tel. +49 30 284 82 350

Fax +49 30 284 84 359




Rick Passenier

Oudebrugsteeg 9

1012JN Amsterdam

The Netherlands



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.

56 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17

Vol. 17

ISSN 1862-5258


now at


the next six issues for €179.– 1)

Special offer

for students and

young professionals

1,2) € 99.-

2) aged 35 and below.

Send a scan of your

student card, your ID

or similar proof.

Event Calendar

You can meet us

International Conference on Cellulose Fibres 2022

02.02. - 03.02.2022 - Cologne, Germany


Forum of Biobased & Biodegradable materials

09.03. - 10.02.2022 - Shenzhen, China


bio!PAC 2021/22 (NEW DATE !)

by bioplastics MAGAZINE

15.03. - 16.03.2022 - Online


Conference on CO 2

-based Fuels and Chemicals

23.03. - 24.03.2022 - Cologne, Germany


PIAE – International professional congress for plastics

in cars

30.03. - 31.03.2022 - Mannheim, Germany



25.04. - 28.04.2022 - Shanghai, China



daily updated eventcalendar at


The Renewable Materials Conference

10.05. - 12.05.2022 - Cologne, Germany


bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 16

Bioplastics - CO 2 -based Plastics - Advanced Recycling


Coating | 10

Films, Flexibles, Bags | 40


Cellulose based bioplastics | 50

Bioplastics - CO 2 -based Plastics - Advanced Recycling

bioplastics MAGAZINE

Cover Story

First straw bans

begin to topple | 7



Automotive | 18

Foam | 36

06 / 2021


Biodegradation | 50

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

... is read in 92 countries

... is read in 92 countries

Jan/Feb 01 / 2022

7 th PLA World Congress

by bioplastics MAGAZINE

24.05. - 25.05.2022 -Munich, Germany


Interfoam 2022

15.06. - 17.06.2022 - Shanghai, China


Plastics for Cleaner Planet - Conference

26.06. - 28.06.2022 - New York City Area, USA


Bioplastix India

29.07. - 30.07.2022 - Bangalore, India


Subject to changes.

For up to date event-info visit https://www.bioplasticsmagazine.com/en/event-calendar/



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 31 March 2022.

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

Watch as long as supply lasts.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17 57

Companies in this issue

Company Editorial Advert Company Editorial Advert Company Editorial Advert

Adsale / Chinaplas 16 27

Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) 53

Agrana Starch Bioplastics 54

Amsilk 28

Anellotech 47

Arkema 7,24

Avantium 6,14

Balstic Yacht 26

BASF 12,24,34 54

Bausano 40

Bcomp 30

Beijing Univ. Chem. Tech. 22

Bio4pack 14 55

Bio-Based Industry Joint Undertkaing 23

Bio-Fed Branch of Akro-Plastic 54

Biofibre 55

Biomitive 23

Biotec 4,14 55,59

BluePHA 6

BMEL 30,53

Bonsucro 44

BPI 56

Braskem 24

Buss 13,56

Caprowachs, Albrecht Dinkelaker 55

Cathay Biotech 16,18

ColorFABB 13

Continental 22,53

Cortec Corporation 46

Covestro 36

Crop Energies 30

Customized Sheet Extrusion 55

Danimer Scientific 8

Desserto 28

Dow 2,36

Dr. Heinz Gupta Verlag 35

DrinkWell 49

DSM 49

Earth Renewable Technologies 46

Earthfirst Films by Sidaplax 14

Eastman Chemical Company 24

Eoc-mobilier 36

Erema 56

Eskusa 53

European Bioplastics 5,8,10,11,14,42 56

European Commission 10

Evonik Industries 24

Fabulous 39


FKuR 14 2,54

Ford 30

Four Motors 30

Fraunhofer IME 53

Fraunhofer UMSICHT 56

Next issues







02/2022 Mar/Apr 04.04.2022 04.03.2022 Thermoforming /

Rigid Packaging

Fraunhofer WKI 30

Futamura 45

Future Market Insights 24

Gehr 55

Gema Polimers 55

Genecis Bioindustries 6

Gianeco 54

Global Biopolymers 54

Go!PHA 56

Goodyear 22

Grafe 54,55

Granula 55

Great River Plastic Manuf. 55

Green Dot Bioplastics 54

Green Serendipity 14 56

Grupo Antolin 34

Gruppo Fabbri Vignola 12

H&S Anlagentechnik 36

Helian Polymers 6,13 54

Hellerman Tyton 49

Hexpol TPE 46

ICC Plus 44


Inst. F. Bioplastics & Biocomposites 56

Institut f. Kunststofftechnik, Stuttgart 56

JinHui ZhaoLong High Technology 54

JKI 53

Joint Research Centre JRC 10,42

Kaneka 38 55

Kingfa 54

Kinner 26

Kompuestos 54,55

Kreyenborg 41

Manthey racing 31

Mercedes-Benz 28

Michigan State University 56

Microtec 54

Minima Technology 55

Mitsubishi Chemical 24

Mixcycling 54

Mylo 28

NaKu 14

narocon InnovationConsulting 56

Naturabiomat 55

Natureplast-Biopolynov 55

NatureWorks 5,14,24,42

Natur-Tec 55

Neste 14

nova Institute 11,14 21,25,49,56

Novamont 14 55,6

Numi Organic Tea 14

Nurel 54

Orrison Chemicals Orgaform 36


Edit. Focus 1 Edit. Focus 2 Basics

Additives /

Masterbatch / Adh.

30/2022 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 &




OWS 14,5

Pepsoco Europe 48

plasticker 24

polymediaconsult 56

Porsche 30


PureGreen 14

Refork 13

Renault 30

Ricoh Europe 14

Rodenburg Biopolymers 14

Ronal 32

RSB 44


SACMI Chocolate 45

Saida 56

Sappi Europe 20

Scotch & Soda 48

Shandong Chambroard 22

Shandong Linglong Tire 22

Solvay 5,24

Sukano 55

Sulapac 14

Suntory Group 47

Superfoodguru 14

Swan 26

Taghleef Industries 14

Tecnaro 55

Teco2il 30

The Vita Group 36

TianAn Biopolymer 55

Tipa 14,48

TNO 14

Total Corbion PLA 6,14,24 55

TotalEnergies Corbion 6,8

Treffert 55

Trillium Renewable Chemicals 5

Trinseo 54

TU Delft 14

TÜV Austria Belgium 38

UBQ 28

United Biopolymers 55

United Nations 8

Univ. Amsterdam 14

Univ. Stuttgart (IKT) 56


Volkswagen 30

Vyva Fabrics 28

Wolf Oil Corporation 30


WWK Münster 53

Xiamen Chagsu Industries 23,54

Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe Polyester 54

Yoloha 46

Zeijiang Hisun Biomaterials 55

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

58 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/22] Vol. 17






• Food contact grade

• Odourless

• Plasticizer free

• Home and industrial




(according to EN 13432)


as orange peel



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