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Developments in compostable, biodegradable polymers made from renewable feedstock

Developments in compostable, biodegradable polymers made from renewable feedstock

An innovative approach that replaces up to 100% of the fossil resources used at the beginning of the integrated production process with certified biomass has been unveiled by BASF- Ultramid® (polyamide), derived from renewable raw materials. The resulting Ultramid, which is produced according to the so called mass balance approach, is identical in terms of formulation and quality but associated with lower green house gas emissions and saving of fossil resources. Also, existing plants and technologies along the value chain can continue to be used without changes. This development meets rising consumer demand for products made of renewable raw materials, offering opens excellent possibilities for packaging film manufacturers to market their products accordingly. BASF’s Ultramid® polyamides (Nylon) are molding compounds based on PA 6, PA 66 and copolyamides such as PA 66/6. Due to their outstanding properties these materials have become indispensable in almost all fields of engineering for the most varied components and machine parts, as high-quality electrical insulating materials and for many special applications. They are exceptional for their high mechanical strength, rigidity and thermal stability. They afford good impact resistance even at low temperatures, advantageous sliding friction properties and problem-free processing.

High performance biopolymers offering a range of innovative solutions for packaging applications have been introduced by Metabolix. The polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs)-based biopolymer technology enables manufacturers and brand owners across the plastics and packaging industries to meet sustainability and performance objectives.
Mvera B5011: This certified compostable film grade resin is designed as a transparent option for the compostable film and bag market. It provides excellent clarity and low haze, as well as performance characteristics such as tear and puncture toughness, excellent seal strength, and a balance of strength and stiffness. It combines easy processability with certified compostability to deliver unique advantages for packaging applications.
Mvera B5010: This film grade resin is designed for compostable bag and film markets across the globe. It meets international industrial standards for compostability and has been certified by Vincotte to meet the EN13432 standard. The resulting film has exceptional seal strength and good printability, making it an ideal option for compostable packaging.
Performance Additives: Metabolix has developed a line of PHA biopolymer performance additives for traditional and biobased plastics, including PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PLA (polylactic acid). In packaging applications, these performance additives can be used as property modifiers to impart a range of physical and performance properties in PVC and PLA.
Biopolymer color masterbatches : are highly compatible with a wide range of biopolymers, and can preserve high bio-content and certifiable compostability for broad end-of-life options, including soil and marine degradability and suitability for home compost.
Developmental Grades in Film and PHA Latex Coatings: Enable creation of film products with a range of properties and capabilities - films that can range from flexible to stiff while maintaining high load carrying capabilities. Metabolix's PHA biopolymers also provide the benefit of biocontent, toughening, and flexibilization to film compounds used in packaging applications. Metabolix also is developing PHA latex coatings for packaging applications. These PHA latex coatings are expected to offer good barrier properties and tough, tack-free performance.

Biodegradable bioplastic for food applications has been unveiled by Biotec- Bioplast 900. Products made of Bioplast 900 can, unlike other bioplastics, withstand boiling temperatures without losing their shape, functionality and efficiency. Even at high filling temperature, the taste of liquids/food is not affected. This makes it perfectly suitable for numerous food applications: coffee capsules, cups for cold as well as for hot drinks. Heat resistance combined with biodegradability the material shows undisputable environmental advantages, e.g. organic recyclability. For instance, used coffee capsules or other products are perfectly suitable for industrial composting. Its processability allows molding of extremely precise and complicated shapes. This innovative bioplastic resin exhibits molding properties similar to conventional plastics, such as PP and PS. The bioplastic is designed for the following applications:
injection moulded articles (like cutlery, medical devices, clips, cups for hot and cold drinks)
semi-finished products
thermoformed products (like food trays)
Products made of Bioplast 900 are applicable for hot filling (e.g. beverages), biodegradable according to EN 13432, are recyclable, are printable by flexographic and offset printing without pre-treatment, can be coloured with masterbatches

Teknor Apex’s Terraloy® PLA compounds exhibits high impact and heat resistant properties. The free-flowing resins, used in both injection molding and extrusion/thermoforming processes, streamline the PLA crystallization process, eliminating the post-annealing or post-crystallization process. It offers enhanced polylactic acid in areas such as heat resistance, impact resistance and processability while retaining key bioplastic values such as FDA compliance, high bio-based content, and compostability. Life cycle analysis shows Terraloy PLA compounds with high heat distortion temperatures produced 125% less greenhouse gas than high-impact polystyrene and 40% less than low-density polyethylene.

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