Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association challenges ‘natural’ plastic additives






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 3/18/2013 2:32:32 PM





Oxo Bio logoThe Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association is challenging the effectiveness of a recently-developed class of plastics containing additives described as “natural”, “enzymatic” or “microbiodegradable”.

 

These additives, which are not oxo-biodegradable, are being marketed as promoting biodegradation of a host of polymers within a few months to several years, even when buried deep in landfill.

 

An OPA statement (www.biodeg.org) reads: “It seems reasonable to believe that the additives themselves will biodegrade, but will they make the plastic biodegrade? It is difficult to believe on the published scientific evidence that incorporation of these additives into a polymeric matrix will render the resultant plastic article biodegradable at all, and on the basis of known scientific principle it is hard to see how it can. Biodegradation of the additive could give a false reading in a CO2-evolution test, suggesting that the plastic itself is biodegrading.”

 

The new additives appear to consist of a starch or polycaprolactone (PCL) matrix often extended with mineral filler, with no pro-degradant catalyst salts in the composition.

 

The idea seems to be to help plastic disintegrate but, unlike an oxo-biodegradable additive, it does not change the plastic into a biodegradable material.

 

Polyethylene and polypropylene do not present a metabolic pathway for enzymes and it is precisely because of these properties that they are useful for food-packaging.

 

In addition, degradation of PVC may produce toxic residues that are highly dangerous, and which may interfere with the survival of the biodegrading microorganisms.

 

A film made with the new additive was analyzed and found to contain inorganic filler derived from CaCO3 and some primary antioxidant, and approx. 400 parts per million of a secondary stabilizer. No other chemical compounds were found. Based on this analysis, these products cannot biodegrade.

 

There seems to be ambiguity in the testing by companies promoting these products. It is for example sometimes unclear whether the data refers to the additive or the final product.

 

Some of the testing seems to be on blends of material using much higher rates of additive than recommended. This will obviously alter its properties, processing-characteristics and recyclability, but the strength and fitness-for-purpose of products extended in such a manner must be doubted.

 

Further, if biodegradation is by an enzymatic process, the enzymes are unlikely to survive the processing conditions needed to create the plastic in the first place.

 

The OPA is not persuaded that these “enzymatic” additives will work as claimed.

For further information, visit www.biodeg.org.

 







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Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association challenges ‘natural’ plastic additives






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 3/18/2013 2:32:32 PM





Oxo Bio logoThe Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association is challenging the effectiveness of a recently-developed class of plastics containing additives described as “natural”, “enzymatic” or “microbiodegradable”.

 

These additives, which are not oxo-biodegradable, are being marketed as promoting biodegradation of a host of polymers within a few months to several years, even when buried deep in landfill.

 

An OPA statement (www.biodeg.org) reads: “It seems reasonable to believe that the additives themselves will biodegrade, but will they make the plastic biodegrade? It is difficult to believe on the published scientific evidence that incorporation of these additives into a polymeric matrix will render the resultant plastic article biodegradable at all, and on the basis of known scientific principle it is hard to see how it can. Biodegradation of the additive could give a false reading in a CO2-evolution test, suggesting that the plastic itself is biodegrading.”

 

The new additives appear to consist of a starch or polycaprolactone (PCL) matrix often extended with mineral filler, with no pro-degradant catalyst salts in the composition.

 

The idea seems to be to help plastic disintegrate but, unlike an oxo-biodegradable additive, it does not change the plastic into a biodegradable material.

 

Polyethylene and polypropylene do not present a metabolic pathway for enzymes and it is precisely because of these properties that they are useful for food-packaging.

 

In addition, degradation of PVC may produce toxic residues that are highly dangerous, and which may interfere with the survival of the biodegrading microorganisms.

 

A film made with the new additive was analyzed and found to contain inorganic filler derived from CaCO3 and some primary antioxidant, and approx. 400 parts per million of a secondary stabilizer. No other chemical compounds were found. Based on this analysis, these products cannot biodegrade.

 

There seems to be ambiguity in the testing by companies promoting these products. It is for example sometimes unclear whether the data refers to the additive or the final product.

 

Some of the testing seems to be on blends of material using much higher rates of additive than recommended. This will obviously alter its properties, processing-characteristics and recyclability, but the strength and fitness-for-purpose of products extended in such a manner must be doubted.

 

Further, if biodegradation is by an enzymatic process, the enzymes are unlikely to survive the processing conditions needed to create the plastic in the first place.

 

The OPA is not persuaded that these “enzymatic” additives will work as claimed.

For further information, visit www.biodeg.org.

 







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Transcend Coffee relaunches in biodegradable pouches






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Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 1/30/2013 6:00:48 PM





 

Transcend coffee 322Transcend Coffee, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has switched its retail coffee packaging to new biodegradable stand-up pouches manufactured in North America. The special biodegradable material will degrade in backyard composts, aerobic and anaerobic landfills, rivers, lakes and oceans. The 12-oz pouches are resealable, shelf-stable and contain a one-way valve to provide the same level of protection and freshness as more typical coffee packaging.

 

Transcend Coffee partnered with Hamilton Ontario’s TekPak Solutions, which has the biodegradable film produced in the U.S. and the pouches constructed in Canada. Case Western University in Cleveland conducted a five-year study on this product to test claims of biodegradability as well as possible side effects to delicate plants and insects and found no harm even at high doses 50 times normal. The film does not depend on water, heat, sunlight or oxygen to degrade. It only reacts with the ever-present microbes in soil or water, making it even more degradable than other products labeled as biodegradable. For this reason, TekPak calls the product “Omnidegradable.”

 

The European Union’s Committee on Sustainable Plastics commissioned a study on sustainable films and called this particular product “the only viable solution available today.”

 

“We’re happy to make the move to a more sustainable bag,” says Poul Mark, founder of Transcend Coffee. “We want to be good stewards of the environment and support Canadian business. This bag delivers on both fronts.”

 

Most other sealable coffee packaging is plastic with a foil lining that makes it impossible to recycle or compost and is often manufactured in Asia. 

 

Transcend Taste Index on the pouch front

 

The new packaging has several other features designed to make consumers’ coffee brewing experience more convenient and enjoyable. The stand-up coffee pouch also has a zipper reseal to keep coffee fresher and color-coded labels to differentiate filter coffee from espresso and decaffeinated beans. The front panel label printed with product copy and graphics features the new Transcend Taste Index, which plots the level of acidity, body and complexity of the coffee in the pouch. The idea is to help coffee drinkers discover what attributes they like best in their beans so they can better choose coffees they will enjoy in the future.

 

The 12-oz pouches retail for $16 to $20 depending on the variety, according to James Schutz, Transcend Coffee’s director of marketing. The company rotates between eight to 12 varieties throughout the year, Schutz tells Packaging Digest, adding that the cost of the new bio-pouches are very close to that of the previous foil laminate pouches.

 

Transcend Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster, online retailer, and coffee educator operating three cafés in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Varieties include Santa Lucio certified organic, La Encantadora and Michiti.

 

Source: Transcend Coffee

 

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Ritz-Carlton Moving to “Green” Bottles

Ritz-Carlton Moving to “Green” Bottles

Ritz Carlton’s U.S. and Caribbean hotels (which account for 40 of the chain’s 73 hotels) will stop offering plastic water bottles and will switch to plant-based, biodegradable material for their hotel branded water bottles.  This move towards using an environmentally much friendlier material for water bottles is thought to be the first among hotel chains.

The new bottles are made totally from plants and being all natural can decompose in 30 days in a commercial composting facility.  Alternatively these “green” bottles can be reprocessed and 100 percent remade into new bottles.  The benefits are many including that making one new bottle uses half the fossil fuels of a traditional plastic water bottle, as well as 45 percent less energy, and generates 75 percent less greenhouse gases. The bottles hold water normally without fear they will decompose in front of you or while in the refrigerator.

Lest anyone think that this is largely an empty gesture, Ritz Carlton distributes five million 16 oz. water bottles per year, according to the Marriott owned brand. The positive environmental implications could increase dramatically if all Marriot hotels follow Ritz Carlton’s lead.

Other chains cannot dismiss switching to environmentally friendly water bottles based on cost concerns, since Marriott has announced that the new bottles will cost the same as the old water bottles. Ultimately, the cost of such bottles will likely be lowered as they become more common. As with many environmental advances, the initial cost is a reason for concern, but once they become the standard, many times the price comes down to equal or even lower than the item they replace.

www.cheapfares.com

 

Cheapfares.com employees enjoy writing and sharing travel news articles that engage them and believe others will find interesting.

Article from articlesbase.com

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How Can Factory Owners and Consumers Contribute to Global Plastic Recycling?

How Can Factory Owners and Consumers Contribute to Global Plastic Recycling?

The need for durable products provided more opportunities to invent new cost-effective, yet resilient materials. Plastic was first invented in 1855 and later branched into different chemically modified versions. Today, plastic is the core material used in manufacturing industrial and consumer products. However, this non-biodegradable material poses a great threat to the environment. This has given rise to different plastic recycling processes to convert harmful plastic into new useful products.

Plastics are highly malleable materials that can be molded into a variety of shapes. They can be pressed, cast and extruded into boxes, films, bottles etc. Manufacturing plastic products can be easy, but recycling them can be a daunting task because of lack of awareness among factory owners and consumers. You will find plastic products scattered all over landfills without being recycled. Recent statistics suggest that only 35 percent of US residents recycle plastics. If there’s no awareness about Plastic Recycling, the eco-system will get affected tremendously.

Industrial plastic wastes can be more dangerous if they are left out in the landfills without being recycled. These can be chunks of wastes containing plastic and other impurities. Many factory owners are not well aware or educated about different ways to recycle plastics and so they just dump plastics in the landfills.

However, there are several small and large scale industry owners who feel responsible towards protecting the eco-system. They use different types of plastic granulators to ensure plastic recycling is carried out effectively. The granulators convert non-degradable plastic into tiny granules that are sold to recycling manufacturers. Plastic granulators boast sharp blades that can cut through plastic like butter. A transparent screen is enclosed in the machine to help view the process of granulation.

Consumers should also be aware about recycling. In the US itself, municipal governments have made it much simpler for consumers to enroll in recycling of plastic programs. Different US cities accept plastic durables that are processed and categorized into PET and non-PET plastic and then shipped to recycling manufacturers for processing. The environmental benefits of recycling plastic are many. It mitigates damage to the eco system and supports industry that provides useful products recycled from plastic.

The article has been contributed by a professional content writer, having experiences of working in different industries. For further information about Paper Shredder and complete Plastic Solutions or if you want to Buy Paper Shredder, please visit at www.cresswood.com.

Article from articlesbase.com

Plastic soda bottles and fiber waste from Unifi’s polyester manufacturing are recycled into new polyester fiber at Unifi’s state-of-the-art plant in Yadkinville, North Carolina. The Patagonia Footprint Chronicles allows you to track the environmental impact of a specific Patagonia product from design through delivery. Watch more at patagoniafootprint.com.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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A New Generation Demands Sustainable Packaging

A New Generation Demands Sustainable Packaging

The other day, I was doing some grocery shopping with my eleven- year -old son. I reached for some pre-packaged strawberries and he stopped me. “Too much plastic. Get those,” he said, pointing to the bulk berries. Trying not to look too shocked, I headed for the bulk berries. After a little investigation I learned that this new vigilance came from his school, which now has an on-going packaging awareness program. It includes guest speakers, contests to see whose lunch box has the least left over garbage, and anti-plastic posters in the science lab.

Old habits may be hard to break but a new generation is growing up with a whole new understanding when it comes to choice in the market place—and environmental awareness is starting to play a significant role. Just look at bottled water sales, which are significantly down for the first time in five years. This is partly due to the economy, but also to an aggressive anti-plastic environmental campaign. Some health foods stores have even stopped selling bottled water. In response, Coke recently launched a new PET plastic bottle made with 30% recycled waste material.

When it comes to sustainable packaging, there are basically two strategies. One, use less material, and two, use recyclable or biodegradable material. From what we’re seeing out there, one shouldn’t assume that eco-friendly means a compromise in aesthetics and functionality.  Pangea soaps and Straus Creamery, for example a have distinguished their brands from the pack by pioneering ecologically smart, really cool-looking alternative packaging.

But as I said before, old habits are hard to break. Recently a client was exploring an on-the-go snack idea. The company’s consumer research showed that people wanted less packaging. The marketing department’s answer was to shrink the paper tray that carried six plastic cups. When I showed the concept mockups around the office, the general response was, “Looks like a lot of plastic.” In this case, “less” is not enough. I encouraged the client to find an alternative to the plastic. The response was, “But, people also said they want to see the product, so we have to use plastic.” Actually, they don’t have to use plastic. How about PLA (biodegradable “plastic” usually made from corn or even better, molded paper with a PLA lid or window? That is a 100% biodegradable container. Would it add to the cost? Maybe, but factor in the added value of building a brand awareness strategy around the company’s environmental efforts. Or, forget the PR value. Factor in my eleven year old son. It won’t be long before he’s doing his own shopping.

 

David Bernard is the founder of Mythmaker Creative services. Mythmaker creates identities and package design for artisan, organic and natural food and beverage products. We have a deep understanding of values based positioning and cause related marketing strategies.

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