PLA GAINS NEW GRADES, CAPACITY

Volume 12, Issue 2

In This Issue:

  • Picking the right green claims
  • RENEWABLE

    PLA Gains New Grades, Capacity

    Total Corbion highlights its Luminy® portfolio of polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers at NPE2018: The Plastics Show (May 7-11, 2018, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL). The company also is celebrating the startup of its 75,000 metric ton/yr (165 million lb/yr) production plant...

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  • Picking the right green claims
  • SUSTAINABLE EFFORTS

    HBA Firms Focus on the Environment

    Several health and beauty aid companies including REN Clean Skincare and Garnier USA, a L’Oreal brand, step up efforts to improve and protect the planet. REN Clean Skincare, the British pioneer of clean skincare products with zero toxic ingredients, extends its “Clean to skin” purpose with “Clean to planet”. A collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation, a California-based nonprofit dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the ocean, will involve consumers, retail partners and associates in at least 300 beach cleanups in the U.S. and U.K. in 2018.

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RENEWABLE >

PLA Gains New Grades, Capacity

Total Corbion highlights its Luminy® portfolio of polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers at NPE2018: The Plastics Show (May 7-11, 2018, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL). The company also is celebrating the startup of its 75,000 metric ton/yr (165 million lb/yr) production plant in Rayong, Thailand, in the second half of 2018 and the establishment of a U.S. warehouse. In the meantime, the company is providing pre-marketing PLA for testing.

undefinedAt the NPE, high-heat applications will be shown. To demonstrate high-heat capabilities, booth visitors will be served coffee in PLA-lined cups from EcNow Tech’s Earth Smart range. Replacing the traditional polyethylene lining with PLA lowers the carbon footprint and allows used cups to be industrially composted where local facilities exist. Other high-heat PLA applications on display at NPE include coffee capsules from ATI for Nespresso® machines, takeaway coffee cup lids from WinGram, tea bags from Nonwoven Network, heat-stable injection blow molded bottles from ERT and thermoformed, thin-wall, single-use coffee cups from Pack & Proper.

Standard PLA applications on display include foamed ice cream packaging from Synbra and a thermoformed black platter from Pack & Proper. The platter’s slate-like appearance provides an attractive backdrop for foods such as cheese and sushi.

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SUSTAINABLE EFFORTS >

HBA Firms Focus on the Environment

Several health and beauty aid companies including REN Clean Skincare and Garnier USA, a L’Oreal brand, step up efforts to improve and protect the planet.

undefinedREN Clean Skincare, the British pioneer of clean skincare products with zero toxic ingredients, extends its “Clean to skin” purpose with “Clean to planet”. A collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation, a California-based nonprofit dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the ocean, will involve consumers, retail partners and associates in at least 300 beach cleanups in the U.S. and U.K. in 2018.

In addition, REN Clean Skincare has set a goal to eliminate waste by 2021. The zero waste pledge will be achieved by a “reduce, reuse, recycle” strategy that eliminates unnecessary packaging beginning with cleanser cartons, creates refillable or otherwise reusable containers and specifies packaging that contains recycled content and is 100% recyclable. In support of this strategy, the company plans to launch a 100% recycled bottle containing 20% reclaimed ocean plastic for its Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Body Wash, which is formulated with ocean-sourced bio-actives. To further reduce the environmental impact of the Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium bottles, the current pump, which contains a metal spring, will be replaced with a metal-free pump. The fully recyclable hybrid recycled/ocean plastic packaging will be phased in for additional products in the range including hand and body lotions by early 2019.

To increase the percentage of Americans who recycle beauty and personal-care products above the current 50% and keep containers out of landfills, Garnier has extended its partnership with TerraCycle and DoSomething.org for the second year in the Rinse, Recycle, Repeat campaign. The initiative advocates responsible recycling of beauty empties. Individuals can sign up online or by texting RINSE to 38383, decorate a bathroom recycling bin to collect #empties and share a picture on DoSomething.org to be entered to win a $5,000 scholarship. A public service announcement by Garnier Brand Ambassador Mandy Moore describes how to recycle bathroom empties.

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RECYCLING/RECYCLED CONTENT >

Views on Deposits Diverge

Bottle bills, which require deposits on beverage containers, have been around for decades, so has resistance to the deposit return schemes. The United Kingdom (U.K) recently implemented a bottle bill, and Oregon has expanded the types of containers covered under its law. However, California and Iowa appear to be backing away from deposits.

Oregon’s law has included soda, beer and water containers of 3L or less for some time. As of Jan. 1, 2018, the expanded law includes most beverages in bottles and cans and doubles the refund value to $0.10/container. As a result, coffee/tea, kombucha, energy and sports drinks, hard cider, juice, ready-to-use mixers (such as margarita mix), smoothies, protein shakes (unless they are marketed as a meal replacement), nonalcoholic wine, nutritional supplements (like Muscle Milk®), drinking vinegar, marijuana beverages and coconut water sold in sealed glass, metal and plastic containers from 4 oz.-1.5L now carry a deposit. Containers for wine/distilled spirits, milk (dairy and plant-based), infant formula and meal-replacement drinks continue to be excluded. Manufacturers have until Jan. 1, 2019, to add OR 10¢ to their containers.

In an effort to increase recycling rates and slash the amount of waste polluting its land and seas, the U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) plans to introduce a deposit return scheme for single-use drinks in plastic, glass or metal containers. A consultation before the end of 2018, will consider how such a scheme would work, as well as other measures to increase recycling rates. Whatever is decided, reverse vending machines, which return the deposit when a container is submitted, are likely to play a role. Once collected by the machine, businesses are then responsible for making sure containers are effectively recycled — a move that has led to a 97% recycling rate in Germany. According to the Defra, more than 3 billion of the 13 billion plastic drinks bottles consumed each year are incinerated, sent to landfills or left to pollute the streets, countryside and marine environments.

Meanwhile, a subcommittee in the Iowa House of Representatives, considered House File 575, a bill repealing the state’s deposit $0.05/container law in favor of recycling and litter control programs. However, the subcommittee recommended indefinite postponement, so it appears unlikely the bill will proceed this session.

In California, with the goal of growing recycling economies and increasing market sustainability, the state Senate passed SB 168 in January 2018. The bill directs CalRecycle to establish minimum content standards for beverage containers and requires a study of extended producer responsibility to improve California’s Bottle Bill program. The bill has moved to the California Assembly for consideration and has been referred to its Committee on Natural Resources. “Californians do a great job of sorting their used containers and diverting them from disposal,” reports Mark Murray, executive director of the environmental group, Californians against Waste. “But,” he says, “in order to gain the environmental and economic benefits of recycling, we need a new generation of policies that require brand owners and packaging makers to use these recycled materials. Senator Wieckowski’s SB 168 is aimed at making that a reality.”

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RECYCLING/RECYCLED CONTENT >

Extrusion Blow Molded Pet Enhances Container Recyclability

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) has recognized an 89-oz. extrusion blow molded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle for Simply brand juice from Coca-Cola Co. as a 2018 APR Plastics Recycling Innovator.

The container is converted by CKS Packaging, Inc. from PolyClear® EBM PET 5507 resin from Indorama Ventures PCL. The resin combines outstanding performance for extrusion blow molding with the ability to be recycled in the clear PET stream. The Simply container represents the first commercial application of this new grade of PET, which is designed and developed for use on shuttle extrusion blow molding equipment. A wash-away pressure-sensitive adhesive, adopted previously, enhances container recyclability.

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RENEWABLE >

Bioplastics Portfolio Expands

BioLogiQ, Inc. launches plant-based NuPlastiQ® XP high-performance biopolymers for packaging applications and NuPlastiQ BC biodegradable/compostable biopolymers for foodservice and other packaging applications.

The biopolymers, derived from waste starch generated by potato processing, are mixed with other polymers to enhance properties and sustainability. Brad LaPray, president and founder of BioLogiQ, explains, “Simply put, we make polymers from plants by turning polysaccharides, or plant starch, into plastic. This polymer actually forms an alloy with its partner polymers to produce new compounds that are stronger than the partner plastic would be by itself. It’s like combining copper and zinc to make brass, an alloy that’s more durable than either of its ingredients are by themselves.”

NuPlastiQ XP biopolymers blend NuPlastiQ GP grade with traditional packaging plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene or polystyrene to enhance material strength and offer the potential for downgauging and source reduction with equal or better recyclability than traditional petroleum-based resins. Applications include flexible bags and pouches, jugs, handle bags, grocery sacks and trash bags.

NuPlastiQ BC resins combine the NuPlastiQ GP biopolymer with other biodegradable or compostable resins such as polyhydroxyalkanoate, polybutyrate adipate terephthalate or polylactic acid and are designed to biodegrade under industrial compost conditions and meet ASTM D6400 standards. The resulting compounds also provide opportunities for lightweighting and/or cost reduction. Applications include bags and sacks, agricultural films and foodservice products such as cups, lids, utensils, plates and containers.

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SUSTAINABLE EFFORTS >

FSAP Releases Product Stewardship Best Practices Guidance

A product stewardship document for food packaging, published by the Food Safety Alliance for Packaging (FSAP), a technical committee of the Institute of Packaging Professionals, serves as a roadmap for product stewardship considerations.

Recommendations are non-binding and may be adopted wholly or in part. Input for the six-page document, Food Packaging Product Stewardship Considerations, came from a working group consisting of brand owners like Nestlé and Mars Wrigley Confectionery, and packaging supply chain members including Decernis, Siegwerk, American Packaging Corp., Henkel and Sun Chemical.

Dedicated to raising food safety awareness in the food packaging industry, FSAP members meet once a year and also discuss food packaging quality and safety topics during bi-monthly calls.

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Brand Owners Protect Water Resources

For companies large and small, practicing corporate responsibility includes protecting and conserving water resources through groups like The Nature Conservancy.

As part of a multi-year collaboration, PepsiCo begins support of new projects to conserve and replenish water in the southwestern United States. The effort is part of a 2016 pledge to return all the water that it consumes in high water-risk areas to the same watershed by 2025.

The Salt and Verde Alliance brings together communities, corporations, farmers and other organizations in this part of the Colorado River watershed, the primary source of water in the Southwest. In 2017, PepsiCo’s support for projects managed under this Alliance replenished 110 million gallons of water to the Verde River valley. As part of this effort, The Nature Conservancy helped Hauser and Hauser Farms, the largest multi-generational farm in the area, reduce its consumption of river water by switching from flood irrigation to more efficient drip irrigation.

The 2018 project will help the farm switch from cultivation of alfalfa to barley, a crop that utilizes water primarily when the river’s level is naturally at its highest. In conjunction with the barley cultivation project, Arizona's first malt house will be established to help producers make barley a more financially viable crop.

“The Nature Conservancy’s work in the Verde and Salt River valleys, with PepsiCo’s support, is a model for how high-risk watersheds around the world can be sustainably managed,” says Roberta Barbieri, vice president Global Sustainability, PepsiCo. She adds, “Our approach is underscored by a belief that, by considering environmental, social and economic factors together, sustainable, systemic change can be brought about.”

PepsiCo also is supporting Nature Conservancy work on the Price River in Utah and management of a 5,000-acre preserve in Cibolo Bluffs, TX, to safeguard an aquifer, which provides water for almost 2 million residents of central Texas. The Texas project also protects the habitat for the largest population of bats in the world — 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats.

Tom’s of Maine, a leading maker of natural personal-care products, will donate $1 million in 2018 to The Nature Conservancy to protect, preserve and restore freshwater resources. A website poll will select the projects. The top three vote-getters in the Let’s Turn the Tide competition will receive $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, in addition to a guaranteed base level of support. Candidates include:

  • The Colorado River Basin: Restoring and protecting water supplies for people and nature
  • The Mississippi River Basin: Restoring key floodplains to reduce nutrient pollution in a basin that covers (or drains) 41% of the U.S.
  • East Coast Dam Removal: Freeing miles of river from Maine to Maryland and improving habitats
  • Sustainable Rivers Program: Working with the Army Corps of Engineers to better balance what people and rivers need to thrive

Remaining funds from the $1 million pledge will support the Conservancy’s North American freshwater program, including on-the-ground projects along rivers and in river basins as well as water use and management efforts to protect natural waterways. The protection and restoration projects not only ensure clean drinking water, but also lower flood risk to communities and improve river health.

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About the author >

Hallie Forcinio has covered packaging-related environmental topics for more than 25 years, first as an editor on Food & Drug Packaging magazine (now Packaging Strategies) and more recently as a freelance packaging journalist and principal of Forcinio Communications, an editorial services firm. “My interest in the environment dates back to a high school government class,” she notes. “I was collecting glass, newspapers and aluminum cans for recycling long before my community had a curbside recycling program.” In addition to preparing the TricorBraun Sustainability Times, she contributes articles to numerous trade publications including Pharmaceutical Technology, Dairy Foods and National Provisioner. She also serves as editorial director of the PACK EXPO Show Daily.

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