Non-biodegradable cotton buds prohibited in Italy from 2019: Italy will be the first country to ban non-biodegradable plastic cotton buds as of 2019. The Italian parliament adopted a proposal on 19 December 2017 to only allow the production and sale of cotton buds that are biodegradable and compostable according to the European standard EN 13432 for industrial composting. The new regulations also require providing clear information on the packaging on the correct disposal of the sticks, explicitly mentioning the ban on throwing them into toilets or drains. In 2018, the Italian government will launch an information campaign to educate about the correct disposal of cotton buds.
New bio-based barrier coatings for food packaging: Spanish research centre AIMPLAS is coordinating REFUCOAT, a new European project with the objective to develop barrier coatings and bioplastic materials for films and trays as an alternative to aluminium-based structures. AIMPLAS plans to combine polyglycolic acid (PGA) with modified silica oxide to formulate a hybrid coating with oxygen- and water vapour-barrier properties. Furthermore, a new PLA grade from corn wastes will be developed with better water-vapour barrier values than commercial grades. These developments will be combined to create recyclable packages for chicken, cereals, and snacks.
DuPont Industrial Biosciences And Wools Of New Zealand Announce Materials Collaboration: The two companies plan to create a new platform of yarns for home textiles that will offer enduring performance characteristics with a more sustainable, eco-friendly profile scheduled for release in 2018. The collaboration will be combining WoNZ’s patented source traceability and DuPont’s Sorona® fiber to develop a new line of interior and floor design products. Sorona is a polyester that is already common in consumer markets and a number of new clothing and carpeting materials. Sorona combines a bio-based molecule derived from corn with a traditional petroleum-based monomer to make a stretchier, more responsive polyester that outperforms traditional elastics.
Investment boost for 100% bio-based PET: Anellotech announced further investment by Suntory Holdings Ltd. (Osaka, Japan), which uses a significant amount of PET bottles across an expansive beverage portfolio. Anellotech aims to develop and commercialize a cost-competitive manufacturing process for 100% bio-based plastics to be used in beverage bottles. Anellotech’s Bio-TCat (“thermal catalyst”) process produces aromatic chemicals from non-food biomass needed to produce plastics such as polyester, nylon, polycarbonate and polystyrene. Suntory’s additional $9 million in Anellotech’s Bio-TCat technology is part of a new $15 million package and brings the brand’s total investment to more than $25 million since 2012.