Bio-TPV as a substitute for soft PVC on floors: Fraunhofer Umsicht is developing a bio-based TPV material that could conceivably replace soft PVC in vinyl flooring. The researchers at Fraunhofer Umsicht are exploring the possibilities of a new, plasticizer-free, bio-based, thermoplastic vulcanizate (Bio-TPV) consisting of a soft, bio-based component, such as natural rubber, dispersed in a PLA matrix. Project partner FKuR will focus on the further development of the material at Fraunhofer Umsicht and the scale-up of the production process to industrial scale.
Toyobo and Avantium partner on PEF polymerization and PEF films: Toyobo and Avantium have jointly developed thin films made from PEF, a 100% bio-based plastic based on Avantium’s proprietary YXY technology for the production of FDCA. These PEF films are about 10 micrometer in thickness and can be applied for food packaging, in electronics applications such as displays or solar panels, industrial and medical packages. Compared to standard PET films, PEF films have a 10x higher oxygen barrier, 2-3x higher water vapor barrier, improved mechanical strength, and are fully transparent.
Plates made of Mater-Bi for Milan school canteens: Since the beginning of this month, Milano Ristorazione, the Municipality of Milan’s company that manages the catering service of Milan schools, makes use exclusively of compostable tableware made of Mater-Bi, a family of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics developed by Italian bioplastics company Novamont, when providing meals for the pupils in nursery, primary and secondary schools. The plates in which the meals will be served can be collected together with food waste and sent for composting, thus significantly reducing the environmental impact of the catering service.
France bans disposable plastic plates, cups, and utensils: France passed a law that bans disposable plastic plates, cups, and utensils by 2020, except for ones made from bio-based and home-compostable plastics. The new law follows a ban on plastic shopping bags in July 2016, and is part of the country’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act. Even though the bioplastics industry did not actively promote or ask for a ban, European Bioplastics supports measures that promote bio-based and biodegradable materials and products. The decision presents an important opportunity for the French bioplastics industry, which has invested greatly in the development of innovative materials over the past decades, and appropriate bio-based and biodegradable materials for products such disposable tableware are readily available on the market.