New bio-based PE films: UPM Raflatac, a global manufacturer of label materials, extends its range of film face materials for the European market with a new plant-based material that provides a sustainable alternative to fossil-based films for a wide variety of end uses. RafBio PE performs just like standard PE film, and its excellent flexibility makes it ideal for the squeezable bottles and contoured containers that are widely used in home and personal care applications. Made from sugarcane ethanol, the film contains more than 80% renewable plant-based raw material and is recyclable within the same recycling streams as fossil-based PE.
Biodegradable multi-layer film for food packaging: The RECUBIO project, led by Plásticos Romero, a Spain-based manufacturer of blown film, in collaboration with AIMPLAS, a plastics technology centre located in Valencia, Spain, has developed medium-barrier biodegradable PLA-based packages for the food sector. A coating was applied to a biodegradable film to give it the required barrier properties. The coated film is then laminated with a three-layer structure providing rigidity and sealability to the final packaging, as well as protection to the barrier coating. The result is suitable for food packaging requiring medium barrier properties, such as bakery, fresh or frozen products.
Toys made from bio-based plastics: Finnish toymaker Plasto launched their I’m Green toy range, comprised of toys made from Braskem’s biobased polyethylene derived from sugar cane. All the toys in this range are over 90% biobased. Braskem’s I’m Green bio PE is distributed in Finland by FKuR. By switching to biobased PE, Plasto will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its toys as well as the use of fossil resources. For every kg of I’m green Polyethylene used in Plastos’ toys more than 5 kg of CO2 is saved. The toys are food contact safe and dishwasher safe. At the end of their life cycle they can be recycled and the raw material can be reused.
Covestro has been named one of the 50 most innovative companies of 2017: Technology Review magazine singled out Covestro for the successful use of plant-based raw materials, in lieu of petroleum, to produce aniline, an important chemical compound in the chemical industry and the company’s manufacturing processes. Covestro developed the production process in collaboration with the University of Stuttgart, the CAT Catalytic Center at RWTH Aachen University and Bayer AG, and has confirmed its feasibility in the laboratory. One hundred percent of the carbon in the aniline produced in this way is derived from biomass. The process is now being carried over to production of greater technical dimensions, said Covestro. The ultimate goal is to produce bio-based aniline on an industrial scale, which would be unprecedented.