The difficult relationship between science, citizen science, and mass communication. A negative example

Guest article by Francesco Degli-Innocenti, Novamont: “Recently, an article titled ‘The Big Compost Experiment: Using citizen science to assess the impact and effectiveness of biodegradable and compostable plastics in UK home composting’ caused quite a stir. I must acknowledge that I was a reviewer of this article and after a long exchange with the authors, I advised the editor to publish it. Afterwards, I was appalled at how this article was misrepresented when it was released to the public. When this citizen science experiment was communicated to citizens, it became a media tsunami that wrongfully defamed a system based on standards and accredited certifiers.” 

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Bioplastic push: NatureWorks’ global director predicts growth in compostable and bioplastic packaging 

Bioplastics are gaining traction among packagers, as consumer demands for environmentally sustainable alternatives to plastics, including compostables, continue to trend upward. Mariagiovanna Vetere, global public affairs director at NatureWorks, speaks about the growth of the bioplastics industry while remaining a “young” material and how legislation is having a positive impact on pushing toward ecological innovations. “We see the global market demand for biomaterials continuing to grow at a rapid pace. We expect to see continued growth in packaging applications that take advantage of the unique performance and sustainability attributes only found in biopolymers made with renewable carbon like our Ingeo PLA,” explains Vetere about one of NatureWork’s bioplastics solutions. 

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Futerro plans to build new PLA biorefinery with yearly output of 75,000 tons 

Belgian PLA producer Futerro has started negotiations to open a new fully integrated biorefinery at the Port-Jérôme industrial and port area, with its construction expected to result in an annual production capacity of 75,000 tons. This biorefinery aims to feature a lactic acid unit for the transformation of raw material from agricultural sources, a PLA conversion unit, and a unit dedicated to the molecular recycling of PLA, valuing by-products from sectors such as green energy, agriculture, and food. Its location was chosen in the pursuit of various benefits, including the possibility of using low-carbon energy and its access to raw materials from the agricultural sector. The new facility is hoped to create 250 direct jobs and 900 jobs in adjacent sectors. 

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