Companies announce signed letter of intent to collaborate on creating advanced products based on industry-leading Ingeo™ PLA and PHACT® PHA technologies to meet growing demand for sustainable materials across wide array of markets.

Woburn, MA and Plymouth, MN – 24 May 2022 –CJ BIO, a division of South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang and leading producer of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), and NatureWorks, an advanced materials company that is the world’s leading producer of polylactic acid (PLA), have signed a letter of intent (LOI) establishing a strategic alignment between the two organizations and have announced that the two companies are working toward a Master Collaboration Agreement (MCA). The companies will work together to develop sustainable materials solutions based on CJ BIO’s PHACT® Marine Biodegradable Polymers and NatureWorks’ Ingeo™ biomaterials technology. The goal of the agreement is to develop high-performance biopolymers that will replace fossil fuel-based plastics in applications ranging from compostable food packaging and food serviceware, to personal care, and beyond.

NatureWorks is a pioneer in the development of bio-based materials that reduce carbon impact and enable new end-of-use options with its Ingeo technology. As a company, it has developed many of the leading high-volume applications for PLA. In recent years, PLA has experienced significant growth as a bio-based material in a broad range of finished products. Due to its unique functionality, it has been used to replace petrochemical-based plastics, with 100% bio-based content, and enable end-of-use recovery options, including compostability and chemical or coated paper recycling. Both companies realize the potential to further enhance performance and end-of-use solutions for biopolymers, and increase the level of adoption across many new applications. By combining their expertise and technology platforms, NatureWorks and CJ aim to deliver next generation solutions together. Initial development and collaboration are showing very promising results when using CJ Bio’s unique amorphous PHA in combination with Ingeo biopolymer.

CJ BIO is the world’s leading supplier of fermentation-based bioproducts for animal nutrition, human nutrition, and biomaterials at its thirteen manufacturing facilities worldwide. The company recently announced commercial-scale production of PHA following the inauguration of a new production facility in Pasuruan, Indonesia. CJ BIO is today the only company in the world producing amorphous PHA (aPHA), including the first product under its new PHACT brand, named PHACT A1000P. Amorphous PHA is a softer, more rubbery version of PHA that offers fundamentally different performance characteristics than crystalline or semi-crystalline forms of PHA. It is certified biodegradable under industrial compost, soil (ambient), and marine environments. Modifying PLA with amorphous PHA leads to improvements in mechanical properties, such as toughness, and ductility, while maintaining clarity. It also allows adjustment in the biodegradability of PLA and can potentially lead to a home compostable product.

“Plastics are an essential material that improves people’s lives, but their fossil sourcing and after-use impact present a major climate challenge that must be addressed,” says Seung Jin Lee, Head of the Biomaterials Business at CJ BIO. “NatureWorks and its Ingeo technology have already helped by bringing to market new material functionality and after-use options. They have extensive product and applications development capability, supporting, for example flexible and rigid packaging that we believe can benefit from our PHACT amorphous PHA technology. I am excited for the opportunity to create new solutions in tandem with NatureWorks that will have a real impact on the challenge plastics pose today, and that will help improve the environment for future generations.”

According to NatureWorks’ CEO Rich Altice: “The demand for sustainable products continues to grow around the world. For more than 30 years, NatureWorks has participated in the circular economy, developing advanced biomaterials that contribute to a more sustainable future. As we look toward the future, we want to amplify the impact of our Ingeo technology with promising, new bio-based solutions, and we feel that with its PHACT aPHA technology, CJ BIO is an ideal partner to achieve our goal.”

NatureWorks and CJ BIO will collect feedback from existing and potential customers across a range of applications and markets including packaging, food serviceware, and organics recycling management to understand the growing need for functional product requirements that also align with sustainability goals. These collaborations will inform the companies’ product and technology development roadmap. The two companies say that the LOI is the start of what is expected to be a long-term relationship between NatureWorks and CJ BIO and are aiming to sign a master collaboration agreement in the near future.

For more information, visit: https://www.cjbio.net/en/products/cjPha.do and www.natureworksllc.com.

 

Photo: Rich Altice, President & CEO of NatureWorks, and Seung Jin Lee, Head of the Biomaterials Business at CJ BIO, gathered to advance the growing collaboration between the two companies focused on developing new products based on their Ingeo™ PLA and PHACT® PHA technologies.

Source: Woolworths Group

South Australia is the first state where Woolworths has introduced compostable fruit and vegetable bags, now available in the fruit and veg departments of all 67 stores across the state.

According to Woolworths, the switch has the potential to divert up to 70 tonnes of plastic waste from landfill each year, with customers now able to compost their Woolworths fruit and vegetable bags in their council-provided green bins for food and garden organics where available, or in their own household DIY compost.

With around 80 per cent of South Australian households having access to council-provided organic bins, compostable alternatives offer an effective way to reduce plastic waste. The compostable bags have been made in South Australia by local manufacturer and Member of the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA), Biobag, and are verified to Australian Standards for commercial (AS4736) and home compostable (AS5810) plastics.

Woolworths South Australia Assistant State Manager, Elisha Moore said: “We’re growing greener across our stores and this represents a big breakthrough in sustainable shopping for our customers here in South Australia.

“We’re thrilled to be the first major supermarket in South Australia to roll out compostable fruit and veg bags in all our stores statewide as we work together with our customers to reduce plastic waste and protect the environment.

“South Australia leads the nation in household access to council-provided composting, so it’s a great place to launch sustainable initiatives like these new bags.

“We’d love to see access to composting across the country increase in line with South Australia to create opportunities to offer green compostable alternatives like this more broadly.”

Deputy Premier of South Australia and Environment Minister, Hon. Susan Close said: “South Australia was the logical choice for Woolworths to launch these certified compostable fruit and vegetable bags in all their stores across the state, because all our metropolitan councils in Adelaide accept food waste in their green bins and so do many regional and country councils.

“No other state in Australia has this level of waste and recycling available to households.”

The new bags are designed to be used as liners in council-provided food scrap ‘kitchen caddies’. Customers can check with their local council to find out whether their kerbside collection services include composting.

Woolworths recently trialled the compostable fruit and vegetable bags in a small number of South Australian stores, receiving positive feedback from customers. More than 75 per cent of those surveyed during the trial said it was important that Woolworths provide compostable bags to customers.

Through its ongoing work to reduce plastic, Woolworths has removed around 800 tonnes of plastic from produce packaging since 2018. The retailer has committed to making 100 per cent of its own brand packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable by the end of 2023.

In 2018, Woolworths was the first national supermarket to phase out single-use plastic shopping bags and straws across the country, resulting in more than 9 billion bags and 280 million straws being taken out of circulation to date.

Source: Woolworths Group

 

The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA), is pleased to announce that the 2022 ABA Scholarship program for Australia and New Zealand is now open for submissions. The scholarship program is coordinated in partnership with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), and will enable one eligible candidate the opportunity to undertake a Diploma in Packaging Technology valued at $9,000 and a second person the opportunity to undertake a Certificate in Packaging valued at $7,000.

President of the ABA, Rowan Williams said that ‘The ABA is pleased to once again sponsor the Scholarship program which has been designed to recognise and support deserving and emerging packaging professionals as part of their professional development.’

“We encourage all ABA and AIP Members that are interested in developing their packaging technology skills to apply for these Scholarships following on from the success of last year’s ABA Scholarships and the extremely worthy recipients Karunia Adhiputra and Maria Becerril-Roman,” Mr Williams said.

“The demand for the field of bioplastics continues to surge globally for both certified compostable and fully renewable or biobased bioplastics. These niche products are designed to replace other types of packaging that after contact with food, are uneconomical or difficult to reuse or recycle. Education on these materials, as partly provided as content from these Scholarships, will aid future packaging professionals to make sustainable design choices.” he said.

2021 Diploma in Packaging Technology winner, Karunia Adhiputra AAIP, who is a Packaging Specialist at Nestlé Australia, said that the Diploma in Packaging Technology has helped him to gain a holistic understanding of packaging technology and industry.

“The Diploma in Packaging Technology is a comprehensive course that teaches all concepts of packaging, from technical development, manufacturing, economics and sustainability of packaging materials. The course sets up candidates to achieve a well-rounded understanding of how packaging fits within the supply chain, and important factors that need to be considered to ensure packaging is developed with every aspect of its lifecycle in mind. Undertaking the Diploma has certainly helped me gain a better understanding of developing new packaging materials that are fit for purpose, a focus that is growing in the area of sustainability. I would wholeheartedly encourage all packaging professionals who have not yet completed the Diploma in Packaging Technology to consider applying for the 2022 ABA Scholarship program, it will spark inspiration to bring your packaging to the next level.” Mr Adhiputra said.

2021 Certificate in Packaging winner Maria Becerril-Roman AAIP, who is a Packaging Technologist at Mondelez International, said that winning the second ABA Scholarship was a great personal honour.

“Beyond the opportunity to keep learning and foster my career in packaging science and technology, the scholarship has opened the opportunity to connect with other AIP Members, the wider industry, receive the guidance of my mentors, apply the concepts and skills to every-day work challenges, attain a globally recognised degree, and encourage peers to continue learning and being prepared in this ever-changing space,” Ms Becerril-Roman said.

“I encourage all professionals wanting to deep-dive into the intricacies that sit behind a well-designed pack and how to best tackle the most common challenges in this industry, to apply for the 2022 ABA Scholarship program and reach out to industry and academic connections for your references to participate in this exciting opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the packaging industry in Australia and the world.” she said.

AIP’s Education Director, Prof. Pierre Pienaar FAIP, CPP, added that that undertaking higher education in Packaging Technology is critical for the ANZ region.

“Whilst many people working in the fields of packaging are well-qualified, as evident in our 2022 Career & Salary Survey, they are not qualified in the science, engineering and/or technology behind packaging,” Prof. Pienaar said.

“We need to see more people in the industry undertaking internationally qualified and recognised degrees such as the Certificate in Packaging  and the Diploma in Packaging Technology. This will go a long way in improving the overall knowledge and skillset in the industry ensuring that we do not have a technical knowledge void within the packaging industry in the next 5-10 years. It is so important that we see more people working in and around packaging advance their technical knowledge,”

“The AIP is offering more academic courses than ever before in the various fields of packaging and I encourage each of you, irrespective of age, to take on this challenge. None of us are too old to learn something new so apply for the 2022 ABA Scholarship program today.” he said.

Visit http://aipack.com.au/australasian-bioplastics-association-aba-scholarship/ to access the entry forms and criteria for each scholarship. Applications close on 8 of April 2022.

At the 2021 AGM, members of the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) voted to form the Agricultural Products Group to enable focus for those members who have interest in agricultural plastics applications which include the following.

  • Protective films
  • Piping, irrigation and drainage
  • Nets and mesh
  • Twine and ropes
  • Bagging
  • Storage trays
  • Labels.

Many thousands of tonnes of plastics waste is generated by the agricultural and horticultural industries in Australia. Most recent figures available are from Horticulture Australia which reports that in 2012-13, over 59,000 T of plastics was used in agriculture and horticulture in Australia while 3,800 T was recycled (1).

The bioplastics industry has products which are compostable and biodegradable,  made using renewable resources or both. Compostable and biodegradable plastics assist in facilitating organics recycling and reduction of waste to landfill, while durable plastics made using renewable resources and identical in all other ways to those made using fossil resources, can be recycled in the plastics recycling stream.

The Agricultural Products Group will continue the work done by the ABA with concentration on agricultural plastics applications where replacement with bioplastics can assist reduction in waste to landfill, microplastics generation and enable recycling within the conventional plastics recycling infrastructure.

 

(1) Final Report Innovative ways to address waste management on vegetable farms. Dr Anne-Maree Boland RMCG Project Number: VG13109

Parliament of New South Wales announced the release of the report of Portfolio Committee No. 7 – Planning and Environment, entitled Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Plastics Reduction) Bill 2021.  The report was tabled with the Clerk of the Parliaments on 12 August 2021.

The report is available on the Parliament of New South Wales website, along with submissions, transcripts of evidence and other inquiry documents.

The report is now with the government for consideration. The government is required to respond to the committee’s recommendation within six months.

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Plastic Reduction) Bill 2021

Australia’s first national composting network is launching this month, an online platform that connects foodservice businesses with industrial composters nationwide. The network aims to reduce the one million tonnes of organic waste created by Australia’s foodservice industry every year, which is the weight of nearly 19 Sydney Harbour Bridges.

Ambassador Neil Perry, who will be using the service for his new sustainably focused restaurant, Margaret, opening in Double Bay this June, has grave concerns for the future of Australia and is calling for others in the hospitality sector to take accountability for the waste they bring into the world.

Perry explains, “I’m scared for what the world might look like for my children and children’s children. If we don’t act now, we’re going to end up in a really awful situation. Sadly, it’s unsurprising that the foodservice industry creates so much waste, however, we still have the opportunity to change this if we make transformations now.”

“As a country, we need to re-think our processes and start thinking of the bigger picture. We need to work together to address the problem, reduce organic waste and contribute to achieving a better society for future generations. This initiative is going to change how the foodservice industry operates for the greater good of our country.”

Global bar consultant and bartender, Matt Whiley, is also joining the movement through his new South Eveleigh venue and the world’s first permanent no-waste bar, Re. Whiley adds, “It’s never been more important to recognise that we all have a responsibility to make changes now that are desperately needed to shape our future for the better. We’ve developed Re with an overriding commitment to sustainability with a minimal-waste mentality and so this new composting network, is going to help us maintain this ethos by diverting any waste created from landfill to compost.”

Officially launching this month, the network already services over 2,200 postcodes, with the aim to increase to over 4,000 postcodes. Through its trials, Compost Connect has already diverted more than 4,500 tonnes of organics and packaging from landfill, processing into nutrient-rich composts in less than 12 weeks, an amount that is set to significantly increase in the next few years.

Compost Connect board member and BioPak CEO, Gary Smith explains,

“With Australia’s goal to halve its food waste by 2030, we need to instigate widespread change throughout the foodservice industry. It’s time that businesses collaborate together to overcome the challenges to create a circular and sustainable economy and we believe that this network can help achieve this vision.”

For more information on Compost Connect please visit: www.compostconnect.org

For more information, interviews and imagery, please contact:

Tierney Kelman, // Papaya PR // tierney@papayapr.com.au // 0434 259 798

 

The Australian Government National Plastics Plan published in 2021 undertook to “Phase out plastic packaging products with additive fragmentable technology that do not meet relevant compostable standards (AS4736-2006, AS5810-2010 and EN13432)(July 2022)’’. This was taken to include so called biodegradable and compostable products. In effect, this inferred equivalence of EN13432 to the Australian Standards.

In discussion with the office of the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, our President with support from the ABA Executive requested that only AS4736 – 2006 and AS5810-2010 should apply as EN13432 is not equivalent to either AS4736-2006 or AS5810-2010, both of which are more stringent with an additional worm toxicity test which was considered absolutely necessary by the working groups that wrote both Australian Standards, to protect Australia’s agricultural and horticultural soils.

We are pleased to advise that the National Plastics Plan has now been revised. Please visit the site http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste/plastics-and-packaging/national-plastics-plan where you find the following footnote.

*Please note that since the release of the Plastics Plan the home and industrial compostable standards have been updated to reflect the Australian Standard determined by the Australasian Bioplastics Association verification scheme. The phase out listed on page 5 of the Plastics Plan should now read:

  • Phase out plastic packaging products with additive fragmentable technology that do not meet relevant compostable standards (AS4736-2006 and AS5810-2010) (July 2022)

 

The ABA is working to have the term industrial compostable changed to commercial compostable and the term Australian Bioplastics Association changed to Australasian Bioplastics Association.

The welcomed change protects and enhances the investment in and commitment to the ABA verification programme by members and others in having their products verified to the requirements of AS4736-2006 and AS5810-2010, the awarding of a Certificate of Conformance and optional licensed use of the ABA logos. The Australian Government National Plastics Plan makes it clear that only the Australian Standards are relevant for the organics recycling of plastics packaging. The benefits of having a Certificate of Conformance to the requirements of the Australian Standards issued by the ABA are demonstrated by this support in the Australian Government National Plastics Plan.

APCO, in partnership with ABA and AORA, have recently published National Compostable Packaging Strategya comprehensive new approach to how Australia can develop an environmentally sustainable system for compostable packaging.

Launched on 17th June at the AORA annual conference, the strategy was developed to provide a clear and consistent national approach for compostable packaging in Australia, including direction on how and where it should be used, how it can support the recovery of food waste, and how to ensure compostable packaging is recovered at end-of-life and has beneficial end uses.

Download the National Compostable Packaging Strategy 

The winners for the 2021 Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) Scholarship Program were announced this week by Rowan Williams, President of the ABA,  during day two of the Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards (PIDA).

Developed in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), the ABA Scholarship program will enable the winning candidate to undertake a Diploma in Packaging Technology, and afford a second candidate the opportunity to undertake a Certificate in Packaging. Both courses are run by the Australian Institute of Packaging.

The 2021 ABA Certificate in Packaging Scholarship winner is Maria Becerill Roman AAIP.

Originally starting as a Food Chemist in Mexico, Maria Becerril Roman has significantly advanced her packaging career at since she arrived in Australia. Fresh out of the Master of Food & Packaging Innovation Degree with a Dean’s Honours, she found her way into Coles and has a keen interest in Packaging Sustainability, Innovation and Compliance. Maria sees her career developing in the sustainable packaging quality assurance and compliance areas; along with packaging innovation and design. Maria wants to continue to learn and grow and in five years from now, see herself as becoming a more technically skilled packaging technologist that helps many sectors in the industry achieve their main quality and sustainability goals. Maria is diligent and passionate and is well-suited for the Certificate in Packaging course. She has shown academic excellence throughout her career to date, making her an outstanding student and a very valued contributor to the teams who are fortunate enough to work with her.

The 2021 ABA Diploma in Packaging Technology winner is…Karunia Adhiputra AAIP.

With a Master of Food Science, Karunia Adhiputra, or Adhi as he is known, is a Packaging Specialist at Nestlé, working under the Corporate Packaging division to assist packaging technologists in identifying solutions that would meet Nestlé’s ambition of 100% recyclable or reusable packaging, as well as virgin plastic reduction by 1/3rd by 2025. In addition to this role, he is also the Safety & Compliance owner for packaging materials, which requires Adhi to review certificates and documentation provided by packaging suppliers, ensuring they are compliant to regulations for food contact packaging. Adhi is also responsible for supporting the technical development of the business unit packaging technologists. He has demonstrated continually that he is a natural teacher, as he communicates and engages the packaging team and wider business on the ever-growing complexities of sustainable packaging, technologies, guidelines and mandates. To support this Adhi is seeking, through the Diploma in Packaging Technology, to ensure he understands the fundamentals behind packaging. Adhi is a highly valued packaging specialist in the industry who has high potential and a long future in the packaging industry.

The Australasian Bioplastics Association Incorporated (ABA) is the peak Industry body for the bioplastics industry in Australia and New Zealand and administers two verification programmes for companies and individuals wishing to verify their claims of conformance to Biodegradable Plastics suitable for commercial and home composting.

Recently, the ABA announced new requirements to eliminate the use of fluorinated chemicals in the products and packaging it verifies for compostability.

Due to growing concerns around fluorinated chemicals, often referred to as perfluorinated or polyfluorinated alkyl substance (PFOA & PFAS) as a class of chemicals, the ABA membership and Executive voted to approve a requirement for companies to declare that fluorinated chemicals are not intentionally added to products that is undergoing verification.

Fluorinated chemicals like PFAS are used across a number of industries, and are an effective, FDA-approved “grease-proofing” barrier used on some paper and molded pulp food packaging. Most ABA certified products already do not contain fluorinated chemicals, instead achieving water and grease barrier through the use of compostable biopolymers like PLA, PBAT, PBS, or PHA, as well as compostable waxes.

ABA’s overarching goal is the scalable diversion of organic waste to composting by verifying that products and packaging will successfully break down in professionally managed composting facilities, without harming the quality of finished compost. The certification programme is built on a third party system of independent labs that test products to AS4736 and AS5810 standard specifications, and a robust technical review by an accredited body. The standards include multiple requirements before a product can be claimed to be compostable, including biodegradation testing, disintegration testing, heavy metals limits, compost quality, and toxicity (plant and earthworm) testing. Currently, ABA certifies products and packaging from over 120 companies around the world, and maintains a public database that is keyword searchable for over 220 certified items.

This new restriction on fluorinated chemicals follows the lead of BPI, the US based certifier of compostable packaging. It is clearly the right thing to do, and something we are all committed to,” said ABA President, Rowan Williams. “Compostable products and packaging play a pivotal role in the zero-waste movement, and as more communities across Australasia set up food waste collection programmes, we are working to ensure that ABA’s certification will continue to be a trusted benchmark for compostability.”