Early-works construction on the new biopolymer manufacturing site began in June 2022 with expected completion of the facility on schedule for the second half of 2024.

PLYMOUTH, Minn., November 9, 2022NatureWorks, the world’s leading manufacturer of low-carbon polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers made from renewable resources, has selected TTCL Public Company Limited (SET: TTCL) as the general contractor for procurement, construction, commissioning, and startup support services for their new Ingeo™️ PLA manufacturing complex in Thailand. The new facility is designed to be fully integrated and will include production of lactic acid, lactide, and polymer. Located on the Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex (NBC) in Nakhon Sawan Province, the manufacturing site will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer and will produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades.

In June 2022, site preparation for the new manufacturing facility at the NBC was completed and NatureWorks signed an agreement with Sino Thai Engineering and Construction PCL (STECON) to begin early-works construction for piling, underground piping, storm water management, and tank foundations. Currently underway, the early-works construction progress keeps completion of the facility on schedule for the second half of 2024.

“We are pleased to see the continued progress on the construction of our second Ingeo manufacturing complex that will help us address the increasing global market demand for sustainable materials,” said Steve Bray, VP of Operations at NatureWorks. “With the selection of TTCL as our general contractor, we are looking forward to leveraging their expertise in executing large, highly technical capital projects in Thailand.”

NatureWorks expects to hold a cornerstone laying ceremony to honor the progress of site construction in February 2023.

In 2021, NatureWorks first announced the authorization for initiating their global capacity expansion plan beginning with their second Ingeo biopolymer manufacturing facility in Thailand. NatureWorks became the first company to produce PLA biopolymers at commercial scale in 2002. NatureWorks expanded its flagship Blair, Nebraska facility to an annual total capacity of 150,000 metric tons in 2013 with an additional capacity expansion announced in 2020 to further increase the availability of Ingeo biopolymers.

The expanded global production of Ingeo biopolymers will support growth in markets including 3D printing and hygiene as well as compostable coffee capsules, tea bags, flexible packaging, and food serviceware that demand sustainable, low-carbon materials and require the high-performance attributes that Ingeo is uniquely suited to deliver.

For more information about NatureWorks and Ingeo, or to purchase Ingeo biopolymer resin visit www.natureworksllc.com. Follow NatureWorks on Twitter (@natureworks) for the latest updates.

###

 

About NatureWorks

NatureWorks is an advanced materials company offering a broad portfolio of biopolymers and biochemicals made from renewable resources. With performance and economics that compete with oil-based materials, naturally advanced Ingeo™ biomaterials are valued for their unique functional properties and used in products from coffee capsules and appliances to tea bags and 3D printing filament. NatureWorks is jointly owned by Thailand’s largest ASEAN leading integrated petrochemical and refining company, GC, and Cargill, which provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. For more information visit natureworksllc.com or follow NatureWorks on Twitter at @natureworks.

The ABA is pleased to share the post originally published by our sister UK based Association, BBIA, in response to this week’s UCL study into the use of home #compostable #packaging in the UK.

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.

The pressure group A Plastic Planet was founded in 2017 with the aim of igniting and inspiring the world to turn off the plastic tap. The association recently published the paper The Compostable Conundrum – When should compostable materials be used and why? to advise industry on when to use compostable materials and when not to. Even though the report concentrates on the UK and EU, much of the content applies to Australia.

Read the report

According to the UN FAO report, 10 million tons of agricultural plastics are globally spread to soil, burnt in the open air and dumped. “The urgency for coordinated and decisive action cannot be understated.”, FAO says.

The report published by FAO on 7th December 2021 assesses the types and quantities of plastic products, their benefits and trade-offs and identifies sustainable alternative products or practices for products assessed as having high potential to cause harm to human and ecosystem health or having poor end-of-life management.

According to data collated by the agency’s experts, agricultural value chains each year use 12.5 million tonnes of plastic products. A further 37.3 million tonnes are used in food packaging. The crop production and livestock sectors were found to be the largest users, accounting for 10.2 million tonnes per year collectively, followed by fisheries and aquaculture with 2.1 million tonnes, and forestry with 0.2 million tonnes. Asia was estimated to be the largest user of plastics in agricultural production, accounting for almost half of global usage. In the absence of viable alternatives, demand for plastic in agriculture is only set to increase. Global demand for greenhouse, mulching and silage films is expected to increase by 50 percent, from 6.1 million tonnes in 2018 to 9.5 million tonnes in 2030.

The report identifies several solutions based on the 6R model (Refuse, Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover). Among other solutions, the authors include: adopting agricultural practices that avoid the use of plastics; elimitating the most polluting plastic products; substituting plastic products with natural or biodegradable alternatives.

Maria Helena Semedo, deputy director general at the FAO, said: “The report serves as a loud call for decisive action to curb the disastrous use of plastics across the agricultural sectors,”

“Soils are one of the main receptors of agricultural plastics and are known to contain larger quantities of microplastics than oceans,” she said. “Microplastics can accumulate in food chains, threatening food security, food safety and potentially human health.”

 

The full report prepared by Jane Gilbert, Marco Ricci and Richard H. Thompson under the supervision of Lev Neretin is available here.

Due to the rising public concerns about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in packaging, especially food packaging, European Bioplastics has decided to ensure that products and materials certified with the Seedling logo do not contain any of these substances, nor that PFAS have been used during the production process. Read the announcement

France has published a list of about 30 fruits and vegetables that will be required to be sold without plastic packaging from 1 January 2022, part of the implementation of a circular economy passed in 2020 aimed at reducing single-use plastic. Read the article for more information

Source: RFI

Source: RecyClass

PRESS DECLARATION

In a reference to the report[1], published on February 18, 2021, by Impact Solutions – a laboratory commissioned by Polymateria to carry out a recyclability test of a polyethylene film with biodegradable additive technology called PLM-G, RecyClass would like to make the following declaration:

As the laboratory testing was done according to the ‘RecyClass Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for PE Films’, RecyClass would like to clarify that it was contacted by Polymateria to perform laboratory analysis of the PLM-G film in question on May 13, 2019. The composition and “oxidation” properties of this material are described in the patent description of Polymateria[2]. Since degradable plastics are explicitly excluded[3] from the scope of the RecyClass protocols, RecyClass answered Polymateria on May 14, 2019 stating clearly that it cannot run such test as the RecyClass Recyclability Evaluation Protocols are based on a harmonised methodology to test the recyclability of a specific technology in a defined, conventional plastics recycling stream[4].

Therefore, the report published by Impact Solutions on February 18, 2021, must not have used RecyClass ‘Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for PE Films’ to verify the recyclability of a degradable film.

Furthermore, it must be emphasized, that Impact Solutions is not an officially accredited RecyClass laboratory[5].

[1] https://www.impact-solutions.co.uk/recyclability-evaluation-protocol-for-pe-films/

[2] European Patent EP3545032

[3] As they have an impact on polymers degradation and therefore are not compatible with plastics recycling.

[4] RecyClass Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for PE Films, point 2. Scope of the Protocol page 3 & 4

[5] List of RecyClass Accredited Laboratories

About RecyClass

RecyClass is a comprehensive cross-industry initiative that works to advance plastic packaging recyclability and to establish a harmonized approach towards recycled content calculation and its traceability in Europe. Activities within RecyClass include the development of Recyclability Evaluation Protocols and scientific testing of innovative materials which serve as the base for the Design for Recycling guidelines and the free online tool. RecyClass offers Recyclability Certifications and Recycled Content Traceability Certification for plastic packaging.

Read the press declaration

Bioplastics continue to become mainstream as the global bioplastics market is set to grow by 36 percent over the next 5 years

Source: European Bioplastics

Berlin, 2 December 2020 – The results of the European Bioplastics’ (EUBP) annual market data update, presented today at the 15th EUBP Conference, confirm the continued dynamic growth of the global bioplastics industry. “Our industry has successfully weathered the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. And the outlook for bioplastics is also promising as the global market is predicted to grow by 36 percent over the next 5 years”, says François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics.

The global bioplastics production capacity is set to increase from around 2.1 million tonnes in 2020 to 2.8 million tonnes in 2025. Innovative biopolymers, such as bio-based PP (polypropylene) and especially PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) continue to drive this growth. Since PHAs entered the market, the share of this important polymer family continued to grow. Production capacities are set to increase successfully almost sevenfold in the next 5 years. The production of polylactic acid (PLA) will also continue to grow due to new investments in PLA production sites in China, the US, and in Europe. Currently, biodegradable plastics account for almost 60 percent of the global bioplastics production capacities. PHA and PLA are bio-based, biodegradable, and feature a wide array of physical and mechanical properties.

Production capacities of bio-based PP are set to more than triple by 2025. This is due to the widespread application of PP in a wide range of sectors. PP is a very versatile material that features excellent barrier properties and is one of the most widespread commodity plastics. A bio-based version of this olefine has been awaited for many years. Bio-based, non-biodegradable plastics, including the drop-in solutions bio-based PE and bio-based PET (polyethylene terephthalate), as well as bio-based PA (polyamides), currently make up for 40 percent (0.8 million tonnes) of the global bioplastics production capacities. For bio-based PE new capacities are planned to come on-line in Europe and South America over the coming years. In contrast, bio-based PET will contribute only a small share to the overall capacities. Intentions to increase production capacities have not been realised at nearly the rate predicted in previous years. Instead, the focus has shifted to the development of PEF (polyethylene furanoate), a new polymer that is expected to enter the market in 2023. PEF is comparable to PET but is fully bio-based and furthermore features superior barrier properties, making it an ideal material for beverage bottles.

Packaging remains the largest field of application for bioplastics with almost 47 percent (0.99 million tonnes) of the total bioplastics market in 2020. The data also confirms that bioplastics materials are already being used in many other sectors, and the portfolio of application continues to diversify. Segments, such as consumer goods or agriculture and horticulture products, continue to increase their relative share.

With a view to regional capacity development, Asia remains a major production hub with over 46 percent of bioplastics currently being produced there. Presently, one fourth of the production capacity is located in Europe. This share is predicted to grow to up to 28 percent by 2025. “Recently, significant investments have been announced by our industry, also in the heart of the European Union. Europe is set to become a key producer of bioplastics. The material will play an important role in achieving a circular economy. The ‘local for local’ production will accelerate the adoption of bioplastics in the European market”, says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics.

The land used to grow the renewable feedstock for the production of bioplastics is estimated to be 0.7 million hectares in 2020 and continues to account for 0.015 percent of the global agricultural area of 4.7 billion hectares. Despite the market growth predicted in the next five years, the land use share for bioplastics will only slightly increase to 0.02 percent. „We do not weary of emphasising that there is no competition between renewable feedstock for food and feed, and the use for bioplastics” says von Pogrell, “94 percent of all arable land is used for pasture, feed and food.”

The market data update 2020 has been compiled in cooperation with the nova-Institute (Hürth, Germany). The data for the global production capacities of bioplastics is based on the market study “Bio-based Building Blocks and Polymers” by nova-Institute (2020). For more information on the study and full market data report, please go to www.bio-based.eu/markets

 

Click here to read the European Bioplastics Press Release

The manufacturing upgrades increase NatureWorks’s responsiveness to rapidly evolving market dynamics and high demand for Ingeo™️ (PLA) biomaterials.

MINNETONKA, Minn., September 22, 2020 – NatureWorks, the world’s leading manufacturer of low-carbon PLA biomaterials, today announced a slate of manufacturing technology projects, including lactide monomer purification efficiency, that will increase the availability of the full Ingeo™️ (PLA) biomaterials portfolio by 10 percent. Installation is currently underway at NatureWorks’s facility in Blair, Nebraska, the world’s first and largest commercial-scale PLA manufacturing plant. The projects will be completed by the end of 2021.

The expanded availability will support growth in markets that demand sustainable, low-carbon materials and require the high-performance attributes that Ingeo is uniquely suited to deliver. These markets include 3D printing and nonwoven hygiene masks as well as compostable coffee capsules, teabags, and coated-paper food serviceware.

“The market continues to rapidly evolve due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the undiminished demand for sustainable, bio-based alternatives to petrochemical-based plastics,” said Rich Altice, President & CEO of NatureWorks. “For NatureWorks to satisfy this unprecedented demand, this purification technology is one of many additional capital improvements we are actively working on at our facility in Blair. At the same time, we continue to pursue a potential future second manufacturing site outside the U.S. to serve our growing international markets.”

Ingeo polylactic acid is made in a multi-step process that begins with using annually renewable plants to turn greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into long-chain sugar molecules. Dextrose derived from the plant sugar molecules, is fermented into lactic acid that then undergoes a proprietary two-step process to transform it into lactide, the monomer for Ingeo polylactic acid polymer.

Commitment to Sustainable Agriculture

The additional annually renewable feedstock sourced to supply the new manufacturing projects will become certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification System (ISCC) to the ISCC PLUS standard of best practices in agricultural production by 2025.

As part of NatureWorks’s participation in the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and commitment to sustainable agriculture, they announced a new initiative in 2019 to ensure that by 2020 100 percent of the agricultural feedstock used for Ingeo made at their Blair, Nebraska production site will be certified as environmentally and socially sustainable by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification System (ISCC). By 2025, NatureWorks also committed that 100 percent of new feedstocks for additional manufacturing capacity will be certified as sustainably and responsibly managed via an independent third-party administered program.

NatureWorks was the first biopolymer manufacturer to become certified to the new ISCC PLUS standard in 2012, and currently has more than 60 percent of its agricultural feedstock certified.

For more information about NatureWorks and Ingeo, visit www.natureworksllc.com. Follow NatureWorks on Twitter (@natureworks) for the latest updates.

About NatureWorks

NatureWorks is an advanced materials company offering a broad portfolio of renewably sourced polymers and chemicals. With performance and economics that compete with oil-based materials, naturally advanced Ingeo™ biomaterials are valued for their unique functional properties and used in products from coffee capsules and appliances to tea bags and 3D printing filament. NatureWorks is jointly owned by Thailand’s largest ASEAN leading integrated petrochemical and refining company, PTT Global Chemical, and Cargill, which provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. For more information visit natureworksllc.com or follow NatureWorks on Twitter at @natureworks.