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 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

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.

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.

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

The Cardia BioPlastics team would like to welcome Deanna Crawshaw. Deanna joins the Cardia team as National Sales Manager responsible for Council and Retail business. She will play an instrumental role in supporting the next stage of growth for the Cardia Bioplastics business as Cardia seeks to accelerate plans to launch new brands in Australia and International markets.

Deanna comes to Cardia with many years’ experience in developing retail sales within the FMCG and consumer goods industry. Her knowledge extends to marketing and manufacturing, and she has worked across many products from cookware to organic skincare. With a degree in chemistry and a core competency in building strong working relationships, she is well positioned to become an important contributor to progressing the cause for Bioplastics.

Deanna is passionate about the global movement towards Bioplastics and the opportunity that working with Cardia provides to contribute towards this. Key to her role will be working with Councils to support the introduction of compostable bags as they adopt food diversion programs, diverting food waste from general waste to organic waste processors. Also, key will be working with Retailers to give consumers increased access to compostable products as they seek more sustainable alternatives to conventional PE-based products.

Deanna looks forward to working with the ABA and its members and AORA to progress the case for Compostable Product use and associated waste treatment infrastructure in the place of conventional plastics.

Cardia is excited to welcome Deanna to the team and looks forward to her contribution to this pivotal next phase of Bio Plastics growth.

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

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