October 13 2010, organic yogurt producer
Stonyfield Farm introduced the first form/fill/seal
multipack yogurt container made from the
bioplastic polylactic acid. While always
an innovator, as well as an ardent supporter
of the environment, Stonyfield did not leap
into the new technology. Instead it comprehensively
studied the use of PLA to ensure that it
met with the company’s core beliefs.
see the Video
Plastics – A product overview
and market projection of what lies
study, jointly sponsored by European Bioplastics
the European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence
(EPNOE) deftly summarises the current state
of the market for bio-based plastics and
provides interested readers with a glimpse
into the likely future of some of the more
promising new materials. This study is more
widely known as Pro-bip 2009 and was produced
by the University of Utrecht by by some
of the lead thinkers in this area.
Read more .....
Free? Paper and the Lacey Act , Tracing
fibres in paper and board
detect potentially illegal wood in paper.
Here are some tips to manage risk.
The amended U.S. Lacey Act has already impacted
the wood industry, from the investigation
Guitars to a recently-reported seizure
of Peruvian hardwood. Both of these
cases involved solid wood products. But
what about paper? ...and more importantly
what to do about it!
Smithers Group Acquires Pira International
(2 December 2010)
Smithers Group announced today the acquisition
of Pira International. Pira is a leading
provider of independent, knowledge-based
information and testing services to clients
in the packaging, paper and print industry
and their supply chains.
Headquartered in Leatherhead, UK, Pira International
was founded in 1930 and most recently was
owned by BASF. Pira employs approximately
120 people at five facilities in the UK
and the US.
“Pira represents a tremendous strategic
fit for Smithers”, commented Michael
Hochschwender, President and CEO of The
Smithers Group. “We have long respected
the Pira organization and we are excited
about what this acquisition means for our
clients in terms of the expanded service
offerings they will see from both Smithers
and Pira.” Mr. Hochschwender added.
Ethics of Biofuels
the world-wide race to develop energy sources
that are seen as "green" because
they are renewable and less greenhouse gas-intensive,
sometimes the most basic questions remain
In a paper released December 14 by the School
of Public Policy at the University of Calgary,
authors Michal Moore, Senior Fellow, and
Sarah M. Jordaan at Harvard University in
the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences,
look at the basic question of whether these
energy sources are ethical.
In addition to arguing that the greenhouse
gas benefits of biofuel are overstated by
many policymakers, the authors argue that
there are four questions that need to be
considered before encouraging and supporting
the production of more biofuel. These questions
1. What is the effect of biofuel production
on food costs, especially for poor populations?
2. Should more land be used for biofuel
when the return of energy per acre is low?
Are there better uses for that land?
3. In addition to worrying about the impact
of global warming, should we not consider
the impact on land of massively expanding
4. What are the other economic impacts of
large scale production of biofuel?
and bio-derived PE to drive bioplastic
packaging to 2020 – A market
bioplastic packaging demand is forecast
to reach 884,000 tonnes by 2020. A 24.9%
CAGR is expected from 2010-15 slowing to
18.3% in the five years to 2020. According
to a major new study by Pira
International, a new breed of bioplastics
will be major drivers as packaging market
demand gradually shifts from biodegradable
and compostable polymers towards biopackaging
based on renewable and sustainable materials.
- Production of bio-based PVC by Solvay
Indupa while Dow plans ethanol-based
Indupa plans to make polyvinyl chloride
(PVC) using ethanol as a raw material, while
Dow plans to build an ethanol-based PE plant
with a capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year.
“We continue to be enthusiastic about
the benefits of a cane-to-polyethylene project
for Dow’s growth in Brazil, as well
as providing a renewable plastic offering
and self-sufficient bio-energy source,”
a Dow spokesperson says.
Meanwhile, Solvay plans to produce green
PVC at a 120,000 tonne/year plant in Sao
Paulo. The start-up of the unit, which was
originally planned for 2011, has been delayed,
but a Solvay spokesperson says the company
remains committed to the project.
plasticizers – Video
are looking for sustainable plasticizers
that exhibit the same performance and feel
of traditional plasticizers, yet reduce
the carbon footprint of their products.
DOW ECOLIBRIUM™ Bio-Based Plasticizers
is a family of products based on renewable
content and lead- and phthalate-free. That
means greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced
by as much as 40 percent compared with existing
PVC compounds. Yet the plasticizers meet
all regulatory requirements for flame resistance
and exhibit the same performance and feel
of traditional plasticizers.
largest bio-based succinic acid plant
Technologies LLC announced that it will
soon begin building a new 392,000 square-foot
plant at the Port of Lake Providence (US)
that will be the world’s largest bio-based
succinic acid plant.
The world’s largest bio-based succinic
acid refinery was awarded funding in January
2010 from the DOE (US Dep. Of Energy).
Once operational in 2012, the project will
use sorghum and carbon dioxide to produce
up to 30 million pounds per year of succinic
acid. Succinic acid is traditionally produced
from petroleum-based feedstocks and used
in a wide variety of applications, including
the production of polymers, fibers, surfactants,
detergents and flavors.