ITR2012: A truly successful conference!
The third biennial Innovation Takes Root (ITR) Ingeo™ user’s forum, held this year February 20-22 in Orlando, Florida, was notable for showcasing how far the application of Ingeo has come since the last ITR in 2010. Across a spectrum of 51 speakers presenting in 10 distinct sessions, presentation after presentation described adoptions of Ingeo that were based on both performance and favorable carbon footprint, indicating that Ingeo biopolymer is maturing and filling a host of new niches. Attendees were genuinely thrilled to be there and discussing these advancements.
Read more >
What our attendees said...
“ITR was by far the best most informative show I have been to in over a year. I left with all my needs addressed in respect to market information, new sales leads, in depth discussions with your technical team and much more.” – Steven Prindle, Applications Technology, FKuR
“The Ingeo product is truly revolutionary and therefore makes it easy to do well....our excitement is genuine and now rejuvenated. Your program was exceptional and Plastic Suppliers is proud to be associated with your organization.” – Rich Eichfeld, VP of Business Development, Plastic Suppliers
“After attending ITR 2010, my expectations for this edition were high. I’m happy to say this was another great conference! The talks were inspiring, the seminars were educational, the networking times were well-received and the hospitality was wonderful.” – Mike Deaner, Technical Fellow, Andersen Corporation
Tom Clynes, acclaimed journalist, photographer, and author of Wild Planet, opened the conference with his talk The Art of Audacity in which he presented intimate portraits of men and women who made a difference to the planet and to their fellow humans. Describing these as case studies in “audacity and tenacity,” Tom noted how many in the audience had displayed the same characteristics getting their new-to-world products into the market. Read more >
Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and chairman of Stonyfield Farm, told the group of more than 300 at the general session following Tom Clynes that over dependence on fossil fuels, environmental health risks, weakened ecosystems, species loss, and pollinator decline are extremely troubling trends. Hirshberg passionately laid out the rationale for improvements to health and the environment through heavier reliance on organic farming methods. Stonyfield Farm was the first company to move to bioplastic yogurt containers when it adopted an Ingeo blend in 2010. Read more >
Highlights From Conference Breakout Sessions
Emerging Markets & Technologies
This session was all about innovators that are expanding technological and market boundaries well past anything that was envisioned only a few years ago. Gary Noble, president of Bio-Plastic Solutions, explained there are market opportunities for companies introducing products that are both sustainable and an alternative to PVC into the building and architectural industries. Read more >
Expanding Bioplastic Applications in Durables
Arkema’s Plexiglas® Rnew technology has produced synergies in compounding PMMA with Ingeo that increase impact and chemical resistance that exceed conventional modified acrylics, allowing its products to compete with polymers such as PETG and PC, while delivering excellent clarity and flow. IBM worked with a major compounder to establish a clear path to qualify flame retardant Ingeo blends as potential replacements for FR PC/ABS. Polycarbonate represents 95 percent of the materials consumed by IBM. Read more >
Opportunities in Food Service and Food Packaging
“Sustainability in Sports Entertainment” showcased the journey the Portland Trail Blazers organization undertook to secure a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification for its arena (the Rose Garden), marking the first time that significant cost savings have been attributed to compostable products. Read more >
Incorporating Ingeo Fibers & Nonwovens
NatureWorks reviewed data that showed new production capabilities are expanding the Ingeo resin product portfolio. These new Ingeo resin grades provide lower shrinkage, increased dimensional stability, and opportunities for broader asset utilization in the manufacture of nonwoven fabrics. For example, the research work accomplished by the Saxon Textile Research Institute shows improvements in mechanical properties and material performance due to bi-component technology and polymer blending can be had. Read more >
Driving Economics to Sustainable Commercialization
Universal Dynamics showed how the lower temperatures required for crystallizing and drying Ingeo compared to PET can save up to $150,000 per year in electricity costs on a typical line running 450kg/hr. American Leistritz presented data on the direct compounding and extrusion of sheet stock, where a Leistritz twin screw extruder successfully dried, blended, and extruded a sheet with up to 25 percent of calcium carbonate added to Ingeo. Read more >
Advances in Bioplastic Flexible Packaging
Lindsay Beck from ConAgra Foods showcased various film applications. From tamper bands to shrink sleeves, the adoption of recycled Ingeo PLA has allowed packagers to down gauge film because of Ingeo’s higher stiffness, achieve higher yield because of the lower density, and reduce energy costs due to cooler shrink tunnel temperatures and ease of storage. Read more >
Growth of Ingeo Lactides and Lactide Derivatives
Toyobo, Far Eastern New Century Corp., and DaniMer demonstrated the versatility of lactides through the synthesis and performance of lactide copolymers. Professor John Dorgan, Colorado School of Mines, noted the synthesis and performance of copolymers grafted on substrates such as nano-cellulosics whiskers.
Read more >
Cradle-to-Cradle & Ingeo
One of the most exciting, and yet for many in the short term, frustrating, aspects of bioplastics such as Ingeo is the potential for new treatments after use, as a means of truly achieving “cradle-to-cradle” products. This was addressed in a lively discussion moderated by Brenda Platt of the Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative. The session was divided into two parts, recycling and composting. Steve Alexander, executive director of the Association of Post Consumer Plastics Recyclers (APR) described the results of a significant project just completed, a “National Bale Audit”, which characterized for the first time the extent to which Ingeo PLA’s are showing up in the MRF. Read more >
Innovation Exhibition Hall
With over 28 exhibitors, the Innovation Exhibition Hall was full of companies demonstrating their latest advances in Ingeo processing, applications & product technology. For more photos of the exhibition visit our Flickr feed.
There were over 10 media outlets represented at ITR2012. Below is the first of their coverage of the conference.
Conference Report: Bioplastics Are Breaking Out of Their 'Green' Niche
"The excitement in the air of the recent Innovation Takes Root conference was a sense of arrival...They presented a growing volume and variety of applications from disposable packaging to durable goods as confirmation that bioplastics are not a mere fad, a “green” public relations stunt, or a feel-good eco-luxury, but legitimate tools of industry." - Matthew H. Naitove, Plastics Technology
Conference Report: Innovation Takes Root 2012
"For the duration of the two-day conference, a succession of validating and thought provoking presentations were interspersed with a triple stream of expert panel discussions prompting debate on technologies, process chemistry and marketing initiatives." - Dean Bellefleur, Food & Beverage Packaging