Cargill Acquires Full Ownership of NatureWorks from Teijin
Cargill and Teijin Limited announced on July 1 that Cargill will assume ownership of NatureWorks, LLC, as part of Teijin's general portfolio restructuring in response to the global economic downturn. The previously fifty-fifty NatureWorks joint venture is now an independent company wholly owned by Cargill.
"The ownership transfer will have no impact on NatureWorks customers," said NatureWorks CEO Marc Verbruggen. Read more.
Foodservice Organizations Embrace Green Initiatives
Nine organizations, including NatureWorks, showcased their Ingeo foodservice hot and cold cups and lids, plates, trays, utensils, clamshell packaging, and more at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) annual show and convention held at Chicago’s McCormick Place May 16-19. Those companies included: Asean Corporation, BioSelect, Eco-Products, Fabri-kal, GreenGood, Pactiv, President’s Packaging Industrial Corp., and Sabert.
NatureWorks introduced during the show its new 90 page Ingeo Bioplastic Foodservice Supplier Guide. This new guide for restaurants, fast food locations, and cafeterias provides detailed information and a comprehensive portfolio of the hundreds of Ingeo-based products offered by 28 domestic and international suppliers. The Foodservice Supplier Guide and other directories can be found on the Where to Buy page of the NatureWorks website.
Many New Products Launch for the Foodservice Industry
The Coca-Cola Company and International Paper introduced a new cold cup – the Ecotainer® commercially compostable paper cup. The Ecotainer cold cup is made from 100 percent renewable materials, including trees certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and is coated both inside & out with an Ingeo moisture barrier coating. The Ecotainer cold cup has been in limited release this past fall and winter. Coca-Cola is now in the process of planning for a national roll out. The cups will be made available with both stock print and custom printing options. International Paper also announced at NRA 2009 it has sold one billion of its Ecotainer line of hot cups, which also feature the Ingeo natural plastic moisture barrier. Read the press release.
Cereplast announced that it will supply its Compostables® resin, which contains Ingeo natural plastic, to Georgia-Pacific Professional Food Services Solutions. The resin will be used in the manufacture of Georgia-Pacific’s recently introduced line of Dixie EcoSmart products. The EcoSmart products include resin-lined paper hot cups made with at least 95 percent renewable resources. All Dixie EcoSmart products can be processed in commercial composting operations. “The Georgia-Pacific award is the largest contract in the history of Cereplast and represents our most important commercial achievement to date,” said Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast. Read more.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has become the first global carrier to switch from using conventional oil-based polystyrene coffee and tea cups to paper ones made with an Ingeo coating. Initially introduced at the beginning of November 2008, these cups are now being used across the whole KLM fleet. Read more.
Pactiv Corporation showcased at NRA 2009 a new line of Ingeo clear cups and lids marketed under the EarthChoice brand. These sturdy cups and lids are available in four sizes and can accommodate all cold beverage or cold menu applications.
InnoWare Plastics displayed at NRA 2009 its ECO OctaView deep hinged tray and lids as well as its ECO Expressions bases and lids – both product lines are 100 percent Ingeo natural plastic. The company says the new lines complement nutritious foods and are ideal for caterers, deli cases, and to-go services. Read more.
At NRA 2009, Lindar showed its new Ingeo-based one-piece package for single cupcakes and muffins. The new packaging offers enhanced display and protection characteristics, multiple label locations, and consumer convenience features. Read more.
The National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) 2009 Conference
NatureWorks showcased Ingeo-based serviceware at the NACUFS conference on July 7-11 in Milwaukee. NatureWorks displayed at the Cargill booth. Doug Kunnemann, director of food serviceware market development for NatureWorks, was on the Understanding Eco-Friendly Packaging panel held on Friday, July 10, from 2-3 p.m. Also on the panel was Malcolm Simmonds, senior vice president, Foodservice Sales and Marketing, Solo Cup, and Jeff Swiger, director of strategic accounts, Dispoz-o Products. Nancy Lane, education account development manager, Hubert Company, served as moderator.
Test Results Prove Ingeo Bottles Can Be Commercially Recycled
A first-of-its-kind series of field tests demonstrated that in commercial quantities Ingeo water bottles made from plants, not oil, can safely enter the recycling stream and pose no appreciable contamination threat to recycling PET flake into rPET thermoforming sheets.
The field tests, held earlier this year at a leading rPET sheet extrusion facility, were conducted under actual operating conditions. The tests were jointly sponsored by the Primo Water Corporation and NatureWorks LLC, the developer of Ingeo natural plastic resin.
“Recyclers and industry groups have expressed to us their concerns about polylactic acid (PLA) bottles entering the recycling stream,” said Steve Davies, director of communications and public affairs for NatureWorks. “The field tests demonstrated conclusively that near infrared (NIR) equipment can effectively sort PLA bottles and that there was no appreciable impact on recycled PET (rPET) quality in terms of clarity and color. I urge everyone in this industry to carefully read the white paper on the field tests. The facts presented will help answer many of the questions about PLA and the PET stream.”
Three individual tests were conducted during the January-February timeframe. More than 3,000 pounds of material was used in each test and each test was conducted twice. The sorting line was run at 4,650 pounds of material per hour. Read more.
On June 30, Keystone Water Company will introduce a new line of bottled spring water in Florida called re:newel. This Ingeo packaged spring water will be made available to restaurants, hotels, zoos, universities, and sports venues, a distribution strategy designed to ensure a relatively high level of collection and recycling of Ingeo natural plastic. Read more.
Hawaiian Airlines and Dallas-based Snappy Salads restaurants have selected Primo Water to be an important part of each company’s sustainability programs. Primo is the first nationally distributed bottled water utilizing Ingeo natural plastic.
Hawaiian Airlines premium coach meals are served with recyclable and biodegradable containers and cutlery. “Primo’s innovative bottled water is the perfect complement to our new all-natural meals,” says Louis Saint-Cyr, vice president of in-flight services at Hawaiian Airlines. “We have worked hard to offer our customers healthy meals that are of the highest quality and lowest impact on the environment.” Read more.
Snappy Salads also provides biodegradable serviceware, including Ingeo salad containers, to its restaurant patrons. “When I look at my own use of plastic bottles, I realize how inconvenient it sometimes is to recycle,” said Chris Dahlander, founder of Snappy Salads restaurants. “I want to take that burden off my guests and put it squarely on my shoulders and offer a product that meets my environmental concerns.” Snappy Salads uses biodegradable materials and makes a concerted effort whenever possible to collect and forward those materials to commercial composting operations. Read more.
Japanese leading edible oil manufacturing company, The Nisshin OilliO Group Ltd. adopted Ingeo biopolymer for their newly developed “eco mate bottles”. These bottles will be used for the company’s new Nisshin Natu-made Gift Set the ECO-30, which features premium edible oils.
Compared to the polymer used for traditional PET bottles, this “eco mate bottle” uses Ingeo biopolymer and reduces CO2 emissions by almost 90% and uses 60% less fossil fuel*. Responding to the increased eco-consciousness of consumers, the company developed this new gift set with emphasis on the “natural power of plants”, which is its corporate statement. Not only are the bottles for these premium oils made from Ingeo natural plastic, but the shrink labels and bottle caps are as well.
The ECO-30 gift set will be sold at department stores, major supermarkets, and general merchandise stores. The set will also be available online from the major Japanese supermarkets.
*Industrial Biotechnology Volume 3,Number1, 2007 p58-p81 "PLA6"
SunChips Compostable Chip Bag a Model for Sustainable Packaging Development
On Earth Day, Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, took the first technological step towards a totally compostable SunChips® bag by replacing the petroleum-based film outer layer with Ingeo natural plastic film. Next year, Frito-Lay plans to have solved the remaining technical issues for a fully compostable bag that will be made entirely of Ingeo.
Potentially tens of millions of the final version of these new SunChips bags could be collected from homes, restaurants, sports arenas, and event venues as organic waste and subsequently composted at municipal and commercial facilities for use in gardens and landscaping. From manufacturing the Ingeo bioresin to reusing it as compost, Frito-Lay and its supply chain partners will contribute to an overall decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, as compared to the production and disposal of similarly sized chip bags made from petroleum products. Read more.
In Other News...
Marc Verbruggen, CEO of NatureWorks, was recently in Bangkok to assess Thailand's viability as a site for the recently announced assessment of a potential second manufacturing plant. While there, Verbruggen met with representatives of Thailand's Ministry of Science & Technology and spoke at the Bioplastics Industry Initiatives Forum. His keynote presentation discussed the global bioplastics market and Thailand's opportunities for becoming a regional bioplastics hub.
Ashland Distribution and NatureWorks LLC have developed a new strategic partnership to distribute NatureWorks’ products in North America. Ashland Distribution – a leader in the distribution of thermoplastic materials throughout North America, Europe, and China – distributes a wide range of products from commodities to engineering materials for the injection, extrusion, blow molding, and rotational molding markets. With this agreement, plastics processors of all sizes can benefit from the many advantages that Ashland offers, including local inventory and stocking programs, technical service, broad product line, and professional sales staff. Processors interested in purchasing Ingeo from Ashland Distribution should call 1-800-531-7106 or visit www.ashland.com.
Cargill’s Starches and Sweeteners Business Unit will distribute Ingeo portfolio of resins in Brazil. The business unit plans to introduce converters and brand owners to the considerable range of products and applications this natural plastic lends itself to – tableware, cosmetic packaging, food and beverage packaging, pillows, fabrics, toothbrushes, disposable diapers, and electronics. Ingeo product grades have been tailored to suit each particular application. Read the press release.
At the International Plastics Showcase (NPE 2009), June 22-26 in Chicago, a number of manufacturers featured Ingeo solutions. Educational presentations on Ingeo were given, and there were opportunities to talk with experts. Read more about NPE and Ingeo.
ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world. ASTM technical groups examine the relevance of the recycling codes found on most plastic consumer products today. The issue being considered by the working groups is how to keep the recycling codes up to date in terms of new developments for bioresins and the widely used plastic PET among others. NatureWorks Dan Sawyer chairs one of the technical groups working on this issue.
Dan writes, “Customers, converters, brand-owners, retailers and NGO's have all made it clear that it is essential to alleviate any confusion in identifying our resin as PLA. Recent news stories have brought to light safety concerns with certain resins grouped in the existing SPI code 7 that quite simply are not relevant to Ingeo biopolymer. In order to ensure complete transparency for all stakeholders, NatureWorks has been actively involved in a group at ASTM that is working to transition the resin code system from SPI to ASTM; establish new codes for commercially available, commonly used plastic resins currently lumped into the current SPI #7 code; and harmonize the system with other international resin code systems."
City of Santa Monica, Office of Sustainability & the Environment Global Recycling Council and Earth Resource Foundation presented on May 13, The Pieces of Zero Waste – Compostable Plastics: Certification, Labeling and Food Ware Composting. Brian Glasbrenner, NatureWorks business director of bottle applications, gave a presentation at the event on the facts and fiction around bioplastics. A Primo Water representative spoke about producer responsibility – before, during, and after product introduction. Read more.
The Third Bioplastics Markets conference organized by the Centre for Management Technology was held May 21-22 in Guangzhou, China. The conference brought together leading experts to discuss current issues in the bioplastics industry. Peter Clydesdale and Erwin Vink of NatureWorks LLC each gave presentations – Bioplastics Market Outlook and Responsible Marketing of Bioplastics.
Films Launches & News
SleeveCo received a Golden Cylinder award from the Gravure Association of America for the Noble 100 percent Pure Tangerine Juice sleeve label. The label, bottle, and closure are all made from Ingeo, which significantly reduces Noble’s dependence on non-renewable resources and lowers the environmental footprint of its packaging. Plastics Suppliers provided the film for the SleeveCo label.
ConAgra Foods announced it is the first company to utilize a new shrink film that contains more than 50 percent post-industrial recycled Ingeo natural plastic, reducing landfill waste, greenhouse gases, and energy consumption. The new Ingeo shrink film will be used for tamper evident seals on ConAgra’s table spreads – Fleischmann`s®, Blue Bonnet® and Parkay® – and for printed shrink labels for multi-packs of the company’s Reddi-Wip® whipped topping and PAM® cooking spray. Read the press release.
Saint Maclou and Sommer Needlepunch have developed a floor covering for balconies, terraces, playgrounds, verandas, and winter gardens that resembles a grass lawn. The fabric for the new ECO2Garden is made from 100% Ingeo fibers. The new floor covering decreases dependence on non-renewable petroleum-based plastic and offers reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumed in the making of the basic resin.
Ahlstrom, one of the world’s leading producers of nonwovens for use as beverage infusion materials, has launched an innovative, lightweight Ingeo nonwoven designed to deliver functional benefits to converters and consumers of tea bags while featuring unique environmental characteristics. The company sponsored an independent life cycle analysis comparing the Ingeo-based nonwoven fabric and oil-based polyester or polyolefin non-woven fabrics. In terms of CO2 emissions, the Ingeo nonwoven fabric was superior. The analysis also showed that the Ingeo nonwoven fabric met the European Union industrial composting standard EN13432 for biodegradability and disposability. Read more.
What others are writing about us
Bioplastics Firm Studying Thailand, China, a
nd Malaysia for Site of First Asian Plant
(The Nation) NatureWorks, the world's largest polylactide-acid producer and biopolymer-maker, under the Ingeo brand, is considering a location to set up its first plant in Asia. The choices are Thailand, China and Malaysia...
Injection Molding Biopolymers – How to Process Renewable Resins
(Plastics Technology) U.S. injection molders are still pretty green when it comes to processing the new crop of renewably sourced biopolymers. These biologically derived polymers made from PLA, PHA and starch-based resins are attracting growing market interest as materials with no ties to petrochemical-based thermoplastics...
NatureWorks ‘Optimistic’ Despite Cuts in Staffing
(European Plastics News) NatureWorks CEO Marc Verbruggen talks to Chris Smith about the company's timetable for its second PLA manufacturing location, European attitudes to genetically modified technology, and future PLA innovation...
LOOK: Plastic Made from Corn
(Good) You may have already encountered an Ingeo product while using, say, a bottle of Method dish soap or many of the plastic products available at Wal-Mart, but the innovative material will become more ubiquitous shortly as Frito-Lay has decided to use it in the packaging of SunChips bags, which will be completely compostable by Earth Day in 2010… The Consumer Scoop on SunChips’ 100 Percent Compostable Packaging(TreeHugger) Here on TreeHugger, there’s been tons of mention about Ingeo – the renewable material being used in products like high-end clothing, pens, lipstick tubes, computers and other electronics. Some companies are dabbling with the idea and others are taking it full throttle – like the snack brand, SunChips – which has teamed up with NatureWorks, a company creating Ingeo products, to create 100 percent compostable packaging by 2010...
Upcoming Shows and Conferences
World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing, July 19-22, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
FMI Sustainability Summit, August 19-19, San Francisco, CA