North America: Issue 5


Grant Braasch Headshot

The NatureWorks team exhibiting at the Airports Going Green Conference in Amsterdam last month, quickly realized as many conference attendees came by the booth and expressed surprise at the number of readily available compostable food serviceware products, that these airport professionals simply did not know about our industry. This collective insight drives home the point that for every municipality, sports stadium, music and arts festival, and airport enthusiastically using compostable food serviceware, there are perhaps hundreds that may not know about the depth of products in this industry and their widespread use. We are so close to the serviceware, we think that everyone knows about it. That is simply not the case.

Airports Going Green Logo

In this issue, we bring you information about serviceware developments, including a new breakout technology platform from Natur-Tec that produces cutlery with equal to or higher performance than polypropylene and polystyrene, a colorful new line of serviceware, and a hot cup lid that features an open and close tab. The newsletter also features news from organizations making productive use of compostable items. Perhaps all this information will raise your own awareness and generate ideas for future sales.

Grant Braasch Signature

New Products

New Technology Platform for Performance Compostable Serviceware

Natur-Tec, a business unit of Northern Technologies International Corporation (Nasdaq: NTIC), recently introduced a new jointly developed technology platform that lowers the cost of compostable serviceware while increasing its performance. The new technology platform – formulations based on low carbon footprint Ingeo biopolymer – produces heat resistant serviceware with rigidity approaching that of injection molded polystyrene and higher toughness than either polypropylene (PP) or polystyrene (PS) cutlery.

Natur-Tec Spoon Comparison White

Compostable cutlery made with the new formulation was benchmarked against standard PS and PP cutlery sold in the market using practical tests designed to mimic the actual conditions of cutlery in use. These tests compared three parameters: rigidity, toughness (the amount of energy required to make the implements break), and heat resistance. Test results indicated:

  • PS cutlery is typically stiff but too brittle, while PP cutlery is typically strong yet too flexible. In contrast, the new Natur-Tec formulation is both stiff and strong.
  • The new formulation has higher toughness (requiring more energy to break) than both PS and PP.
  • In heat resistance testing, the force required to deform the new Ingeo-based formulation cutlery at 190°F (90°C) is more than PP but less than PS. At a maximum compression load of 200 grams (~ 1/2 lb.), however, the new formulation exceeds the toughness requirements for most, if not all, serviceware applications.
  • Substantial deformation on handle and bowl of the PS spoon compared to the pristine shape of the Ingeo-based spoon after both were compressed in hot water.

Stylish, Sophisticated and Sustainable: Eco-Products Unveils Colorful New Line of Compostable Partyware

Eco Products Colors - Yellow

Eco-Products new line of compostable plates, bowls, cups, and utensils, Eco-Products Colors, is made for the host who wants to make a colorful statement – for their party and for the environment. Available in a wide array of designs made to stand out, the hot cups and cutlery are made with Ingeo biopolymer, and certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI).

Hot Cup Lids With Lock-Back Perforated Tabs

BP Counsulting Hot Cup Lids

BP Consulting, Tokyo, has developed the world's first Ingeo-based crystalized hot cup lids with lock-back perforated tabs. These tabs reduce spills and can be opened for drinking and closed during transport. Increased flexibility provides tabs that can be opened and closed multiple times without breaking. LEARN MORE.

Conference Wrap-Ups

Zero Waste in Sports Expands To Sports Environment Alliance (SEA) #seasummit 2016

NatureWorks has been a staunch supporter of the North America based Green Sports Alliance since its 2011 inception, and in a unique partnership relationship since 2015 to help advance the sports industry's zero waste initiatives.

Sports Environment Alliance Logo

On November 8, we took that same approach “Down Under,” supporting the Sports Environmental Alliance kick off its inaugural #SEASUMMIT at the storied Melbourne Cricket Grounds. NatureWorks' Steve Davies joined a panel of “SEAchangers” to discuss zero waste opportunities for Australian teams and arenas, illustrating a variety of zero waste sports success stories and the business case for change to a diverse audience that included Cricket Wellington, Hockey Australia, AFL Australia, Tennis Australia, and Sports and Recreation Victoria.

MN Twins Cups

This summer, Jase Miller of the Minnesota Twins shared with Green Sports Alliance Summit attendees how Ingeo compostable serviceware is reducing ballpark waste. READ MORE.

Read more specific details about the rest of the program and register at I hope you will consider attending. Please let me know if you plan to attend as I’d like to make sure we can meetup. Also, please let me know if you have any other questions about the show.
ITR Who Attends
ITR Brochure Image

For those that missed the 2016 biennial global conference, check out the highlights video and hear from conference participants as they share what Innovation Takes Root meant to them, what they learned, how they connected and how they were inspired.

Other Industry News

3M Supplier of the Year

3M Supplier of the Year Awards

NatureWorks was the only company honored in 2016 with two supplier awards from 3M in recognition of the company's contribution to improving 3M's competitiveness and helping to drive sustainability.

The Polymer Supplier of the Year and Sustainability Supplier of the Year awards were given for NatureWorks' work in supporting one of 3M's latest customer solutions. With $30 billion in annual sales, 3M employs 88,000 people worldwide and produces more than 55,000 products. 3M has operations in more than 65 countries.

Food serviceware Divider


As with ITR, I’d like to know if you’re planning to attend any of the events where NatureWorks will be so we can be sure to get together. Also, let me know if there are other shows or conferences that you attend and have found to be particularly valuable.

BioCycle West Coast 16, San Diego, CA April 4 – 7
NRA Show 2016, Chicago, IL May 21 – 24


There may be questions that come from your customers that you don't always know how to answer. I'm here to be a resource for those situations. If you have a question you're asked often and aren't sure how to respond, let me know and we'll try to help out.