Ingeo News: Volume 14, Issue 2

June 2019

Composting Ingeo: How Does it Work?

Compost piles
From coffee capsules to nacho trays, Ingeo-based packaging and serviceware contaminated with food waste can be diverted from landfills into industrial composting or organics recycling. For the right products in the right localities, it's an innovative way to take a step in the right direction.

Some end products made with 100% Ingeo, depending on the application, will compost in municipal/industrial facilities according to ISO, ASTM, and EN regulations, and Ingeo resin is certified appropriately. All final products made from Ingeo must undergo their own compostability testing. The number of industrial composting facilities is currently limited and may not be available near you. However, the development of such facilities is growing internationally.

Composting: It's a 2-Step Process

Steps to Compost graphic updated small

Ingeo biopolymer is made primarily of polylactic acid (PLA), a repeating chain of lactic acid, which undergoes a 2-step degradation process. 

1. DISINTEGRATION: The moisture and heat in the compost pile split the polymer chains apart, creating smaller polymers, and finally, lactic acid. 

2. BIODEGRADATION: Microorganisms in compost and soil consume the smaller polymer fragments and lactic acid as nutrients. Since lactic acid is widely found in nature, a large number of organisms metabolize lactic acid. 

The end result of composting is carbon dioxide, water and humus, a soil nutrient. This degradation process is temperature and humidity dependent.

Looking for a composter in the US? Please visit

Fridge picture

Reducing Refrigerator Energy Consumption

Bioplastic Refrigerator Liners Can Lower Appliance Energy Consumption by 7-13 Percent Annually
By Osei A. Owusu Ph.D., NatureWorks

Replacing high impact polystyrene (HIPS) refrigerator liners with liners made of polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer can lower the energy consumption of a refrigerator-freezer by 7 to 13 percent annually over the 15-year projected life of the appliance. This energy savings information comes from peer reviewed research published in the February 2019 issue of Applied Energy Journal. A 13 percent annual savings over the life of a refrigerator-freezer would cover the lighting cost of an average-sized home for a year. If all new refrigerators sold in the U.S. in 2018 – roughly 10 million units – had PLA liners, the energy savings would be equivalent to three years energy generation at an average sized powerplant. See the full article.

3D Printing with ingeo 3d870 & 3D450

We printed an impeller on our new Ultimaker using Ingeo 3D870 PLA filament and the new Ingeo 3D450 break-away support. Learn more at



World's first 3d printed bar

Our partner, FLO SpA, makers of the Ingeo-based GEA compostable coffee capsule, are re-using their trim scrap from the GEA capsule production process as a raw material for 3D printing. Designed by Caracol Studio, this bar is 3D printed from that Ingeo-based material and shows how Flo is creating circular material flows for all parts of its GEA capsule from compostability to recycling. The bar was on display during Milan Design Week.

advancing radiation oncology with 3d printing

Adaptiiv Medical Technologies Inc. offers an advanced 3D printing software solution for use in photon, electron, and surface brachytherapy radiation treatments.

As the world's first FDA 510(k) cleared 3D printing software solution intended for use in radiation oncology, Adaptiiv has verified and validated filament made with Ingeo PLA for use with its solution. The pictured printed bolus was printed with Ingeo 3D870 by 3D-Fuel for Adaptiiv.


AMUT Adds natureworks to its group of collaborators

AMUT-COMI tested Ingeo PLA with positive results on its thermoforming machines using rolls provided by Coexpan, the Grupo Lantero division specialized in rigid plastic foils and thermoformed products.

Ingeo PLA is a thermoplastic material that shows high transparency, glossy and tear strength comparable with other thermoplastic materials such as PS or PP. Easy to shape with multiple end-of-life options, the foils made with PLA are well-suited to products that require higher protection levels. Read more...

sam, natureworks, and the challenge of sustainability

We're proud to be partnering with SAM, a global leader in the design and manufacture of a complete range of machinery for printing and converting industries, to study extrusion coating equipment for optimal processing conditions when using Ingeo for extrusion coatings.


biopak teams up with qantas to launch world's first zero-waste flight

Australia's leading eco-friendly packaging company, BioPak, has soared to new heights by launching the world's first ever zero-waste flight with Australian airline, Qantas Group. 

"This is the most ambitious waste reduction target of any major airline globally, and we are truly excited to be at the forefront in providing state-of-the-art, eco-friendly products that solve the impending issue of single-use plastics" -BioPak CEO Gary Smith. Read the press release.

compost manufacturing alliance officially approves vegware for quality compost

Congratulations to our partners, Vegware, who have recently received a new compostability certification. Almost 100 Vegware products are now "Composter Approved" by the Compost Manufacturing Alliance. This provides official recognition and acceptance of the Vegware products as compostable by both CMA-I facilities and Cedar Grove's covered processing system. Read more...


unilever italy changes the world of ice cream by launching a new compostbale tray

Fellow New Plastics Economy Global Commitment partner, Unilever, launches compostable tray keeping in efforts to make all packaging of Unilever products reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. Read the article.



chinaplas 2019

NatureWorks' Steve Davies presented, "Designing High Performance Biomaterials for the Circular Economy" at the Plastics Recycling & Circular Economy Conference May 20th.

Eric Tu presented two Tech Talks during Chinaplas - "Naturally Advanced 3D Printing Performance Solutions" and "Tailoring the Property Profile of Bioplastics for High Performance Applications Through the Use of Proper Formulations, Process Conditions, and Equipment" in the Bioplastics session.

Rapid + TCT

NatureWorks attended Rapid + TCT widely considered one of the most influential additive manufactuing events of the year. We showed off some of the latest Ingeo PLA printing projects such as a 3D printed bolus for Adaptiiv printed by 3D-Fuel, investment castings printed by Titan Robotics, and two manifolds printed with Ingeo 3D870 and the new 3D450 break-away support. Read more...
Pictured: NatureWorks' Salvador Ortega and Dan Sawyer


California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA)
August 11-14 | Rancho Mirage, CA
Each year, the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) organizes one of the most comprehensive and informative conferences dedicated to recycling and sustainable materials management in California and beyond. CRRA is well known for its training and educational offerings since the early 1970s. NatureWorks will be sponsoring this event.

AMI Single-Serve Capsules
September 24-25 | Berlin, Germany
From a niche market, single-serve beverage capsules have grown to be one of the most important sub-applications of the ambient thin wall packaging segment in the past 5 years. This dynamic market segment has a complex value chain. There are a number of coffee brewing systems available with proprietary capsule designs. With a number of brands pioneering the emergence of the segment and achieving the highest machine installment rates globally.
NatureWorks will be attending and exhibiting at this event.

AMI Polymers in 3D Printing
September 24-25 | Cleveland, OH
The event will examine incumbent materials, including ABS, PLA and PETG, together with new high-performance polymers and compounds with added functionality. These are helping to improve productivity, boost performance, add value, meet sustainability requirements and open up new markets. Speakers will also analyze the rapidly evolving materials demands of the 3D printing industry and identify new market opportunities.

Don't miss NatureWorks' Matt Tjosaas presenting, "Innovations in biobased adhesives for additive manufacturing" at this event.

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