Ingeo News: March 2022

NatureWorks and IMA accelerate on testing phase of the compostable coffee pod

NatureWorks and IMA Coffee’s joint strategic partnership, first announced last April 27th, 2021, is accelerating on the first significant trial phase on K-Cup compatible compostable coffee pods.

Compatibility testing on capsules, filters, and top lid films are being performed at IMA Coffee Lab with the precise aim to identify and achieve optimum material sealing parameters and limits as well as a suitable set up of IMA packaging machineries to handle the pods successfully.

Tests are carried out under the supervision of IMA Coffee R&D team and in close and constant co-operation with NatureWorks specialists: dedicated tools are used to simulate filter and top lid films sealing phases and adjust parameters according to testing results.

The sophisticated microleakage detection testing performed at IMA Coffee Lab has given more than encouraging and optimistic results allowing a significant step forward in the process that will proceed thoroughly towards the following coffee extraction testing phase.

“With the promising results we’ve seen so far, we have already begun the next phase of development by partnering with converters in North America to bring these new compostable pod designs to commercial scale making them available to brands and roasters seeking to meet consumer demands for more sustainable packaging and to circular economy directives that specify compostable packaging as a key enabler of recovering food waste for compost,” said Flavio Di Marcotullio, Global Industry Manager, Single Serve Beverages, for NatureWorks. Read the press release.

Next Phase of Construction Underway for NatureWorks NBC Plant

NatureWorks CEO and President, Rich Altice, and the Executive Team recently visited the new site for the NBC Ingeo biopolymer manufacturing plant in Thailand. The ground has been cleared and prepped for the next phase of construction. Stay tuned to NatureWorks social channels for more updates as the company continues to grow.

The new JRC’s “Plastics LCA Method” already needs an update

NatureWorks Senior Sustainability Manager, Erwin Vink, and Constance Issbrücker, Head of Environmental Affairs at European Bioplastics, collaborated on a piece in the latest Bioplastics Magazine. 

The article highlights how plastics are essential to modern life, but there is choice as to whether we continue to obtain carbon for plastics from non-renewable underground oil and gas deposits, or obtaining carbon more sustainably from the atmosphere. The recent study published by the Joint Research Commission (JRC) is, unfortunately, a faulty comparative Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) between fossil and biobased products where the pivotal role of bioplastics in building a renewable carbon-based economy is not considered.

For more of Vink’s expertise on this issue, read a recent interview we conducted with him here.

Read the article, Page 42.

Combining Wood and Ingeo 3D Printed Hexagons for Office Art

At the new NatureWorks Headquarters and Research and Development Center in Plymouth, MN, a special piece of lobby wall art is being made. Thanks to partners at BigRep, who 3D printed the 3D700 Ingeo-based hexagons, and to Interscapes, who provided the custom wood hexagons and assembled the piece, NatureWorks will have a pretty impressive looking lobby.

The idea behind the art is in the hexagonal shapes depicting lactide and the combination of natural materials used. Nature shows her skill in additive manufacturing turning carbon dioxide into layer upon layer within growing trees. The 3D printed hexagons are also made layer by layer using Ingeo, a material that also starts with carbon dioxide.

Updates coming soon from the finish of the artwork as well as other 3D printed additions to the new NatureWorks office.



Focus on Bioplastics

NatureWorks’ Global Public Affairs Director, Mariagiovanna Vetere, joined the NMA Lunchtime Seminar: Focus on Bioplastics by Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining. Vetere discussed the role bioploymers play in the circular economy. Read more.

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