Bioplastics – current important trend
Today a bioplastic alternative exists for almost every conventional plastic material and the corresponding application.
There are two main engines for bioplastics to come to the forefront of our interest:
- Increasing society awareness of the climate changes
- Rising prices of fossil materials
Conventional plastic products restrictions are often supported by legislation (e.g. ban of free of charge plastic shopping bags) and, together with that, many leading companies come up with their own initiatives of reducing a product’s carbon footprint to meet the requirements of their customers:
- Car manufacturers have constantly been increasing usage of recycled plastics
- Companies such as Coca-Cola, Danone, Ikea, Samsung, Procter & Gamble, Heinz and others already have some of their products and/or their packaging made of bioplastic
- LEGO started production of parts for their famous kits from bioplastics and they plan to have it all produced from bioplastics by 2030
- Supermarkets Iceland plan only non-plastic packaging for their own brands and also supermarkets Tesco would like to use only recyclable packaging
The trend towards alternative to conventional plastics is thus significantly accelerated and the demand for bioplastics and recycled plastics is considerably increasing.
What exactly is a bioplastic?What is the difference between biodegradable plastic and biobased plastic?
Bioplastic is a general designation for biodegradable plastics, plastics made from renewable sources, or both. They have the same properties as conventional plastics, but offer additional benefit of being more ecological.
Biodegradable plastic is plastic, which, under appropriate conditions due to the action of natural microorganisms, breaks down the polymeric chain into naturally occurring substances.
Biobased plastic - plastic made from renewable sources, such as corn, sugar cane, soya beans, etc.
Another important group of plastics that can positively contribute to the reduction of carbon footprint is recycled plastics.
With its comprehensive bioplastics portfolio, RESINEX is a leader in the market for environmentally sustainable products. We supply bioplastics and high quality recycled plastics for applications from the automotive industry through 3D print to blown containers or foils.
Biodegradable and biobased plastics
PLA Ingeo™ (polylactic acid) by Natureworks is made by polymerizing lactic acid obtained by fermentation of maize plant sugars. Using Ingeo™ reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75% compared to conventional plastics such as PS or PET.
The main advantages of PLA material are:
- Excellent gloss and clarity
- Easy shaping
- Printing and embossing
- High rigidity
- Great barrier properties
It is mainly used in the packaging industry, for the production of plastic cutlery, kitchen trays or 3D filaments.
BioBatch– PLA Compounds for Film Extrusion
BioBatch biodegradable PLA compounds are made from biopolymers and special additives approved according to DIN EN 13432 as well as DIN CERTCO D 6400.
They are a response to the current trend and new legislation to limit usage of disposable shopping bags from conventional plastics.
Typical applications are:
- Shopping bags
- Garden and agricultural films
- Waste bags
- Hygienic and packaging foils
I'm green ™ Polyethylene by Braskem is a biopolymer made from sugar cane ethanol. It has the same properties, great application versatility and processing as a classic polyethylene and is as recyclable as standard PE.
I'm green ™ Polyethylene portfolio includes:
I'm green ™ PE is especially suitable for the production of rigid and flexible packaging (food and beverages, detergents and cosmetics), toys and cans or plastic bags.
To identify products that have I'm green™ Polyethylene in its composition, and to help the consumers to recognize them, Braskem created the I'm green™ seal. For use of the I'm green™ seal, products must follow certain criteria established by Braskem.
PA 4.10 EcoPaXX® by DSM is made from 70% castor oil obtained from castor seeds. Its thermal and mechanical properties reach values like PA66, but it has a 30% lower absorption capacity.
Main EcoPaXX® features:
- Excellent chemical resistance
- Low water absorption - a suitable alternative to PA66 if the part is in contact with water / glycol
- High melting point up to 250°C - the highest of all biopolymers
- High crystallisation speed like PA66 and PA6 for fast and easy processing
TPC (TPE-E) Arnitel® ECO is thermoplastic copolyester made from 50% of renewable sources based on rapeseed oil.
The main advantages of Arnitel® ECO are:
- Excellent fatigue resistance
- High temperature resistance
- High impact resistance
- High wear and abrasion resistance
- Good chemical and weather resistance
PA11 Rilsan® is a unique high performance polyamide by Arkema, made from 100% of renewable source - castor oil.
- Resistance to high as well as very low temperatures
- Resistance to oils, hydraulic fluids and fuel
- Low water absorption
- Very good abrasion resistance
- Excellent toughness even at low temperature
RILSAN® CLEAR is a transparent PA with high performance properties that enables innovative design options for injection-molded parts, especially for sports and leisure activities.
TPE-A Pebax® Rnew® high performance thermoplastic elastomer is based on bioplastic Rilsan® PA11.
TPE-A Pebax® Rnew® advantages are:
- Low density
- Easy processability
- UV resistance
- Excellent elastic properties
- High heat resistance
High quality recycled plastics
The use of recycled plastics is also a response to the requirement to reduce CO2 emissions, environmental sustainability and related legislative requirements.
Many manufacturers (OEM) across different industrial segments have targets for using a certain part of recycled plastic in their products. Clear evidence is, for example, the automotive industry, where the use of recycled plastics is often conditioned not only by the financial aspect of their usage.
High quality recycled plastics RAVAGO
Ravago, an expert in plastics compounding, has developed a wide portfolio of industrial grade polymers that have strictly monitored and controlled quality. Industrial quality plastics are typically used for highly demanding, non-visual applications that require good mechanical properties and favorable price.
Ravago's technical experts are in contact with individual car makers such as VW, Škoda, Daimler, BMW, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and others. Ravago materials are thus developed to meet the exact specifications of each OEM.
An overview of RAVAGO high quality recycled polymers:
- PA6, PA66: Ravamid®
- PP Compounds: Mafill®
- PP Compounds: Ravaplen®
- PC/ABS: Mablex®
- ABS: Sicoflex®
- PC: Sicoklar®
- PE: Ravalene®
- PS: Sicostirolo®