We should always welcome sustainable ways of living, whether this is through recycling, upcycling, installing renewable energy resources and purchasing bio-based alternatives. But have you ever thought about the recycling containers that you empty paper waste in to? Almost every recycling container is made from non-renewable plastic. Two influential bioplastic companies recognise this opportunity to improve our environmental impact so that the entire recycling process can be sustainable. Solegear and Braskem have entered a three year partnership to develop a bio-based recycling container. Solegear will use Braskem’s I’m green polyethylene to produce and distribute a series of household recycling containers under its good natured brand. The first of the products resulting from this partnership will be on display at the end of this week at the Natural Products Expo in California.
Braskem ( @ ) developed its I’m green material from Brazilian sugarcane – a renewable and sustainable resource to be a drop-in biopolymer substitute to conventional polyethylene. Cultivation of sugarcane utilises carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, which gives the material a negative carbon footprint. Braskem’s analysis has confirmed the environmental impact of using one ton of green PE is the equivalent of capturing 2.78 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere from a cradle to gate perspective.
Furthermore, Solegear’s ( @ ) good natured product line currently includes five different products: self-stacker trays, vertical file holders, clip dispensers, pencil holders and stackable desk trays which are available in four different colours. These sustainable lifestyle products are all made with Solegear’s 85% plant-based bioplastic materials, independently verified by the USDA BioPreferred program. That means the materials used to build them are annually renewable, not petrochemicals, and don’t contain any BPAs or phthalates. The products were approved for a full-scale production and commercial orders and distribution started in December 2015.
This partnership is the latest in Solegear’s strategy of building momentum to drive adoption of bioplastics in the marketplace through partnerships. Their CEO Paul Antoniadis said, “It illustrates our team’s commitment to seek out the best bio-based ingredients for each application and then create finished bioplastic products and packaging that are being demanded by today’s environmentally conscious consumers.”
Tests confirm that Solegear’s bioplastic could not only be dropped into the existing moulds, but were also produced with very similar cycle times and no increased manufacturing costs. As the required processing temperatures were lower for plant-based materials, an added benefit of reduced energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions in manufacturing could also be realised.
“This partnership has strategic value for Braskem. It will provide us access to new markets and strengthen the company’s growth in North America,” said Gustavo Sergi, responsible for Braskem’s Renewable Chemicals team.
At this year's Bio-Based Live Europe conference, Braskem's Yuki Hamilton Onda Kabe, Life Cycle Analysis Expert will be a guest speaker, see the agenda for more information.
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