Banning Individual Plastic Products Is Ineffective
ALPLA, the Austrian packaging solutions specialist, condemns planned EU regulations on single use plastics, arguing that banning individual products threatens the European Circular Economy Action Plan in its entirety. It suggests instead that as well as educating consumers thoroughly, sustainable collection and processing solutions to support plastic recycling, and the circular economy in turn, would be more beneficial.
According to ALPLA CEO Günther Lehner, one major critique of the proposed directive concerns the definition of single use products: “the term “single use plastics” is misleading and confuses consumers. It creates the impression that these products are avoidable, although there are concrete grounds for single use, such as hygiene or transportation requirements.”
Rather than confusing consumers, educating them would be more effective, adds Lehner. “Consumers must understand that after use, packaging does not become worthless rubbish, but valuable raw materials for industry. By disposing of products properly, everyone can contribute to the circular economy and help prevent pollution of the world’s oceans.” Legal guidelines are required to create the conditions for a functional and effective circular economy, says Lehner.
Demand for recycling materials has risen significantly. As the ALPLA CEO has frequently pointed out, over the past three years, the conversation has moved away from being purely about costs. Sustainability as a principle has become entrenched in the industry, not least due to rising consumer demand. “We see the European Commission’s Plastics Strategy published in January as a positive signal. It sets out an important framework for the industry. The expansion of recycling capability in Europe is particularly welcome. This gives recycling-friendly design a significant boost,” Lehner insists.
Technology has come a long way
ALPLA operates three recycling plants: in Austria, in Poland and a joint venture in Mexico. “We have invested a great deal in our recycling operations in recent years. Technology has come such a long way that we are now able to produce recycled PET at our Wöllersdorf site with only a tenth of the greenhouse gas emissions for new goods,’ says Lehner. He believes the recycling industry has enormous potential and can make a major contribution to achieving global CO2 targets.
“The major advantage of plastic, particularly PET, is its good recycling capability. New substances, such as biobased plastics, are opening up new sustainable prospects for the future of the industry. In all honesty, I think the planned bans put these successes and efforts at risk,” worries Lehner.
Weighing the alternatives
With regard to alternative packaging solutions, Lehner wonders “whether the alternatives are better for the environment. In my opinion, the lack of clarity means that problems are just shifted onto other raw materials instead.”
By CORRESPONDENT, NAIROBI, Kenya– Manufacturers in Kenya have teamed up to form an organization that will coordinate initiatives to collect, sort and recycle PET bottles and containers, in a move that is a significant boost to environmental conservation efforts in the country.
PET Recycling Company Ltd (PETCO Kenya), launched on the sidelines of the events to mark the 2018 World Environment Day celebrations, is the culmination of private sector engagements to introduce a sustainable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) industry value chain that will ensure that the environment remains clean while providing employment for thousands in the recycling value chain..
PETCO will focus on the sustainable management PET material after their initial use, and has already partnered with recyclers who are already coming up with new products out of disposed PET material. Each of these companies represented in PETCO Kenya will contribute an extended producer responsibility (EPR) fee that will be used to generate subsidies for recyclers in Kenya.
“Tonnes of PET are sold annually in Kenya, and used to make beverage, food and other packaging material. There is a strong case in favour of recycling since polyethylene terephthalate has fully recyclable synthetic fibres, with polymer chains can be recovered for use in the manufacture of new products,” said John Waithaka, the Chairman of PETCO Kenya during the launch.
He said, “Although recycling activities throughout the industry have been taking place on a modest level for some years, PETCO Kenya’s represents the plastic industry’s first joint effort to self-regulate and create a sustainable approach to PET management. A Board of Directors made up of representatives from all sectors, which make up the PET value chain, will oversee the organisation’s activities.”
The local plastics industry currently imports 20,000 tonnes of PET annually and is estimated to grow at a rate of 10pc each year. The industry is currently achieving a recovery and recycling target of just around 5pc of what is consumed. PETCO Kenya aims to achieve recovery and recycling rate of 25pc in 2018 and 70pc by 2030.
PETCO Kenya is based on the successful global models of voluntary extended producer responsibility, which has seen the collection and recycling of PET in the country grow significantly years, while minimising the waste stream and benefitting the environment.
For instance, through the efforts of PET Recycling Company (PETCO), which Coca-Cola helped to set up, more than two billion PET bottles were collected and recycled in South Africa in 2017. This equates to a 65pc percent – rates close to European rates and that exceed United States recycling rates by more than 20pc.
PETCO in South Africa also helped to secure investment for two world-class recycling facilities that create bottles out of recycled PET for use in the beverage industry.
These facilities create recycled PET for the beverage industry to use in the manufacturing of their bottles. This has resulted in an estimated 288,000m3 of landfill space saved and more than 1,500 new income opportunities have been created through these two investments.
Beaulieu Fibres Asia growth segment Beaulieu Fibres Asia growth segment Beaulieu Fibres Asia growth segment Beaulieu Fibres Asia growth segment Beaulieu Fibres Asia growth segment Beaulieu Fibres Asia growth segment Beaulieu Fibres Asia growth segment Beaulieu Fibres Asia growth segment
Beaulieu Fibres International, a leading European polyolefin fibre supplier, marks its Asia Nonwovens Exhibition and Conference (ANEX) debut with unique products and capabilities to support innovation at a local level within the automotive and hygiene segments.
This week, at the Tokyo Big Sight, Japan, the company demonstrates its commitment to the global market growth for automotive composites and technical textiles, as interest increases in adopting lightweight materials to reduce vehicle weight and fuel efficiency.
The company will present UltraLink bonding fibres that are said to improve the mechanical, thermal and functional properties of the final part, allowing customers to meet OEM specific standards in a more sustainable way. They are available in both MONO and BICO technology – a first for the composites industry, according to the manufacturer.
“Beaulieu Fibres International developed UltraLink fibres over the past two years to provide an answer to the automotive industry’s continuous strive for lower weight, lower emission, lower cost and better properties. They are being introduced in new global automotive programmes with SOP 2019-2021. We are delighted to introduce them to the Asian market at ANEX,” said Jefrem Jennard, Global Sales Director – Industrial Fibres.
At ANEX 2018, Beaulieu Fibres International also presents its platform of unique Meralux fibres offering improvements to the dryness of nonwoven for hygiene and medical applications. The BICO fibre has a special cross section, which enables it to provide bulk, opacity and enhanced fluid management compared to standard round fibres to nonwoven constructions. As a result, a dry feeling is achieved for the final nonwoven.
“As Asia Pacific heads towards becoming the largest regional tissue and hygiene market by the end of 2025, nonwovens producers can already take advantage of the benefits of Meralux to launch new and innovative products that will grab the attention of global and local manufacturers. Visitors to our ANEX booth can experience Meralux fibres first-hand in nonwoven samples,” commented Petra Bohle-Stricker, Global Sales Director – Hygiene Fibres.
Since Meralux was first launched in April 2017, the portfolio has expanded to include Meralux T and Meralux Soft. Beaulieu Fibres International is currently expanding its production programme with polyester-core (PET) BICO. In addition, a pilot line for new developments is under construction and are expected to come on stream in 2018.
Reintroduction of industrial hemp is in full swing
The growing hemp industry will meet in Cologne, Germany, again this year, for the International Conference of the European Industrial Hemp Association, which takes place for the 15th time, from 12-13 June.
This year, around 350 participants from 40 countries are expected to take part in the event. The conference will discuss the latest developments from all areas of the hemp industry – from seeds to the end product, and 20 exhibitors will present their latest technologies and products.
Another highlight awaiting the participants of the conference is an innovation award for the Hemp Product of the Year, presented for the first time ever. Three products – each from the areas of food, cosmetics and biocomposites – will be recognised. Participants will select the winners per category based on a short introduction of the products. The award winners will then be announced during the dinner ceremony.
The international meeting place for the hemp industry is organised by the German nova-Institut in close cooperation with the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA). The day before the conference, EIHA will host expert workshops for members, meet representatives from Canada, USA and China and hold its assembly in the evening.
In the 17th century, at the heyday of sailing, hemp flourished in Europe and was an important agriculture crop. Almost all ship sails and almost all rigging, ropes, nets, flags up to the uniforms of the sailors were made of hemp due to the tear and wet strength of the fibre. Trade and warfare depended on hemp; 50 to 100 tonnes of hemp fibre were needed for the basic equipment of a ship and had to be replaced every one to two years. Until the 18th century hemp fibres, together with flax, nettle and wool, were the raw materials for the European textiles industry.
In competition with cheaper cotton and the decline of sailing shipping in the 19th century, the area under cultivation decreased continuously. With the development of the synthetic fibres in the 20th century, hemp no longer played a role in the post-war reconstruction and many countries banned cultivation due to its proximity to the sister plant marijuana.
Reintroduction of industrial hemp
The reintroduction of industrial hemp took place in Great Britain in 1990, a few years later in the Netherlands and Germany and finally throughout Europe. But after a short hype, the area under cultivation fell again to about 8,000 ha in 2011. “But then it really started,” says EIHA. “After 26,000 ha in 2015, 33,000 ha in 2016, the area under cultivation increased to about 43,000 ha last year. The growing areas are mainly driven by demand in the food sector.”
“Further momentum came with the launch of the non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), which has mild calming and focusing effects. It is obtained from the leaves and flowers of hemp. Here, too, demand is high, but cannot be met sufficiently due to a patchwork of national regulations.”
Hemp fibres are currently used in large quantities for lightweight construction in the automotive industry, in insulating materials and for thin, tear-resistant papers (cigarettes and bible papers). The shives, the woody part of the stem, are used as building material and animal litter.
“However, it is not only in Europe that industrial hemp enjoys considerable demand,” says EIHA. “Even before Europe, a dynamic hemp food industry with steady growth developed in Canada. In 2016, 34,000 ha of hemp were cultivated in Canada and in 2017 even the new record of 56,000 ha was achieved. This year the cultivation of industrial hemp will start in the USA, where an additional 50,000 hectares are expected in the next ten years.”
Also, in China, the mother country of industrial hemp, hemp is being reintroduced, especially for the textiles industry, in order to relieve cotton production. In the northeast of China, there are large programmes to introduce enzymatically treated hemp fibres into the textiles industry. The Chinese automotive industry also uses hemp fibres for lightweight construction.
“After hemp had almost completely disappeared after the Second World War and with the worldwide cannabis prohibition as a cultivated plant, today in Canada, China and the European Union about 150,000 hectares are cultivated again – within a few decades the limit of millions can be reached,” concludes EIHA.
LYCRA Brand Sustainable Stretch Kingpins New York LYCRA Brand Sustainable Stretch Kingpins New York LYCRLYCRA Brand Sustainable Stretch Kingpins New York LYCRA Brand Sustainable Stretch Kingpins New York LYCRA Brand Sustainable Stretch Kingpins New York LYCRA Brand Sustainable Stretch Kingpins New York A Brand Sustainable Stretch Kingpins New York
LYCRA® Brand To Showcase Sustainable Stretch Innovation At Kingpins New York
WILMINGTON, Del.— INVISTA, owner of the LYCRA® brand, has launched a new version of its popular LYCRA® T400® fiber with enhanced sustainability. LYCRA® T400® fiber with EcoMade technology is made in part from a combination of recycled materials such as PET bottles diverted from landfills, and renewable plant-based materials. This innovation will appeal to members of the apparel value chain interested in developing more sustainable denim and wovens collections.
The original LYCRA® T400® fiber is the building block for a number of the brand’s popular stretch denim concepts including LYCRA® dualFX®, LYCRA® XFIT, and LYCRA® TOUGH MAX™ technologies. LYCRA® T400® EcoMade fiber offers the same benefits of lasting comfort, fit and performance as the original, but with the value-added offer of sustainability.
“We’re excited to introduce LYCRA® T400® EcoMade technology to show visitors,” said Jean Hegedus, INVISTA Apparel & Advanced Textiles’ global segment leader for denim. “It can be paired with sustainable rigid fiber offerings such as BCI cotton, TENCEL™ lyocell, or others, so brands and retailers can amplify their eco-friendly message to consumers.”
Visitors to Kingpins are invited to attend a free seminar presented by Hegedus on Wednesday, June 6 at 1:30 pm. “High Stretch, Low Stretch, Bi-Stretch, Go stretch” offers a framework for evaluating different LYCRA® fiber innovations for denim. It will help brands and retailers select the best stretch fabrics for the types of jeans they’re designing.
Canada’s plastic packaging recycling rate rises again: study
The study, conducted by the CPIA, found that the increase was the result of more plastic packaging collected, specifically PET bottles, PE clear film, and PE agricultural film.
by Canadian Plastics
With access to plastic recycling programs nearing 100% in Canada, the nation’s recycling rate for plastic packaging increased by almost 1% in 2016 compared to 2015, a new study shows.
Conducted by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), the new report – called Post-Consumer Plastics Recycling in Canada – found that the increase in 2016 of 0.9% was the result of more plastic packaging collected, specifically PET bottles (#1), PE clear film and PE agricultural film.
In total, at least 325 million kilograms of post-consumer (including commercial) plastic packaging were collected in Canada for recycling, the study found.
The 2016 Post Consumer Plastics Recycling in Canada study was conducted for CPIA by More Recycling, and drew on results derived from two voluntary surveys that were sent out to more than 1000 companies that handle recycled plastics in North America. These companies comprise reclaimers, exporters, brokers, and other handlers of used plastics.
This new information comes following a CPIA report completed earlier this year that the network of recycling programs across Canada for plastic packaging has almost fully matured. More Canadians can recycle a wider range of plastic bottles and non-bottle plastic packaging, according to CPIA’s 2017 Canadian Residential Plastics Packaging: Recycling Program Access Report.
The access report confirmed that nearly every Canadian household continues to be able to recycle PET and HDPE (#2) plastic beverage containers (98% to 100%) and that access to recycling for other PET and HDPE bottles, jugs, and jars remains consistent at 94% to 96%. But in addition, tracking shows that recycling recovery programs are expanding collection for polystyrene (PS). The number of Canadian households that now has access to recycling programs that accept PS rigid packaging such as clear clamshells has increased to 71%, up from 63% in 2014.
The study also found that:
92% of Canadian residents live within 10km of a retailer that accepts plastic shopping bags or reside in a community that includes it in its recycling program
27 million Canadians or 83% reside within 16 km of a retail location accepting plastic bags
Population access through retail locations is as high as 94% in British Columbia
Most other provinces also show high levels of access and all provinces exceed a 60% access rate for plastic bag recycling at stores
Residential recycling programs access rate is 70% nationally
R2R recycling program access rate is 77% nationally
Combined residential recycling program and R2R national access rate is 92%
“We are pleased to see increases in both the amounts of plastic material collected – up by nearly 1% – and that more of these plastic materials are reported as being reclaimed in Canada, up to 84% from 79%,” CPIA president and CEO Carol Hochu said in a statement.
Braskem launches new recycled resin concept at Sustainable Brands
The Vancouver edition of the international event will be held on June 4-7
São Paulo– During this first week of June,Braskem is participating in the Vancouver edition of Sustainable Brands,one of the most important events in the sustainability calendar, as a sponsor and key presenter and exhibitor at the Good Materials & Packaging Pavilion. The company will take the opportunity of the trade fair to showcase its latest concept in recycled plastic resins.
Committed to continually developing sustainable solutions via its Wecycle platform, Braskem has delivered promising results in its efforts to create a recycled resin with higher quality and a high percentage of recycled materials derived from household post-consumer thermoformed packaging made from polyethylene. Its main characteristics include resistance to stress cracking similar to that of virgin resins and tensile stress S mechanical properties that are 70% higher than the recycled resins currently used in the market. The next step is to identify partners to test the solution in finished goods (small volume thermoformed packaging), which will use the recycled resin as a raw material.
In the debate forum, which will focus on “How brands are developing new packaging solutions and incorporating circular economy practices into their products,” Braskem executives will discuss the projects and technologies currently being studied in the company’s innovation laboratories. Joe Jankowski, Braskem’s Green Polyethylene commercial manager for North America, will address the benefits and applications of I’m greenTM plastic. Luiz Gustavo Ortega, Braskem’s Sustainable Development manager, will comment on the Bluevision content platform, which addresses topics related to sustainability, human development and using resources intelligently. Fabiana Quiroga, director of the Recycling & Wecycle Platform team, will talk about the initiative to support new businesses that promote post-consumer plastic waste and develop the recycling chain.
In addition, Fabio Lamon, Head of Digital Manufacturing at Braskem, will give a lecture on the event’s main stage on how the dynamics of the company’s global operations enable it to take advantage of the best that each region has to offer and the importance of talking about sustainability not only for companies, but also for the public.
In the exhibitors’ area, Braskem will have two booths. One will showcase its I’m greenTMGreen Plastic made from sugarcane and its key applications, which include food packaging, home care and personal care products. The other booth will be dedicated to the Bluevision and Wecycle platforms. The latter will showcase some of the products arising from Braskem’s partnerships supported by the platform, which include the organizer box from Martiplast, the packaging for Qualitá stain remover of Grupo Pão de Açúcar and the trash bags from Embalixo.
“Sustainable development is one of the core pillars of Braskem’s activities and we believe it is very important to foster discussion on the topic with other companies in the industry in order to strengthen our initiatives and to see what the other large players are doing,” said Fabiana Quiroga. “We brought to the event our main products, concepts and programs focusing on sustainability, seeking to influence the entire chain to think the same way.”
I’m greenTM polyethylene is made from ethylene derived from sugarcane ethanol. Its major differential is helping to reduce greenhouse gases emissions by capturing carbon dioxide during the production process. It also has the same properties of traditional polyethylene, which means it does not require adaptations to machinery while being 100% recyclable. Braskem’s Green Plastic plant has production capacity of 200 kton/year.
To contribute to the development of sustainable solutions and to promote debate on the topic, Braskem launched, in March 2018, during the World Water Forum in Brasília, the global content platform called Bluevision (www.bluevisionbraskem.com). Its goal is to produce relevant content that encourages people to reflect and to foster a new way of interacting with the environment in which they live.
Wecycle: high-value recycled plastic
Through the Wecycle platform, created in 2015, Braskem supports businesses that add value to plastic waste throughout the entire production chain and supports initiatives to promote recycling, the use of post-consumer plastic waste and the environment. The initiative already has resulted in a partnership with various organizations to develop products, solutions and processes involving the reuse of plastics. The following products were created by this platform. Learn more at www.braskem.com.br/wecycle
Qualitá Stain Remover
The initiative uses the waste collected at stations installed at the hypermarkets and supermarkets of the Grupo Pão de Açúcar (Extra and Pão de Açúcar), which are donated to the program’s partner cooperatives. Once separated, the plastic is sent to a recycling plant that manufactures a resin containing 70% recycled plastic and 30% virgin polyethylene. The resin is then sold to plastic converters, which manufacture the packaging for the stain remover and bottles the product. All Qualitá stain removers sold in Brazil – around 10,000 containers per month – feature packaging made from recycled resins.
Embalixo trash bags
Braskem and Embalixo, Brazil’s leading trash bag producer, in partnership with Grupo Pão de Açúcar, are manufacturing new trash bags made from plastics materials disposed of by customers at the Pão de Açúcar Unilever Recycling Stations and from industrial sacks previously used by Braskem to deliver its resins. Once crushed and transformed into recycled resins, the waste materials are then used to produce a premium line of Embalixo bags, called Embalixo com Alças, which bears the seal “Recycled Plastic. Conscientious Cycle.”
A partnership between Braskem, Martiplast, a housewares manufacturer, and Leroy Merlin, a home improvement retailer, has made available to consumers organizer boxes made from 100% recycled plastic. Through the Wecycle platform, the companies developed an application that uses 60 tons of polypropylene per year obtained from recycled big bags. The products, which can be found at Leroy Merlin stores, are identified by the seal “Recycled Plastic. Conscientious Cycle.”
About Sustainable Brands
Sustainable Brands is the leading global community for innovative brands that are shaping the future of global trade. Since 2006, its mission has been to inspire, engage and support business leaders and brands to envision a better future. The community works in a variety of formats: publication of digital articles, rounds of talks, internationally recognized conferences and regional events, and a robust online library, all of which seek to engage communities, within and outside of the group, throughout the entire year.
With a human-oriented global vision of the future, the 8,000 Team Members of Braskem strive every day to improve people’s lives by creating sustainable solutions in chemistry and plastics. Braskem is the largest resin producer in the Americas, with annual production of 20 million tons, including chemical products and basic petrochemicals, and sales of R$50 billion in 2017. Braskem exports to clients in approximately 100 countries and operates 41 industrial units, which are located in Brazil, United States, Germany and Mexico, the latter in partnership with the Mexican company Idesa.