Here are more green plastic news from last week. Incidentally, I ampreparing for a bioplastic article for ICIS Chemical Business so watchout for that in June.
First stop is Coca-Cola’sannouncement of its new plant-based plastic bottle, 30% of which ismade from sugar cane and molasses. The rest of the plastic ispetroleum-based polyethylene (PET).
The company said the 100%recyclable plastic bottle can be processed through existingmanufacturing and recycling facilities without contaminatingtraditional PET. Coca-Cola North America will pilot the “PlantBottle™”with Dasani and sparkling brands in select markets later this year andwith VitaminWater in 2010.
Bioplastic manufacturer Metabolix,meanwhile, got proof that their plastic is compostable in Europe. Thecompany’s Mirel™ bioplastic resins received the Vinçotte certificationof “OK Compost” for compostability in an industrial composting unit and”OK Compost HOME” for compostability in home composting systems. Hmmm,only ok?? No great, plantastic, or plantabulous??? Metabolixsaid the Belgium-based Vinçotte is widely recognized in Europe formaterials inspection, certification, assessments and technical training.
Another bioplastic manufacturer Cereplastsaid its Hybrid Resins® is going to be used in juvenile furnitureproducts such as a bathtub, potty, booster and step stool by DorelJuvenile Group. Dorel’s Safety 1ST Nature Next™ products line will besold in hundreds of stores nationwide including Wal-Mart.
Meanwhile, Bio-Tec Environmentalis working to make traditional petroleum-based plastic green with itsadditive EcoPure. The company said it just completed a new round oftesting on its EcoPure, which turns regular plastic into biodegradableplastic.
The company tested polypropylene, PVC, PE and EVA at anindependent lab, and the results are said to indicate that EcoPuremakes plastics biodegrade in a microbial rich environment, when used ata .7% concentration.
Finally, researchers from Iowa State University (ISU)are investigating how certain varieties of battlefield-generated wasteplastics can boost the power output of biodiesel, which can fuelmilitary base generators. The U.S. Army initiated the research withGeneral Atomics, Renewable Energy Group Inc. and ISU to investigatewhich plastic materials (such as styrofoam) best dissolve intobiodiesel, and how stationary engines perform when running on thepolymer-rich fuel.
“If you takea Styrofoam cup and drop it into room-temperature biodiesel, it willdissolve in a couple minutes, but Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), orsoda bottles, will not dissolve,” said Iowa State professor BalajiNarasimhan. “Some garbage bags and containers for meals ready to eat(MREs) also dissolve into biodiesel.”
According toBiodiesel magazine, engine tests thus far have only successfully usedbiodiesel with polystyrene–in concentrations of 1 percent, 2 percent, 5percent and 10 percent.
[Photo credit from Coca-Cola, Dorel Juvenile Group, and ISU]