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Greening of an industry: PLA supplier, processor opening German sites

Australia’s Plantic Technologies Ltd. Now is installed extrusion and thermoforming lines in a new facility in Jena, Germany from which it intends to supply Europe’s market with its thermoformed starch-based plastics. The process invested about euro 8.3 million in the facility.  

Australia’s Plantic Technologies Ltd. Now is installed extrusion and thermoforming lines in a new facility in Jena, Germany from which it intends to supply Europe’s market with its thermoformed starch-based plastics. The process invested about euro 8.3 million in the facility. 

In addition, Pyramid Bioplastics, a joint venture of Switzerland’s Pyramid Technologies Ltd. and German Bioplastics GmbH, is building an 80,000 tonne/yr plant in Guben, Germany for the production of PLA (polylactic acid). A first production unit will commence operations in the second half of 2009. 
 
These announcements come on the heels of one made earlier this year by BASF (www.basf.com) to build a new production facility at its Ludwigshafen headquarters. Starting in 2010, this facility will raise the plastics giant’s capacity for its Ecoflex biodegradable plastic by 60,000 tonnes to 74,000 tonnes/year. 
 
German legislation has been developed to make for a friendly environment for bioplastics to gain a foothold. For example, compostable plastic packaging need not be collected, unlike standard thermoplastic packaging, and bottles blowmolded of certified disposable bottles made of biopolymers are exempt from the country’s deposit laws. “Such incentives help to overcome substantial innovation obstacles, which creates a positive investment climate,” notes Harald Keab, chairman of the European Bioplastics, the European bioplastics industry’s trade association, based in Berlin, Germany (www.european-bioplastics.org). By 2011, the association expects the global production capacities of bioplastics to quadruple to about 1.5 million tonness annually.
 
The 3rd European Bioplastics Conference is scheduled for November 5-6 2008 at the Hotel Maritim in Berlin. MPW is a sponsor of the event. For information and to register for the conference, go to www.conference.european-bioplastics.org.
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