It seems but yesterday that bioplastics made from renewable sources were confined to the R&D labs. But in reality, they have come a long way fast, and are definitely ready for prime time. NPE2009 will supply the center stage and bright lights, not to mention the audience, for a bioplastics coming-out party.
Proprietary hybrid resins from Cereplast, such as this roughly 50/50 mix of PP and renewably sourced material, offer properties similar to straight PP.
There will be at least 16 booths where bioplastics are the main feature on display, and in a few cases, they will be the only thing being shown. In addition, many other displays will be showing additives, processing equipment, and tooling for these new polymers. Bioplastics is one of four technologies in focus at the Emerging Technologies Pavilion and applications of renewably sourced polymers are expected to be among those entered in the first International Plastics Design Competition.
And besides all the booth displays, bioplastics is a major topic among the seminars and conferences held from June 22-26 in Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. No less than 39 presentations on bioplastics technology, processing, and business strategy are scheduled, and three raw material suppliers will outline their new bioplastic manufacturing ventures.
The variety of sources already in use to make polymers includes corn, soybeans, potatoes, tapioca, and biomass, among others. It’s likely we will hear of a few new ones during NPE2009. Sustainability is a cornerstone theme of this edition of the triennial Chicago show.
SPI president William Carteaux speaks of a worldwide consensus on the need to proactively address issues such as resource depletion. He says, “Bioplastics have emerged as one of the most promising means for companies to carry out this strategy while operating profitably.” —[email protected]