NEO Plastics’ biogas additive used by Aripack packaging: more details emerge

PlasticsToday learned a couple of noteworthy facts about an article that was posted on August 27 that are worth relaying to interested readers.

The original article, Plastics packaging supplier Aripack offers anaerobic biogas additive option, centered on a partnership that was made between packaging supplier Aripack (Brooklyn, NY) and NEO Plastics (Brooklyn) specific to the use of the latter’s additive that makes plastic packaging degrade and produce landfill gas (LFG) when it decomposes. LFG is composed of roughly 50% methane (the primary component of natural gas), 50% carbon dioxide (CO2) and a small amount of non-methane organic compounds. The intent is to convert landfilled plastics to a useful biogas to ultimately produce sustainable clean energy.

Days after it was published, PlasticsToday heard from Isak Bengiyat, Aripack founder and owner, who provided additional answers to our questions. One thing that was clarified is that Bengiyat is also owner of NEO Plastics, which is managed separately. Other fresh facts of note:NEO Plastics on-pack logo

The company has established guidelines to be used for our logo disclaimer to be included on-pack, and have finalized a “Made with NEO” style logo. 

“The customer can put it anywhere on pack they choose,” says Bengiyat. “Some customers put it on the back of the pack, though a recent customer put it full color on the front top corner.  We have a small disclaimer that is required to go with it which is usually added to the side or bottom gusset.  For the coffee capsules (pods), the disclaimer would be included on the actual box the capsules come in.

The disclaimer is with regards to not using the term “biodegradable” per the state of California; the disclaimer can be found on the website.”

As to the cost for add the NEO additive to the packaging, Bengiyat says it “is nominal and very cost effective. It’s a minimal percentage of additive to each polymer layer.”

Are there potential problems if the containers are recycled instead of landfilled?

“Unlike other technologies, our technology doesn’t change the structure of the polymer or plastic, the interaction only starts in the landfill where certain micro-organisms live; NEO additive containers do not need to be processed and subjected to moisture and heat for activation,” responds Bengiyat. “If NEO packaging enters a recycling stream, heating or cleaning process used during recycling will not affect NEO like it would affect other technologies and so it can be recycled as usual.”

Additionally, reader Norma McDonald posted a comment to that first article on August 30, noting the following as it related to the original version of the article relative to this text: NEO Plastics launched late 2017. The company’s organic additives are tested to ASTM standards.

McDonald's comment:

“The reference to meeting ASTM standards is misleading and inaccurate. The company's website refers to ASTM D5526 and D5511, both of which are test methods and not standards. Test methods do not contain a pass/fail criteria and hence cannot be ‘met’. No information is provided on the actual test results to determine the extent of biogas production or other sign of degradation in the tests.”

As a precautionary move, PlasticsToday removed the word standards.

Later that same day Bengiyat responded to the comment:

“Hello Norma, actually I believe ASTM tests are standards for testing. I agree with you they cannot be 'met' but can be confirmed or validated by these test methods. Both 5511 and 5526 measures conversion to biogas, we have the test results on file. Should you have any more questions please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected], we will be happy to discuss further. Thank you for pointing this out.”

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