4 November 2013

Bioplastics beyond packaging – latest product innovations

An interesting, new high-performance products overview by European Bioplastics

PolyOne_SolarCharger

Solar charger by PolyOne © PolyOne

Bioplastics have traditionally played an important role in the packaging segment. Over the last years, however, awareness for bioplastics’ versatility and environmental benefits has also grown also in the consumer electronics, automotive, sports equipment and fibres markets. A broad range of interesting, new high-performance products has been launched – amongst the latest applications are products including a solar charger, a water-resistant outdoor jacket, the first bioplastics casing for a touch screen, a safety suit offering high level chemical protection, and a globally known sports clothing brand which uses bioplastics for one of their retro trainers models.

European Bioplastics’s members are at the forefront when it comes to innovative products and have contributed their services and knowledge to creating these products.

The Sunshine Solar Charger was developed by PolyOne in cooperation with Netherlands based Xindao and its design studio XD Design in Shanghai. The charger’s molded plastic casing components are made from “resound” biopolymer developed by PolyOne, which Xindao estimates will reduce the CO2 footprint of the product by 35 percent.

German outdoor clothing provider Yeti is currently marketing another innovation: “North” is a hooded down jacket featuring a lightweight outer shell made from biobased nylon. The biobased nylon is derived from castor plants, a technology developed by the Japanese company Toray. The shell is water resistant, even in heavy rain.

NorthJacke_Yeti

“North” jacket made with biobased nylon. © Yeti™

Bioplastics have traditionally played an important role in the packaging segment. Over the last years, however, awareness for bioplastics’ versatility and environmental benefits has also grown also in the consumer electronics, automotive, sports equipment and fibres markets. A broad range of interesting, new high-performance products has been launched – amongst the latest applications are products including a solar charger, a water-resistant outdoor jacket, the first bioplastics casing for a touch screen, a safety suit offering high level chemical protection, and a globally known sports clothing brand which uses bioplastics for one of their retro trainers models.

European Bioplastics’s members are at the forefront when it comes to innovative products and have contributed their services and knowledge to creating these products.

The Sunshine Solar Charger was developed by PolyOne in cooperation with Netherlands based Xindao and its design studio XD Design in Shanghai. The charger’s molded plastic casing components are made from “resound” biopolymer developed by PolyOne, which Xindao estimates will reduce the CO2 footprint of the product by 35 percent.

German outdoor clothing provider Yeti is currently marketing another innovation: “North” is a hooded down jacket featuring a lightweight outer shell made from biobased nylon. The biobased nylon is derived from castor plants, a technology developed by the Japanese company Toray. The shell is water resistant, even in heavy rain.

One of the first products in the field of safety clothing using bioplastics has recently been launched by US company Kappler®. The breathable protective suit Lantex™ 300 offers a high level of chemical protection, and uses NatureFlex™ bioplastic from Innovia Films to reduce heat stress. In a hazardous chemical emergency situation, the suit can be worn for a longer period of time.

Lantex

Lantex™ 300 protection suit made with NatureFlex™ © Innovia

Shortly before K 2013 trade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany, the companies Kuender, SUPLA and Corbion Purac presented the world’s first PLA touch screen computer. The computer’s high gloss housing is made from high heat PLA.

Corbion-SUPLA-Kuender

PLA casing for touch screen computer
© Corbion Purac

Another example from the fibres and clothing market was launched this year by sports brand PUMA. A classic sneaker from PUMA’s InCycle collection was designed to biodegrade using the bioplastic brand APINAT of Italian company API.

Suola_Puma

PUMA sneaker using APINAT bioplastic.
© APINAT

This array of innovative materials shows that the large family of bioplastics can offer environmental beneficial alternatives to all market segments using plastics today.

Source: European Bioplastics Newsletter, 2013-10.

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