NEXTEK Ltd - What we do & key areas of expertise

Commercial Plant-based Plastics in packaging and
durable applications
Edward Kosior, Managing Director Nextek Ltd
Plants as Providers of Fine Chemicals – Bangor University
29-30th August 2012
NEXTEK Ltd - What we do & key areas of expertise
Technologies for material separation and recycling into high value products
Recycling of post consumer plastics, laminates and films
Recycling process design and optimisation of recycling plants
Expertise in market development for recycled materials
Developing value added products from complex plastic wastes
Research and development of novel materials and processes including plastics and
• Successfully completed extensive and ground breaking projects for governments and
major commercial organisations in the EU, UK, Middle East, Canada and Australia/NZ
• More than 30 major projects for UK Government agencies in collaboration with
scientific centres of excellence in the UK and Europe
Resource Recycling and
Resource Innovation
Copyright Nextek Limited 2012
Nextek Limited
Creating Sustainable Solutions in Polymers & Recycling
Examples of our work
 Development of PET HDPE recycling plant for Closed Loop Recycling in
London, UK (2005)
 Large Scale Demonstration of Viability of Recycled PET (rPET) in Retail
Packaging (2005)
 Large Scale Demonstration trial of recycled HDPE into Milk Bottles (2006)
 Development of light weight compostable packaging for Supermarkets (2007)
 Household Mixed Plastic Packaging Sorting Project (2007-2008)
 Commercial Scale Mixed Plastics Recycling Trial (2008)
 Development of NIR Detectable Black Plastics (2010)
 Recycling of Commingled Post-Consumer Films (2010)
 Design of a PET and HDPE food grade recycling plant in Australia (2011-2012)
 Development of a Food Grade Recycling Process for Post-Consumer PP (2011)
Copyright Nextek Limited 2012
• Outlook for Bio-derived Plastics
• Drivers for Bio Plastics and their limitations
• Brand Owners and Retailers – Agendas
• Major plastics materials made from Bio resources
• Key technologies for monomers and Polymers
• Opportunities for large scale European initiatives
• There has been a rapid expansion of commercially important plastics that now
incorporate significant amounts of plant based chemicals as brand owners and
manufacturers of automobiles and appliances have embraced the marketing impact
generated by renewably resourced plastics.
• While some of these plastics are partially or completely bio-based versions of petrobased polymers (especially Nylons, Polyethylene and PET) with commercially viable
properties, others such as PLA, PHA’s are still facing technical and cost challenges
before they become widely used
• Other emerging trends include completely new polymers based on furanic derivatives
that are designed to take the place of existing aromatic polyesters and the
development of synthesis routes to make terephthalic acid from plant sources for PET
in the quest to use 100% renewable feedstocks for plastics that have well characterised
processing and mechanical properties.
• These developments will provide new opportunities to develop European manufacturing
facilities to supply local bio-based monomers.
Overview of bio-derived feedstocks and polymers
Outlook for Bio-derived Plastics
• Global demand for plastics in 2011 was 205 million tonnes (BPF)
• Global production capacity for PLA (Polylactic Acid) is expected to be 800,000 tonnes
by 2020 (Nova Institute 2012)
• The largest producer of PLA is Natureworks which has a capacity of 140,000 tonnes in
USA and Thailand.
• USA demand for bioplastics predicted to grow at 20% through 2016 to reach 249,000
tonnes valued at €552 million (Freedonia Group 2012)
• Biodegradable resins account for the majority of bioplastics in 2011 but nonbiodegradable resins will grow to 40% of the market by 2021.
• Major growth will be bio-based Polyethylene as well as bio-based PET and PVC
Global outlook for Bio Plastics total market
Marks and Spencer and Plantic
Innovation Examples
• Jordan’s Cereals
• Use multi-layer bioplastics
• Replacing OPP/PE laminate
• Innovia Films (cellulose) on the outside
• Moisture barrier, clarity / excellent printability
• Mater Bi (starch) film inside
• (Starch provides strength & sealability)
• Best of two bioplastic materials
Other common examples:
Starch/PCL films; Cellulose films; Starch
trays, sugar cane trays; (All home
Source: Innovia
Flexible Packaging
• Opaque starch based
• Clear cellulose based
• PLA films
Sources: Innovia; Novamont; Amcor
Sugar cane trays & cellulose films
Starch based films & bags
PLA Usage in UK Supermarkets
• The GM issue persuaded many
supermarkets to avoid PLA
• Recycling of PLA was not feasible
•PLA in landfill sites would not
biodegrade but over time create
• Companies reverted back to
RPET bottles and sheet
•PLA used in sandwich packs as a
•Coffee cup lids being trialled
Rigid Packaging
Sources: Novamont; Coopbox; Whole Foods Market; NatureWorksTM
Who are the new “Regulators” driving change?
• Government bodies striving for reductions
• Carbon footprint (renewable energy targets 15% by 2020) DEFRA
(Env and Farming), DECC ( Energy Climate Change),
• Waste reduction targets -EU Waste Dir 55% recycled by 2015 DEFRA and WRAP (Waste and Resource Action Program)
• Local Government that need to reach targets
• Financial penalties applied if targets not reached
• Retailers wanting to assist in achieving targets
• Marks & Spencers, Sainsburys, Tesco, ASDA, CO-OP, Waitrose,
Morrisons, Lidl
Supermarkets want “more Sustainable” Packaging
to address Climate Change
• Packaging is designed for
• Function - Preserve, Reduce food waste
• Marketing - Inform, Persuade
• Convenience - right size, easy to use
• Plastics packaging - “victim of its own success” (in reducing Food Waste)
• Low cost
• Transparent
• Good Barrier properties
• Efficient use of oil based resource
Climate Change
• Legally binding targets:
• Green house gas emission reductions through action in the UK and abroad of at least
80% by 2050, and reductions in CO2 emissions of at least 20% by 2020 - 1990
• 34% by 2020 - 1990 baseline.(09)
• 40% by 2020 - 1990 baseline.(09) ?
Voluntary Courtauld Commitment
• 41 signatories Retailers and Brand owners in
2005- 2009
• to design out packaging waste growth by 2008
• to deliver absolute reductions in packaging waste by 2010
• Reduce the amount of food wasted in UK homes by 155,000t by March –
• Demonstrating how the signatory influences and is influenced by the above
objectives; and
• Comparing performance over time.
Courtauld Commitment
Supply Chain Voluntary Agreement
Courtauld Phase II - Targets
• Reduce weight, increase recycling rates and recycled
content to reduce carbon impact of grocery packaging
by 2009-2012
• Reduce household food & drink wastes by 2009-2012
• Reduce grocery product waste in grocery supply chain
by 2009-2012 (prevention not diversion)
• Develop ways to reduce the carbon and wider impacts
associated with grocery products in the UK.
• Agree a measurement and reporting approach by end of
2012 and set challenging targets thereafter
DEFRA packaging strategy
• Minimise environmental impacts of
• Optimising packaging
• Design with reuse recycling or recovery in mind
• Recycled content
• Reduction through voluntary agreements
• Eco design
• Enforcement (TSO)
• Recycling
• Quantity & Quality
• 2019
• 75% recycling target
Supermarkets -responding to the challenges
• Marks & Spencer
Committed £250 million to Plan A. There is no Plan B
• Carbon neutral by 2012
• No Waste to Landfill
• Reduce use of packaging and make it easy to recycle
• Closed Loop Recycling
• 90% organic produce packaging will be recyclable, reuseable or
compostable by 2007
• 100% of Easter egg packaging recyclable, reuseable or compostable
by 2008
• Reduce packaging by 5% rel. turnover by 2010
• Replace 150 million trays and bags with compostable packaging organic and ready meals
• 50% reduction in impact of bags
• 25% reduction in fruit and veg packaging
• 50% compostable packaging fruit and veg
• TESCO Targets
to reduce the amount of
packaging on own-brand
products and branded items by
• -to provide recyclability
information on all Tesco ownbrand products
• In 2007 ASDA became the first retailer
to set a new voluntary target of 25%
packaging reduction by the end of
• Lightweighting e.g. olive oil in
completely recyclable plastic bottles
over 30% lighter than the glass bottles
they replaced - get 12% more bottles
on every pallet, which reduces their
carbon footprint.
• £10 million saved as a result of this
programme will be passed back to
• Weight reduction should not be made at the expense of increasing
other environmental impacts such as toxicity or opportunity to
increase the recyclability /recycled content
• Biodegradable packaging has limited advantages due to lack of home
composting facilities and concerns that many biopolymers may not
actually breakdown in commercial composting and landfill facilities
• Biopolymers may contaminate recycling streams
• Rationalization of plastic polymers PET and PE (excluding films) would
assist recycling rates and make best use of existing recycling
• Simplification of packaging through removal of composite materials or
multiple layers of different materials should assist increasing recycling
Material De-selection
Global Brand Owners - P&G
• All packaging to be made from renewable or recyclable materials.
• P&G’s manufacturing plants to be powered with 100% renewable energy.
• Zero waste going from P&G or its consumers to landfills.
• Designing products to both please consumers and to maximize available resources.
• Replacing 25% of all petroleum-based materials with “sustainably sourced” renewables.
Global Brand Owners – Coca Cola
Coca Cola
Global Brand Owner -Toyota
• Toyota Hybrid SAI – 80% of interior is from Biomass product
Key technologies for monomers and Polymers
• The key monomers that will be made in large scale operations will be bio derived
• Polyethylene (LLDPE and HDPE)
• Poly ethylene Terephthalate (PET)
• Poly lactic acid (PLA)
Braskem – Poly ethylene from Ethanol (sugar cane)
• Braskem produces bio resourced Polyethylene on a commercial scale in (from
September 2010) in a 200,000 tonnes/yr plant.
• The market values this product highly because it is obtained from a renewable source
(instead of fossil fuels) - sugarcane ethanol by dehydration to ethylene
• Retains the performance characteristics of a traditional PE, which means it can be used
immediately in a variety of applications.
• Braskem's “Green PE” has a very positive environmental balance because, considering
the complete supply chain, it removes up to 2.5 metric tons of CO2 from the
atmosphere for each tonne produced
“Green” bio derived Polyethylene – HDPE and LLDPE
PET production
PET made using bio Mono ethylene Glycol and PTA
Key source of Ethanol is from Brazil
Competitiveness of bio PET (MEG)
Bio MEG production prospects
The route to PTA (purified Terephthalic Acid)
Para xylene – precursor to PTA
Alternative monomers to PTA for PET and other polyesters
• AVANTIUM propose new chemistry based on furanics
Competitiveness of FDCA
FDCA based plastics properties
Life cycle analysis comparisons
Opportunities for large scale European initiatives
• Bio MEG production in Europe is missing an opportunity given the resources to
produce etahnol from a range of feedstock and the strong global demand
• Bio PTA will be the next big push for new chemistries for this dominant molecule for
use in PET
• Bio derived polyethylene and polypropylene will for now be derived from Brazil due to
the lower Life cycle costs of the ethanol used for ethylene production.
• Niche production of Nylons and polyurethanes based of castor oil for automotive and
engineering plastics

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