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5 Latest Bioplastic Innovations to Help Focus Your R&D in Right Direction

Donald Rosato – Jun 10, 2021

TAGS:  Green and Bioplastics    

Bioplastic compounding applications are growing and expanding beyond their sustainably focused, core consumer packaging market. Specialty fillers are emerging for automotive, consumer durable, and industrial applications.

The production of biodegradable plastics is however expected to increase to 1.33 million in 2024 with its increasing use among various market sectors. Additionally, major companies are driving innovations in bioplastics at a faster pace, aiming to develop sustainable products with better design.

Emerging Bioplastic Compounding Additives and Applications

Let's take a look at new developments in bioplastics and compounding additives allowing their use to go beyond packaging to more functional uses in high-end sectors.


#1 Bioplastic Compound for Coffee Capsules by Akro-Plastic Bio-Fed


Akro-Plastic Bio-Fed’s M VERA GP1012 Compound for Thin Wall/High Stiffness Coffee Capsules Akro-Plastic Bio-Fed has commercialized a near 100% renewable content bioplastic suitable for home composting. It also exhibits high stiffness in molded parts up to one millimeter in thickness and thin wall film extrusion. It is finding wide acceptance in coffee capsules in Europe. It also has sought and received European food safety approval. European packaging producers find this bioplastic compound very acceptable in:

  • Improved mechanical properties
  • Total biodegradability sourcing, and
  • Ease of end-of-life disposability

The image on the right shows Akro-Plastic Bio-Fed’s M VERA GP1012 compound for thin wall/high stiffness coffee capsules.


» Learn More About the Course by Dr. Donald to Identify 2021 Bioplastics Innovations


#2 Plant-based Biodegradable Polymer for Food Packaging by Kaneka


Japan’s Kaneka is further developing their PolyHydroxyButylHexanoate™ (PHBH™) bioplastic that will receive a major market development push at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics. PHBH™ is a 100% plant-based biodegradable polymer and chemically speaking is a member of the PolyHydroxyAlkanoate (PHA) family. It has achieved key qualifications including:

  • The OK Biodegradable Marine certification in seawater, and
  • Positive listings by the U.S. FDA (Food & Drug Administration), Japan’s Hygienic Association, and the European Food Commission

A recent successful application introduction was PHBH™ straws across 20,000 Japanese coffee marketer Seven Cafés locations and nationwide Seven-Eleven stores. Kaneka is now market developing safe and hygienic PHBH™ plastic utensils, containers and packaging for use with food.

Kaneka’s PHBH Bioplastic for Japan’s Seven Café Drinking Straws Kaneka’s PHBH Bioplastic for Japan’s Seven Café Drinking Straws
Kaneka’s PHBH™ Bioplastic for Japan’s Seven Café Drinking Straws


#3 Bio-based Thermoplastic Elastomers for Air Vent Covers by FKuR


Finally, FKuR has developed two high biocontent, ThermoPlastic Elastomers (TPEs), trade named Bio-Flex® and Terralene®.

  • Glass-filled at 30% by weight, Bio-Flex® PolyLactic Acid (PLA) has high stiffness, mechanical toughness and is approximately 75% biocontent. It is targeted at traditional reinforced High-Density PolyEthylene (HDPE) plastic compounds in industrial piping systems, sporting goods equipment and mechanical gears and housings.
  • Similarly, Polyethylene-based Terralene® 30% glass filled is 95% biocontent and finds use in substituting for ThermoPlastic Olefins (TPOs) and PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC) in similar type industrial and mechanical applications.

FKuR’s Terralene Glass Fiber Reinforced/Biobased TPE for Air Vent Covers
FKuR’s Terralene® Glass Fiber Reinforced/Bio-based TPE for Air Vent Covers


#4 Wollastonite Fibers for Property Enhancement in Bioplastics by HPF Minerals


Quarzwerke’s HPF has commercialized both short and long Wollastonite fiber reinforcements to improve bioplastic mechanical and heat resistance properties. Stiffness is enhanced with long fibers, whereas short fibers boost dimensional stability as well as impact resistance. Thinner walled durable automotive and industrial parts in tight space designs require increased heat resistance, which is advanced with 25-45% weight loadings, for example, in PolyLactic Acid (PLA) bioplastic compounds.

HPF Minerals is planning to expand into 3D Printed bioplastic compound variants with their TREMIN® brand wollastonite fillers are targeted at automotive applications where fossil fuel-based compounds dominate. Physical property performance enhancement in bioplastic compounds also helps close their higher pricing and more limited supply availability versus traditional fossil-fuel-based plastic material competitors.

HPF Minerals’ Short (L) and Long (R) TREMIN® 283 Wollastonite Reinforcement for Bioplastics HPF Minerals’ Short (L) and Long (R) TREMIN® 283 Wollastonite Reinforcement for Bioplastics
HPF Minerals’ Short (L) and Long (R) TREMIN® 283 Wollastonite Reinforcement for Bioplastics


#5 Talc Fillers for Compostable Bioplastic Applications by Imerys


Imerys has developed specialty talc fillers for bioplastic compounds based on PolyLactic Acid (PLA), PolyButylene Succinate (PBS) and PolyHydroxyAlkanoate (PHA). Increasing bioplastic melt strength and crystallization rates have been achieved leading to improved compound stiffness and heat deflection temperature at 15-25% loadings by weight. These specialty talc properties, in turn, lead to:

  • Better water and oxygen barrier packaging properties
  • Low optical film haze, as well as
  • Broadening plastic manufacturing equipment process windows for extrusion and molding.

Additionally, these engineered talcs can be used in compostable bioplastic applications and are compliant with the European EN 13432 standard.

Imerys’ Steamic® and HAR® Talc Filler Loading Effects in PLA on Modulus (Left) and HDT (Right)    Imerys’ Steamic® and HAR® Talc Filler Loading Effects in PLA on Modulus (Left) and HDT (Right)
Imerys’ Steamic® and HAR® Talc Filler Loading Effects in PLA on Modulus (Left) and HDT (Right)


Select the Suitable Bio-based Polymer to Match Your Application Needs


View all the commercially available bio-based polymers, analyze technical data of each product, get technical assistance or request samples.





Want to Get a 360° View of 2021 Game-changing Bioplastics Innovations?


Dr. Donald Rosato will take you through the industry's major innovations from the past 12 months in his course. Major companies aiming to develop sustainable products, better design... are driving innovations in bioplastics at a faster pace. Avoid wasting time & resources to spot the high-ROI opportunities by joining the course & focus your R&D effort in the right direction.

Bioplastics Innovation 2021



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