Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 5

newsround
Project aims to boost circularity with
novel, biodegradable biopolymers
ALTHOUGH EFFORTS TO improve
the collection and recycling
of plastics to achieve a circular
economy are increasing
significantly, some manmade
materials will eventually always
end up in the environment
due to factors such as littering,
weathering and abrasion.
The Ultradream project,
which kicked off in the summer
of 2023 and is led by Wageningen
Food & Bio-based Research
(WFBR), is supporting
the development of the circular
economy by using agricultural
side streams and residues for
developing bio-based, renewable
polymers, with inherent
biodegradation capabilities at
their end-of-life.
Mulch film is a target application for the
new biopolymers
Specifically, the project aims
to develop new technology for
UV light-triggered biodegradation
of bio-based polymers,
such as polylactic acid or
poly(butylene succinate), by
utilising the UV susceptibility
of furans. Biorenewable furan
building blocks, such as furandicarboxylic
acid have
recently been shown to
be sensitive to degradation
under UV irradiation.
Incorporation of furans
into bio-based polymers
is expected to increase
the rate of degradation
of products such as agricultural
mulching films
or decorative and paper
coatings by exposure to
sunlight when emitted into the
environment. By using agro
residues as feedstocks for
producing both the bio-based
polymers and the furan functional
building blocks, it will
be possible to develop novel
classes of renewable, biodegradable
materials with a true
circular potential.
If successful, this approach
will prevent accumulation and
persistence of these polymers
at the end of their useful life.
" We convert low-value nonfood
residues to high-added-value
functional products.
This way we develop new
classes of biorenewable, biodegradable
materials with an
improved circular potential, "
said project leader Ghazal Tavakoli.
The polymers could be
used in packaging, agricultural
mulching films or decorative
and paper coatings, he added.
The project is being executed
together with partners
Archer Daniels Midland, AkzoNobel
and Oerlemans Plastics.
Germany delays plastics tax to 2025
THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT
is postponing the implementation
of its plastics tax by one
year to 1 January 2025, according
to an announcement on 4
January 2024. The move was
described as 'necessary in order
to gain more time to develop
an eff icient solution with as
little bureaucracy as possible'.
The announcement was made
as part of an array of changes
to the federal government 2024
budget, which has a huge fiscal
hole after the German constitutional
court ruled that the
government's plans to repurpose
€60 billion ($66.5 billion)
in 'emergency' COVID-19 credit
lines towards infrastructure and
the energy transition was illegal.
The European Union requires
member states to pay a plastics
levy, the costs of which have
so far been borne by taxpayers
through the federal budget. On
13 December 2023, the German
" traff ic-light " coalition governNo
PFAS in TenCate's artificial grass
ARTIFICIAL TURF MANUFACTURER,
distributor and
installer TenCate has announced
that it has successfully
eliminated PFAS from the
process used to manufacture
its artificial grass products.
As one of its sustainability
initiatives, TenCate carried
out an in-depth review of how
it manufactures its synthetic
turf. Engineers discovered
a manufacturing processing
aid used in fibre extrusion
that contained trace levels of
non-soluble PFAS and were
able to replace it with one that
does not contain PFAS.
" It's important to note that
third-party testing of previous
versions of our artificial turf
detected only minuscule levels
of non-soluble PFAS, " TenCate
Americas President and
CEO Joe Fields said.
He pointed out that these
were far lower than the levels
that have been found in common
consumer products like
dental floss and prescription
medications and significantly
less than that allowed by the
Food and Drug Administration
in packaging for food.
" We still took action, however,
because we're dedicated
to giving our customers complete
peace of mind. "
January/February 2024
5
ment announced it would pass
that cost onto manufacturers
of specified single-use plastic
products in order to contribute
€1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) to its
budget deficit.
The introduction of the plastics
tax has been heavily criticized
by the plastics industry.
Five associations of the plastic
packaging value chain called on
the German federal government
to withdraw the announced levy
'in order to avoid further damPFAS
have been completely
eliminated from Ten Cate's
artificial turf.
No smooth path for plastics tax
implementation in Germany
age to the circular economy and
climate protection and to avoid
loss of industrial jobs'.

Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 9
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Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 34
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover4
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