Pulp and paper waste is the big new headliner as a feedstock for bioplastics. Corn was the big early play, but that has changed. The latest news: CSM subsidiary Purac said it has signed a contract to participate in a consortium that will develop a process to produce feedstock from cellulosic waste derived from the pulp and paper industry for the production of lactic acid. The other partners in the program are Crown Van Gelder N.V., a paper-producing company, and Bumaga B.V., a development center in the paper and board industry. The project is partly funded by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The Dutch government has been a major supporter of bioplastics, and one of the other major players is DSM.
Dow Chemical and several other companies have launched a program in Omaha, Neb. to divert about 36 tons of plastics from landfills in its first phase, and convert it into energy used for cement production.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Some next-generation bio-based materials are superior in performance to their petro-based counterparts, but also face some commercial challenges. This is especially true of certain biopolymers, adhesives, coatings, and advanced materials.
Cars and other vehicles, as well as electronics and medical devices, continue to lead the use cases for the new plastics products we've been seeing, as engineers design products for tougher environments.
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