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Europe and Japan to move for sugar cane bioplastics

October 29, 2007 Comments Off Print Print

Bioplastic packaging made from Brazilian sugar cane is likely to find its main markets in food and personal care in Europe and Japan, according to petrochemical company Braskem

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Speaking from the K2007 exhibition, technology manager Antonio Morschbacker told packagingnews.co.uk of the "huge potential" for sugar cane polyethylene, saying it was "much more efficient" to produce and use than corn-based plastics.

The company has produced the world's first certified polyethylene from sugar cane ethanol and is piloting various high- and low-density films.

When the first commercial production plant comes on-line in late 2009, it estimates annual production of up to 200,000 tonnes, and has not ruled out opening further plants should the project prove to be successful.

"We've observed that there's a big market for 'green' plastics," said Morschbacker.

Braskem produces more than six million tonnes of thermoplastic resins and other products each year for use in the packaging and automotive industries. Around 20% of its capacity is destined for export.

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