Bio-polymers & bio-compounds explained
A bio-plastic or bio-polymeris a bio-polymer or bio-compound if it is bio-based, bio-degradable, or features both properties. nature2need´s Spectabio and Bioblend bio-polymers and bio-compounds are bio-degradable and are labelled with “Made to Degrade”.
Biobased: The term biobased means that the material, compound or product is derived from biomass (plants, agricultural by-products, agricultural waste, etc.). It can additionally be filled or be reinforced with natural fibers, mineral fillers or other biomass.
Biodegradable: Biodegradation is a chemical process during which microorganisms that are available in the environment convert materials into natural substances such as water, carbon dioxide (CO2), and compost (no artificial additives needed). The process (e.g. time) of bio-degradation depends on the surrounding environmental conditions (e.g. location or temperature), on the material and on the application.
Compostable (according to EN 13432): Compostable addresses the following characteristics: biodegradability (namely the capability of the compostable material to be converted into CO2 under the action of microorganisms; the standard contains a mandatory threshold of at least 90 % bio-degradation that must be reached in less than 6 months), disintegration during biological treatment (namely fragmentation and loss of visibility in the final compost), effect on the biological treatment process (namely no negative effects on the composting process) and effect on the quality of the resulting compost (amount of heavy metals has to be below given maximum values, and the final compost must not be affected negatively). All nature2need materials labelled with “Made to Degrade” are compostable (Spectabio and Bioblend line).
cPLA: PLA is the short form for crystallized Polylactic Acid. cPLA is derived from PLA; it is compostable/biodegradable according to EN 13432 and ASTM 6400 standards. At the end of life, all cPLA-based products can be either recycled or composted in industrial composting facilities. cPLA is enhanced with a blend of natural mineral fillers; they are easy to process and prepared for a fast and efficient post-processing crystallization process. cPLA offers a significant reduction in carbon footprint compared to fossil-based plastics.
Reduction of CO2: Bio-polymers and compounds contribute to the reduction of Green-house Gas emissions or can be carbon neutral. Plants, bamboo, rice husk absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) as they grow. Using this biomass (through bio-based polymers, through natural fiber reinforcements or both) to create products constitutes a temporary removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Contribution to the Circular Economy: With reference to global waste hierarchies, bio-degradable polymers and compounds can provide added value through organic recycling (i.e. industrial composting and anaerobic digestion) as an additional waste treatment option. Industrially compostable polymers certified according to the harmonised European standard EN 13432 contribute to efficient waste management and circular preservation of resources.
A sustainable, durable compound is defined as a traditional fossil-based polymer that is filled, blended or reinforced with natural fibers, bio-polymers or similar biomass. The filler, blend or reinforcement reduces the use of traditional plastics by using up to 75 weight-% of biomass. The used biomass will additionally remove CO2 from the atmosphere. nature2need´s Spectadur and Biodur durable compounds are labelled with “Made to Endure”.