A little of this, a little of that

January 10, 2011

Hi!

Happy Monday Funday!

Today’s post is a little of this, a little of that!

First, I am going to this “green” networking event in Chicago on Wednesday! Calling all fellow Sustainable Chicagoians; I hope to see you there!

Second, I was reading through PMMI’s Pack Expo 2010 Trends Report and Dordan is highlighted in the “Improve Sustainability” section thanks to our popular Bio Resin Show N Tell! Download the report here, and we are on page 14! Neato!

Also this is sort of random, but my brother was quoted in a Chicago Time Out piece about “wrap rage.” Check it out here. Rock N Roll Sean!

AND, this lady I met in Atlanta from the Freedonia Group (the organization that does all those fancy research reports that cost an arm and a leg) emailed me this abstract of their report on “Green Packaging.” Though it is only an introduction, there is still some really good information, so check it out!

US Industry Forecast, Green Packaging

This is going to sound long winded but here me out: Last week I emailed a colleague of mine at The Packaging Association about the winner of the PAC Green Den Award. For those of you unfamiliar, the Packaging Association hosted a Green Den at Pack Expo 2010, which was basically a Show N Tell of sustainable products that the audience voted on to determine which was “the most sustainable” or whatever. In a recent press release, it was explained that the winner of the PAC Green Den award was the biodegradable plastic additive, EcoPure. For those of you who do not follow my blog regularly, I devoted several posts to trying to understand the claims made by the distributor of this product. Visit posts titled “And the Investigation Begins” from early September for more information on this product and its claims. Anyway, I was surprised that EcoPure won this award, because in all the research I did, I was never able to truly understand how breaking plastic into tiny tiny pieces is perceived as a sustainable end-of-life-management option for plastic packaging, assuming it does in fact “work.”

So this is what I wrote:

Hello!

I hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas!!!

This is random but I was looking through the PMMI Trends from Pack Expo Report and I was surprised to learn that EcoLogic won a PAC Green Den award for their biodegradable plastic additive EcoPure…

The reason I bring this up is because I spent a lot of time researching the claims of this company and found that they are sort of full of it… the ASTM 5111 standard they site for biodegradation in a landfill is a certification for a test, not representative of passing said test. While I don’t want to get into the he-said-she-said debate, I was just curious what your thoughts on this product are. Perhaps I am confused or misinformed. I was just under the impression that it is products like these that confuse “sustainability” as it pertains to packaging.

Again, I am not trying to be a jerk; this just peaked my interest…

And his response:

Hi Chandler,

I’ve been off for a few days and just back in today.

It appears that you have done more research that the public audience that voted and selected this at PACKEXPO. A professional panel provides feedback at the session and it is the public audience that votes on all presentations. PAC is the facilitator of the process and remains objective during the process. The panelists and audience are the judge and jury.
Hope to see you soon.

YIKES.

And I leave you with this fabulous picture of my pops and I from our interview at Pack Expo 2010, courtesy of PlasticsNews:

copyright Plastics News, reprinted with permission

AWWWWWWWW

Tootles!

One Response to “A little of this, a little of that”

  1. Nicole said

    The EcoPure additive that you are referring to does not “break the plastic into tiny tiny pieces”

    That kind of technology that you are thinking of is Oxo-biodegradable, which often utilizes heavy metals. And you are absolutely correct, oxo’s are NOT a good option for sustainable end-of-life-management

    EcoPure additive works with microbes that already exist in landfill environments (or other microbe-rich environments) The additive, added when the plastic is manufactured, loosens the polymer chain and enables it to be consumed by the naturally occurring “oil eating” bacteria. Over time the microbes use the plastic as an energy source, until all that is left is co2, Methane, and Humus. (the byproducts of all biodegradation processes)

    Oxo-biodegradable plastics require oxygen and UV light or heat to biodegrade, and therefore will not biodegrade in landfills. Products using EcoPure do not require either UV light or oxygen to biodegrade, and these treated plastic products will biodegrade at any depth in landfills.

    The D5511 is a test method that tries to simulate landfill environments, so that these processes can be explored and verified. This is not a biodegradation pass or fail test. It just shows that during the test period that accelerated biodegradation is occurring. The same test can be done on untreated plastic (traditional plastics) as a control and will show a very, very slow rate of biodegradation.

    Those kinds of test results, and new products like EcoPure are exciting! There may be other options out there that you feel are more sustainable, but each and every option needs to be looked at closely.

    They need to not be confused with each other, and unknown, or unintended factors need to be taken into consideration. PLA – bioplastic products seem “sustainable” upon first glance, but they deplete the worlds food source, and use an enormous amount of water in the manufacturing process, similar to paper.

    The differences in all of these products can be really interesting to research. It sounds like the packaging Expo was a good place to start this much needed research by consumers!!

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