Clariant and Floreon collaborate to expand biopolymer applications

Floreon to launch first product with Clariant’s collaboration during the first half of 2020

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Floreon
mbining technologies, technical capabilities and know-how to improve the performance properties of high-performance biopolymers for demanding plastic applications. Photo - Floreon

Clariant’s Additives business and Floreon-Transforming Packaging has announced an exciting new collaboration further to extend the performance properties and market potential of biopolymers while preserving their environmental benefits.

By integrating benefits of Clariant’s additives with Floreon’s proprietary material solutions, the collaboration aims to open up additional possibilities for plastic manufacturers and brand owners to consider biopolymers as a viable, low carbon footprint alternative to fossil-based plastics for both single-use and durable applications. Markets set to benefit from the new enhanced grades include rigid and flexible packaging, electrical and electronic equipment (E&E), hygiene products, consumer goods, and automotive.

Floreon develops and markets proprietary compounds based on Polylactic acid (PLA) and containing 70 to 90% renewable, plant-based raw materials, thus containing carbon sequestered from the atmosphere by plants. They are typically mechanically tougher than traditional PLA and can deliver significant energy savings in processing. Floreon compounds are recyclable, and they can also be composted via industrial composting. That makes Floreon’s materials viable for applications where, at this stage, contamination with food waste and organic matter makes mechanical recycling unfeasible.

Clariant’s industry-leading portfolio of sustainable additives includes a wide range of bio-based additives, which reliably deliver both high performance and sustainability to the plastics value chain. Introduced at the K 2019 plastics trade fair under the Exolit OP Terra, Licocene Terra, and Licocare RBW Vita trade names, they help to reduce fossil resource intensity and enable more sustainable material choices. Clariant’s experts will support the Floreon development team to enhance the performance possibilities and processing characteristics of bioplastics.

The scope of benefits is vast, which includes achieving less energy use and faster cycle times by increasing the processing efficiency or adding entirely new properties to the material. Product manufacturers will have the possibility to tailor compounds to suit specific processing technologies and applications, including in some cases those where bioplastics have so far not been able to meet the challenges of demanding conditions or environments.

Shaun Chatterton, chief executive officer, Floreon-Transforming Packaging, said, “Brand owners and plastic converters are seeking more sustainable material solutions to offer their customers, driven by goals, ranging from recyclable solutions and improving waste management to lowering carbon footprint and reducing resource use. Floreon can contribute to these goals. As a small business, our team is very excited to be able to take the benefits of biopolymers to new heights by drawing on Clariant’s extensive capabilities in developing additives focused on the performance needs of the plastics industry. Floreon has the potential to transform not just packaging but many industries, and we expect to launch our first product from this collaboration into the market during the first half of 2020.”

Stephan Lynen, head of Business Unit Additives, Clariant, commented, “We are excited to be working together with Floreon using the advantages of our range of sustainable additives to close the performance gap between biopolymers and other materials. This is just another way we can contribute to giving the plastics value chain a greater choice of options for meeting sustainability targets and consumer demands, and in doing so, support the transformation to a circular economy. For society, our environment, and future generations, it is our responsibility to improve sustainability performance and reduce carbon footprint and waste continuously.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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