In the article, “Biobased Testing for Renewable Plastics,” co-written by Beta Analytic Marketing Manager Haley Gershon and Maite Lazo of Braskem’s Circular Economy & Sustainability Marketing Europe & Asia, the use of Carbon-14 analysis to validate the biomass content of certain products is discussed, including the I’m Green™ certification process—Braskem’s bio-based label.
In recent years, the global community has been experiencing the transition from conventional plastics to renewable material. Regulations have been playing an important role in this topic, as it pushes manufacturers to explore sustainable solutions to fossil fuel-based plastics.
The increase in the demand for new alternative plastics has led manufacturers, suppliers and consumers to focus on the environmental impact of producing and using these kinds of plastics. Bio-based plastic production has proven their environmental benefit. These are plastics made from renewable (biomass) sourced ingredients, such as sugarcane, corn or cellulose. Producing bio-based plastics contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of the entire value chain.
Due to environmental concerns, the global community is opting for biomass-derived plastics instead of conventional plastics. Data shows a 36% growth in the upcoming years for the bioplastics industry, which is a good indication for companies to choose bio-based plastics to reduce their carbon footprint.
Since Carbon-14 is present in all living organisms, an accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) instrument can be used to determine how much of the carbon within a product is derived from biomass. This measurement is done in accordance with ASTM D6866, an international standard that determines the bio-based content of solid, liquid and gaseous samples using radiocarbon analysis.
Test results are expressed as a percentage (%) of biobased content, ranging from 0% to 100%. This indicates the percentage of a material that is sourced from biomass-derived content against petrochemical-derived content. A sample with 0% biobased content consists of only fossil fuel components, whereas a sample with 100% biobased content is entirely obtained from biomass resources.
In terms of certification programs, the percentage of biobased content required varies depending on the organization. For example, to get the I’m GreenTM label, Braskem requests at least 51% of biobased content using the Carbon 14 method. For more details, please read Bio-based Testing For Renewable Plastics full article published in Bio Market Insights.
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Excerpt from Beta Analytic’s presentation during the webinar “Stewarding Responsible Growth by Protecting the Integrity of the Curcumin Category”
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