MGP Ingredients Inc. has developed a new line of biodegradable composite resins, called Terratek BD. This newest entry in the company’s portfolio of eco-friendly bioplastic products will be introduced at the Sustainable Packaging Forum (Sept. 11-13; Pittsburgh, PA). Applications for Terratek BD include a variety of injection-molded industrial and consumer products such as disposable packaging materials and containers.
Mike Parker, bioplastics product development and sales manager, told PlasticsToday these composites are “ideally suited for injection-molded packaging products and containers as well as many other injection-molded consumer products.” However, he said it could also be adapted and modified for extrusion and thermoforming processes depending on customer requirements.
Based on internal testing, Terratek BD 4015 has shown “excellent tolerance to heat levels up to a temperature of 160°F,” Parker said. Additional testing is currently being conducted externally, but the company does not anticipate any significant variations compared to results they have thus far experienced, he said.
Terratek BD is produced at MGP’s facility in Onaga, KS, from a proprietary blend of wheat- and corn-based products, as well as other compostable materials. Natural components derived from renewable grain sources make up the majority of the resins’ content by weight. The smooth, white, pellet-size resins can be easily processed, shaped and colored by finished goods manufacturers to meet their specific product designs and needs, according to the company.
“All of the materials used in the production of Terratek BD meet industry standards for fully compostable products,” said Mark Kocour, bioplastics general manager at MGP. “In addition to the excellent heat tolerance displayed by these new resins, they possess outstanding mechanical qualities, including strength and a rare combination of rigidity and pliability. This bolsters our confidence in their ability to be effectively applied toward the manufacture of a growing range of biodegradable consumer packaged goods that are both highly practical and environmentally-friendly.”
This introductory line of composites, Terratek BD 4015, is currently not approved for food-contact applications. Parker said a new food-contact variety of this composite currently is under development at MGP. No definitive timetable has yet been set for the launch of this new variety. In addition to MGP’s new Terratek BD line, the company produces and markets Terratek SC, a starch-based bioplastic, and Terratek WC, made from a combination of fine wood particles and recycled plastic materials.
Made from up to 65% renewable material, Terratek SC is similar to thermoplastics, and can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes for the production of both pliable and hard plastic products, according to the company. This line of resins is also capable of withstanding temperatures beyond boiling point and can be processed into finished products using conventional and existing technologies.
Wood particles used in the production of Terratek WC are obtained from waste materials generated by the woodworking industry. Available in an injection molding grade as well as an extrusion grade, Terratek WC can be used in such applications as decking, furniture parts, structural components, toys and indoor and outdoor decorative items.
The global synthetic and bio-based biodegradable plastics market was worth $2.3 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach $7.8 billion in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 19.5% from 2011 to 2018 in the overall global market, according to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research. Globally, biodegradable plastics finds its major use in packaging, agriculture and transportation industries, the report stated.
The biodegradable plastics market is classified under two sectors, synthetic (petroleum derived) biodegradable plastics and renewable (biobased) biodegradable. “The market for biodegradable and bioplastic products appears to be promising based on growing consumer awareness of and attention to the environmental benefits of using such products,” Parker said. “Additional interest is driven by the price volatility of oil and natural gas, which ultimately impacts the cost of traditional petroleum-based plastics.”