Conference Notes Joint Venture & Partnerships PLA

Update on Corbion-Total JV Bringing Innovation to the PLA Market by François de Bie

78 million tons of plastic are produced for single use packaging every year.

10th International Conference on Bio-bases Marerials – Köln, Germany- May 10-11, 2017

Recyclability and compostability are paramount for this volume to participate to a circular economy rather than end-up in landfills or the seas.

A 50/50 JV with Total, PLA BV started on March 2, 2017 and owns the PLA plant Corbion had started to build in Thailand and which will be fully commissioned end of 2018.

PLA is commercially available from the JV which is sourcing it from other producers (most likely partly from Total demo plant in Belgium although this was not specifically mentioned by the speaker).

Focus applications cited are: single use coffee cups and 70% bio-based coffee capsules.

PLA has reportedly enough aroma and oxygen barrier for the application. And the advantage is the compost-ability of both content and container.

Question I raised : What about end of life? Has the JV an edge in PLA recyclability following Total work on the matter when they operated a JV with Galactica in Belgium? Answer given: this specific knowledge belonging to Total is available to the JV and it will benefit from this past work to participate to mechanical recycling initiatives when volumes warrant it after a proper separation of PLA items from the PET flow with which it cannot be mixed.