Hockstad cited three ventures into production of bioplastics that will be commercial or nearly so at the time of NPE2009:
Cereplast Inc. expects early-2010 completion of a new manufacturing plant to produce bioresins made from starches derived from tapioca, corn, wheat, and potatoes.
Telles, a joint venture of Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland Co., is starting up a plant for its Mirel™ resins, produced from plant sugars in a process that involves chemical transformation by microorganisms.
Teknor Apex Company will introduce its new Bioplastics Division and the first commercial compounds in its Terraloy range, consisting of blends of thermoplastic starch with other bioplastics and with conventional polymers like polypropylene.
The 39 conference presentations dealing specifically with bioplastics will take place in four educational programs co-located with NPE2009. These will include ten presentations in the “Business of Plastics” conference (produced by SPI); 26 in the ANTEC™ 2009 technical conference (the Society of Plastics Engineers, or SPE); two in the PET Strategies Plus conference (Packaging Strategies); and one in the Spanish-language Seminario Latinoamericano (Plástico and Conversión magazines).
Bioplastics will be one of four technologies to be the focus of exhibits in the Emerging Technologies Pavilion, with DuPont Company as the major pavilion sponsor and Dow Chemical Company as sponsor of a sector on sustainability. Some commercial applications of bioplastics are also expected to be among the entries in the first International Plastics Design Competition at NPE2009.
“At the last NPE in 2006, bioplastics were still something of a curiosity, but at NPE2009 literally dozens of organizations will have something important about bioplastics to say or demonstrate,” Hockstad said. “There will be implications for every major plastics market, from appliances and automotive, to electronics and medical, to sporting goods and packaging.
The NPE2009 international plastics exposition will take place June 22-26, 2009 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The event is produced by the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI). Co-located with the NPE trade show will be seven other SPI- and partner-sponsored conferences and expositions, including SPE’s ANTEC 2009 technical conference.
Founded in 1937, SPI is the plastics industry trade association representing the third largest manufacturing industry in the United States. SPI's member companies represent the entire plastics industry supply chain, including processors, machinery and equipment manufacturers and raw materials suppliers. The U.S. plastics industry employs 1.1 million workers and provides nearly $379 billion in annual shipments.
New technologies for polymers based on renewable resources will make NPE2009 a milestone in plastics history.