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At the EFIB 2016, several companies shared their views on sustainable materials. It became apparent that renewable materials, either recycled or biobased, are slowly but surely are being phased in.
Editorial office / Glasgow

Peugeot, for example, is adopting more lightweight materials in its cars, partly to reduce the CO2-footprint of the car, partly to reduce fuel consumption (and CO2-emissions). Stephane Delalande, materials expert at PSA Groupe (Peugeot) mentioned the recent 308-model which contains 45 kilograms of green plastics. On average, a car contains between 150 and 200 kilograms. ‘In this particular model, 79 per cent of the green plastics are recycled plastics (mostly PP), 2 per cent are biopolymers and 19 per cent natural fibres (for example hemp).’ Peugeot also has used bio-composites – a combination of hemp and PP – for certain parts such as the door panels.

IKEA already has set the bar high, announcing this year that it will only use renewable materials by 2020. This not only applies to plastics used in IKEA’s products, but also to other components such as glues or foams. Puneet Trehan of IKEA said that his company is not able to tackle these issues alone. IKEA is therefore looking at value chain partners for various applications, especially companies that are using lignocellulosic feedstocks.

Procter & Gamble is also ‘experimenting’ with products in which the company has replaced fossil components, for example surfactants or solvents, with biobased counterparts. Last year, P&G launched the detergent Tide purclean on the US-market. According to Mark Stalmans (P&G Europe), P&G is striving to use a 100 per cent renewable materials, although he couldn’t give a time line of this aim, unlike IKEA.

Tide purclean is 65 per cent bio-based detergent, certified by the USDA Bio-Preferred program. It is also formulated to be free of dyes, chlorine, phosphates and optical brighteners. The formula contains ingredients such as water, plant derived surfactants, coconut derived cleaning agent, plant derived processing aid, bio-derived enzymes, mineral based enzyme stabilizer, pH adjuster, chelant and fragrance. ‘With purclean, we are in a learning curve. This also accounts for consumer information and education. Consumers need to be informed about the product and the particular benefits for consumers and the enivironment.’