Anders Spetz, Managing Director, Trioplanex International AB (Sweden) said PP and PE were the best available polymers for absorbent hygiene products and they can now be made from biomass via ethanol. Of course it will be 30 years before there will be serious shortages of fossil fuels, but these are now getting increasingly expensive and Trioplanex want to establish products using the best alternatives.
Bio-PP and Bio-PE are carbon neutral when incinerated and this would be the preferred end-of-life option. Biodegradable plastics are a problem because they can contaminate the polyolefins and ruin their recycling. They can also result in increased littering because the biodegradable label makes users more likely to discard them carelessly. ( Wouldn’t consumers seeing bioplastics labels assume these non-biodegradable plastics are biodegradable and create a similar problem? Ed.) Brazilian ethanol from sugar cane is now the best source of PE but in future biomass ethanol from biorefineries using agricultural or forestry waste or algae will take over.