Location: 921 W New Hope Dr Cedar Park, TX 78613
Description: FKuR Kunststoff GmbH is a German corporation specializing in the production of biodegradable plastics primarily made from natural resources. In concert with the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT, Oberhausen, FKuR has developed a number of plant-based alternatives to the traditionally petrochemical based plastics used more widely throughout the world.
+ All products are either derived from renewable resources or are biodegradable.
+ Bioplastics can be converted using conventional plastics processing machines and methods such as injection moulding, extrusion, co-extrusion, thermoforming, blow moulding, injection blow moulding, lamination, extrusion coating, sheet extrusion, profile extrusion.
+ Most feedstock sources are also high produces of ethanol, such as maize, sugar, and palm.
+ Trade-off of compatibility vs. biodegradability must often be negotiated.
+ Most bioplastics carry a slight premium over their comparable petrochemical based plastics. For this reason, high-end retailers have been the first to adopt.
+ Intensive lobbying efforts from all corners of the plastics industry for competitive advantage.
+ FKuR argues that plastics are essential, and that bioplastics provide an environmentally responsible solution.
Conclusion: Our visit to FKuR provided unique insight into an industry that is often derided for its environmental irresponsibility: plastics. A skeptic might be inclined the question the extent to which the prefix bio-, in the case of plastics, truly equates to a more sustainable lifecycle. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that FKuR’s standards are quite stringent, requiring all products to be either plant-based or biodegradable. My chief concern, however, was with the “plant-based” descriptor, which may occasionally indicate rather unsustainable sourcing. Unfortunately, many of the feedstocks most conducive to bioplastics production are also used for ethanol and food production. While I applaud FKuR’s industry leadership and innovation, it will be interesting to see what alternative feedstock sources are discovered in the coming years.
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