FKuR Bioplastics

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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