Bio-ABS: A New Green Polymer to replace the Petroleum Derived ABS and can now also be considered for Food contact, after the approval from FDA

Various factors are driving the inclination towards bioplastics. Consumers are expressing improved attentiveness in green products as well as are keen for healthier lifestyles and restoring the environment. Consequently, businesses are reacting to government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and consumer demands for more eco-friendly products instigating the usage of bioplastic instead of conventional polymers. Food once grown is moved to various facilities that help in packaging the food for commercial uses. Once food is grown and harvested, it gets moved to various facilities that help prepare and package the food for commercial consumption. There are many modern techniques that help in devising the necessary items for the consumers. These machines do everything from heat seal to blister pack and from bottling to canning, all the while relying on plastics that can take the constant wear and tear from the speed and weight of all the food items being moved and prepared. Plastics also resist the processes that go into maintaining modern high speed equipment and also bring added safety measures to make sure our food supply is safe to eat. No matter what, how useful these resins are, they still are considered to be harmful for consuming in day to day life. Many inventions are set along a period of years to prove that even plastics can be utilized for food contact. One such invention is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) grade resins by Trinseo.

Various companies are aiming to develop a bio-based green material to be used in electronics application which can act as a substitute to the currently used petroleum-based acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). This polymer is likely to be a blend of poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and ABS. The characteristics of ABS compliments PLA well, as it is a very tough. Additionally, its structure comprise of three polymers which allows for a wide spectrum of resulting properties when the ratios are adjusted. The PLA/ABS blends, with proper compatibility, will act as alternate to massively used petroleum based polymer, thus offsetting an amount of petroleum used as material derivative. Moreover, as PLA has comparatively low cost than ABS, its blend is also comparatively low in price which makes them highly attractive for the industry.

For some manufacturers, such as those involved with kitchen appliances, kitchenware, and food packaging, this compliance is essential. For other manufacturers, such as those of medical devices and other sensitive applications, compliance provides assurance to the customer of added safety and quality control. Medical customers are likely to prefer food contact compliant materials as a product enhancement beyond the compliance to biocompatibility standards alone. They are already unique in the marketplace. Produced using a proprietary mass polymerization process rather than a traditional emulsion process, they feature superior purity, enhanced lot-to-lot consistency, exceptional whiteness and color and general stability. With such inventions happening around the corner, the food packaging industry is set to see an upsurge. As these new techniques would satisfy the demand for pure and hygienic food, consumers would tend to buy more of packaged food which will eventually increase the size of food packaging industry. In 2012, various researchers at Siemens developed an alternative material to polystyrene-based acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plastic which is a mixture of polyhdroxybutyrate (PHB) bio plastic and carbon dioxide-based polypropylene carbonate (PPC). Numerous companies are still searching ways to develop a successful alternative to petroleum based polymers, especially ABS resin.

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