A new thermoformable sheet made from bio-based resin has been introduced by Alcoa Kama, the sheet extrusion division of Reynolds Food Packaging in Hazelton, Pa. The extruded sheet will be made of a biodegradeable resin from Cereplast Inc., Hawthorne, Calif. Available in rollstock 10 to 42 mils thick, the sheet is aimed at food service, packaging, and other uses. Alcoa Kama is testing the material with selected thermoforming firms, and full commercialization is expected in first quarter of 2007. Alcoa says Cereplast resins offer better value than other biopolymers because of their superior thermal stability. Cereplast also claims better strength, good stiffness, and lack of brittleness. Fully compostable Cereplast resins incorporate starch and other biodegradable components, including PLA resin from NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn. Cereplast recently announced that it is nearing completion of a new production line, which will bring its capacity to 40 million lb/yr. That reportedly will make Cereplast the second-largest U.S. producer of bio-based resins.
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Shepherd Thermoforming’s operation has spared millions of PET bottles from death by landfill. It also has taken steps to slash its own energy and water consumption.