Trevor Noye, Senior Vice President – Medication Adherence & Andrew Wong, MEB, Senior Manager, Corporate Sustainability

Bio-PET. It’s a product we’ve been talking about a lot at Jones Healthcare Group, since we started transitioning our medication adherence packaging to this more sustainable bio-based plastic.

But what exactly is Bio-PET? And what makes it a sustainable option? Let’s take a closer look at how this plastic is made using natural waste products, what its chemical structure looks like, and how its structure makes it widely recyclable.

How is Bio-PET made?

At Jones Healthcare, we use BPF00002 Bio-PET packaging resin from good natured® Products, which is constructed with one third plant-based resin and two thirds petroleum resin.

Importantly, the plant-based resin in Bio-PET does not draw from the primary natural resource stream. Rather, Bio-PET uses the leftovers from sugar manufacturing. The sugar production process creates a sugar cane molasses by-product that would otherwise be waste – but instead, it’s fermented to produce bioethanol. The bioethanol then moves through a polymerization process to make Bio-PET resin.

What are the properties and structure of Bio-PET ­– and what does it all mean?

Bio-PET is medically approved and contains no BPAs, phthalates or other chemicals that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment.

As far as its structure, Bio-PET is chemically identical to virgin PET #1 plastic. This means it has all of the properties of PET including strong impact resistance, clarity and oxygen barrier properties, while withstanding temperatures up to 65°C.

In other words, Bio-PET is identical in every way to PET #1, but it’s made from 30% bio-based waste product instead.

Is Bio-PET recyclable?

Bio-PET is a widely recyclable plastic.

Bio-based plastics are chemically identical to fossil-fuel based plastics. This means they neither disrupt the recycling process, nor are they incompatible for recycling[1]. On the other hand, degradable, oxodegradable or compostible plastics can be problematic to recycle[2].

Jones Healthcare is building circular design into its products and services, which means we are focusing on using highly recyclable plastics in our products that can be re-used again and again, like Bio-PET, versus single-use plastics.

What else do I need to know?

Comparing our Qube Pro Bio-PET adherence package to the standard adherence package made with PVC plastic, we see[3]:

  • 21% reduction in fossil fuel usage
  • 41% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • 47% reduction in harmful human impact
  • 12% more bio-renewable content

The bio-based content of Bio-PET is also certified with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its BioPreferred® program. This program aims to reduce reliance on petroleum, increase the use of renewable agricultural resources and reduce adverse environmental and health impacts.

All products and packaging by good natured® are listed in the USDA BioPreferred catalogue of certified bio-based products and materials.

For more questions on Bio-PET, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

 

 

[1] https://greenblue.org/consumer-confusion-about-biopolymers/

[2] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270465953_Oxo-degradable_plastics_Degradation_environmental_impact_and_recycling

[3] Based on analysis via the COMPASS LCA tool