Nomacorc, the leading producer of alternative wine bottle closures, is the first to create a plant-based closure, Select® Bio, using Braskem's I'm greenTM Polyethylene. Green PE is made from sugarcane ethanol, a 100 percent renewable material. Its major advantage is the fact that it is made from raw materials derived from renewable resources, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I'm greenTM Polyethylene not only removes CO2 from the atmosphere due to its renewable feedstock but also contributes to reducing the use of fossil fuel. For each ton produced, "green" polyethylene sequestrates more than 2.0 tons of CO2, a significant gain compared to traditional polyethylene*.
Select® Bio closures are 100 percent recyclable. The closures mirror Nomacorc's current Select® Series portfolio in oxygen management performance. As with other Select® Series products, Select® Bio minimizes the environmental impact of wines by preventing spoilage and waste from wine faults such as oxidation and reduction. By consistently delivering the right amount of oxygen into the bottle using a carbon neutral closure, sustainability-minded wineries will now be able to deliver their wines just as they intend.
"Braskem is a strong organization with a history of creating reliable, sustainable polymer materials for leading manufacturers around the world," said Dr. Olav Aagaard, Nomacorc's principal scientist. "By using Braskem's sugar-cane based green polyethylene, we can confidently offer to our customers a carbon neutral wine closure which will not only be consistent and optimal for their wines, but also now allows them to create a more sustainable packaging solution."
Braskem has been making I'm greenTM polyethylene since 2010 in its Triunfo Plant in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south region of Brazil. The plant's capacity is 200 kton/year and the total investment amounts to U.S. $290 million. Using agricultural products as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel to produce materials has great potential in Brazil. Brazil has approximately 330 million hectares of arable land of which 67% is in use. Sugarcane cultivation uses 9.2 million hectares which is highly concentrated in the state of Sao Paulo (which is located more than 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) from the Amazon region). Expansion of sugarcane fields is highly regulated to be done in a sustainable way. Brazil is producing annually more than 8 billion gallons (30 billion liters) of bio-alcohol of which only 2.3% is used to make I'm greenTM polyethylene.
"Braskem is excited that Nomacorc, the global leader in wine closures, has chosen Braskem's I'm greenTM Polyethylene to develop a more sustainable wine closure solution. With this, Nomacorc is showing its leadership position in the market and their drive to innovate in developing more sustainable solutions for their customers," said Marco Jansen, Braskem's Renewable Chemicals Commercial Director for Europe and North America.
*based on Braskem cradle to gate Eco efficiency analysis done by Fundação Espaço Eco, 2007