Ring binders which are at least 69% bio-based and are USDA Certified Bio-Based Products. To make them is Samsill, one of the world’s largest independently owned manufacturers of solutions which protect, organize, present and transport information and digital accessories. The U.S. company is converting its line of Earth’s Choice ring binders to bio-based materials. The company combined 100% post-consumer recycled chipboard – with plastic containing 25% of Green Polyethylene, a bioplastic made from sugarcane ethanol, a 100% renewable source which promotes the reduction of greenhouse gasses, provided by the Brazilian biochemical giant Braskem, the leading producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the world leader in the production of biopolymers.
“At Samsill, we strive to reduce the environmental footprint of our products, allowing consumers to have access to more sustainable choices. We knew that creating a binder using 69% of USDA certified bio-based material would be the next step towards an even more diverse, greener product line”, explained Drew Bowers, vice president of Marketing at Samsill.
The resin combines technology, innovation, and sustainability to preserve the same characteristics as traditional polyethylene, both in application and recycling, while generating a negative carbon footprint from cradle to gate. Its manufacturing process uses approximately 46% of its energy from renewable sources and generates 0.428 kWh/lb of surplus energy. The surplus renewable energy is then used in the Brazilian energy matrix. The net life cycle of the resin production captures of over 2.15 lbs of carbon dioxide for each pound of Green Polyethylene produced.
For Alexandre Elias, director of Renewable Chemicals at Braskem, the partnership meets the company’s concern with providing solutions that will bring value to its client’s products and brands. “We are always innovating at Braskem, pursuing more sustainable operations and resources, investing in development to offer our clients products with sustainable attributes, and giving the end consumer solutions for a more sustainable life”, explains Elias.
Samsill’s move fits right into the government’s effort to promote the use of bio-based solutions. “We applaud Samsill for earning the USDA Certified Bio-based Product label,” said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program Analyst. “Products from Samsill are contributing to an ever expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities and decreases our reliance on petroleum.”
According to a report USDA released in 2015, bio-based products contribute $369 billion to the U.S. economy each year and support, directly and indirectly, 4 million jobs. The same report found that bio-based products also displace approximately 300 million gallons of petroleum per year in the U.S., which is the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.
Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the goal of the BioPreferred program is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products. The BioPreferred program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill and reauthorized and expanded as part of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). The program’s purpose is to spur economic development, create new jobs and provide new markets for farm commodities. The increased development, purchase, and use of biobased products reduces our nation’s reliance on petroleum, increases the use of renewable agricultural resources, and contributes to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts.
The two major parts of the program are mandatory purchasing requirements for federal agencies and their contractors and a voluntary labeling initiative for biobased products.