BASF lifts force majeure for bioplastics materials

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German chemicals manufacturer BASF SE has lifted a force majeure for its bioplastics materials, ecoflex and ecovio, after removing all contamination from the plant.

The company announced 12 April that the force majeure was being lifted with immediate effect, adding that the inventory levels were still “very low”.

In October 2017, BASF declared a force majeure for the production of the materials after detecting technical defects at its production plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The company shut down the unit, which produces both products, and withdrew 1,500 tonnes of the affected products.

At the time, the company said that the defect was found in the heating circuit of the plant and as a result “a small amount of the thermal oil Marlotherm SH has entered the product loop.”

The thermal oil is biodegradable.

According to the initial calculations, BASF said it did not expect any health risks from intended product applications such as agricultural films, waste or plastic bags and coffee capsules.

However, for food contact applications such as thin plastic bags for transport of fruit and vegetables, the product did not meet the required standards.

Presently, due to low inventory levels, BASF does not expect to fulfil incoming orders at the requested time “in every case”.

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