WHAT IS NOMACORC GREEN LINE AND PLANTCORC™ TECHNOLOGY?
Plantcorc™ Technology is the proprietary approach to how we produce Nomacorc Green Line products, including Reserva, Select Green, Classic Green and Smart Green.
It is the platform for all Nomacorc Green Line products derived from sustainable, renewable sugarcanebased raw materials.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT PLANTCORC™ TECHNOLOGY?
Vinventions has engineered one of the best closure solutions for sustainable wineries. Nomacorc’s proprietary PlantCorc™ technology provides an environmentally-friendly closure, superior performance and enhanced oxygen control. Premium features include:
WHAT IS A BIOPOLYMER?
Accordingly with European Bioplastics Association definition, plastics produced from renewable sources and/or biodegradable plastics are classified as biopolymers (or as bioplastics). The raw material used for Nomacorc Green Line is made from sugarcane ethanol and is considered a biopolymer but is not biodegradable.
Learn more at: www.european-bioplastics.org
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BIOPOLYMERS AND TRADITIONAL POLYETHYLENE?
Polyethylene is conventionally produced from fossil raw materials such as oil or natural gas, and is found in many everyday products: food packaging, cosmetics, beverages, bags, among others.
Biopolymers used for Nomacorc Green Line are made from a renewable raw material: ethanol from Brazilian sugarcane. This material exhibits the same characteristics as the petrochemical polyethylene, in application, performance, and especially recycling.
HOW DO YOU SOURCE YOUR RAW MATERIALS?
Our bio-based raw materials supplier, Braskem, sources 100% of its raw materials from suppliers in Brazil who do not use crop burning as a means to harvest sugarcane. This in turn means that 100% of the raw materials used in the production of Nomacorc Green Line also carries this guarantee. The sugarcane plants are also cultivated in an environmentally responsible way, sustainably sourced, taking great care to ensure that biodiversity is protected. Furthermore, Braskem suppliers are externally audited by a recognized third party to ensure the suppliers adhere to this and other very important conditions.
For more information please visit Braskem’s website: www.braskem.com.br
HOW DO YOU MAKE CLOSURES FROM SUGARCANE?
In the past standard petrol-based plastic material was used to manufacture Nomacorc closures. In this process the oil is brought up out of the ground, it is converted to ethylene, the ethylene is polymerized to polyethylene, which was the primary component of the first generation Nomacorc closures. This is a very common and standard process to produce plastics, and for Classic+ resulted in approx. 12gr of CO2 emission per closure. In case of PlantCorc™ technology the starting material is sugarcane which is distilled into bio-ethanol, then converted into bioethylene. The same bio-ethylene can be polymerized to bio-polyethylene. The polymerization is the same process as for petrol-based material and the biopolyethylene can be used for the production of any PlantCorc™ closure. The sugarcane takes CO2 out of the environment, which results in negative, zero or very low carbon footprint, depending on the quantity of bio-polyethylene used in our products.
IS THE SUGARCANE ORGANIC? WHERE IS IT PLANTED?
No, the sugarcane plantations are not organic. About 90 % of the sugarcane plantations used in Brazilian ethanol production is concentrated in the South-Central region of Brazil, located more than 2,500 km away from the Amazon region. The expansion of areas used to plant sugarcane is governed by Sugarcane Agroecological Zoning and Braskem does not own any sugarcane plantations.
For more information please visit Braskem’s website: www.braskem.com.br
CAN WE FIND PESTICIDE RESIDUES IN THE CLOSURES?
The main diseases that threaten the plants are treated using biological controls. This way, the use of pesticides on sugarcane plantations in Brazil is low and the use of fungicides is practically nonexistent. Moreover, due to the polymerization process explained above the bio-polyethylene does not contain any pesticide residues.
HOW CAN YOU PROVE NOMACORC GREEN LINE USES BIO-BASED MATERIAL AND HAS A REDUCED CARBON FOOTPRINT?
Nomacorc Green Line products have been tested and certified by an outside lab for their bio-based contents. This work was done by an institute called TÜV Austria who can measure the amount of bio-based contents in the closure.
It is very easy to prove that our products are made from biogenic carbon: this can be assessed by analyzing the carbon 14 content of our closures (carbon dating) and this is done by our “TÜV Austria” stars certification.
We have completed a life cycle analysis (LCA) study for Select Green with an outside consultant to show proof of zero carbon footprint. The Executive Summary of this study is available on demand.
IS THE PLANT-BASED BIOPOLYMER MATERIAL GMO (GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM) AND DOES IT REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF SUGAR AVAILABLE FOR FOOD?
No, genetically modified sugarcane is not sold in Brazil. This material is derived from regular sugar cane plants in Brazil and will not have an influence on the price and availability of sugar coming from Brazil. Today Brazil has 330 million hectares of arable land and only 1.4 % of all arable land is dedicated to ethanol production. Furthermore, the cultivation of sugarcane is used in Brazil specifically on land that has been too depleted in nutrients to grow other food. The growth of sugarcane and plowing of the detritus back into the ground helps the land to recover. The sugarcane growers thus move their crops from plot to plot to rehabilitate depleted farmland.
ARE NOMACORC GREEN LINE CLOSURES BIODEGRADABLE OR COMPOSTABLE?
No, they are not biodegradable or compostable. Like products made from petrochemicals, the material is recyclable and in fact can be recycled normally using the processes in use today. Since the raw material is not biodegradable, the CO2 captured during the sugarcane cultivation process (from sugarcane growth until its production) remains sequestered during the plastic's entire life cycle.
WHY IS RESERVA AND SELECT GREEN A “ZERO CARBON” FOOTPRINT CLOSURE?
These biopolymers are derived from sugar cane which grows by consuming CO2 from the atmosphere.The carbon which is bound from the atmosphere is passed through to the resulting biopolymer and as such they come with a negative carbon footprint. Hence, when incorporated into Nomacorc’s product formulation, they completely offset any positive emissions originating from other raw materials and shipping activities. Since these biopolymers represent a majority in our product formulation, we even compensate the shipping of our closures to our customer. In other words, it leaves carbon negative from our premises to arrive at a zero carbon footprint at our customers. This is what is meant by “zero carbon footprint from cradle-to-customer-to-gate.”
WHAT IS THE BIO-BASED CONTENT OF RESERVA, SELECT GREEN, CLASSIC GREEN AND SMART GREEN?
Reserva and Select Green are assigned to class 3 (= 3 stars) bio-based rating, which means the bio-based carbon content of the product is between 60% and 80%. The exact number can vary based on formulation differences between products but also based on dimensional tolerances, such as density, length, and diameter). All our Select Green products (100/300/500) have 3 stars. Classic Green has 2 stars with 40-60 % bio-based content and Smart Green has 1 star with 20-40 % renewable content.
WHAT IS THE COSMETICS PACKAGE OF SELECT GREEN?
Some wineries do not like the appearance of synthetic closures and fear that anything but a naturallooking cork will be a concern with their consumers, especially in more premium wines. The cosmetics package for Select Green addresses this by creating a Nomacorc closure that looks even more like a natural cork than ever. This includes the natural cork's distinct wood-grain markings, premium end treatment with embossing and a soft-touch skin and tactile feel of bark-based closures.
WHY IS SELECT GREEN IMPORTANT FOR SUSTAINABLE WINERIES?
Spoilage of the wine caused by closure-related wine faults like cork taint creates a lot of wasted carbon emissions and therefore is not sustainable. Select Green is taint-free and comes with different oxygen ingress levels which can minimize the risk of the bottle becoming reduced or oxidized during aging. By taking into account the closure’s carbon footprint, susceptibility of spoiling wine and environmental impact of disposal, Select Green is the perfect solution that can cover all three aspects of the closure’s life cycle.
WHY IS SELECT GREEN IMPORTANT FOR LOW-SULFITE WINES?
Bio, organic or biodynamic wines usually come with low or no sulfite. They are very susceptible to oxygen mismanagement, which would lead to wine spoilage either through reduction or early oxidation of the wine. Since the wines are very fragile to influences of oxygen, winemakers need consistent control on the delivery of the amount of oxygen into the bottle. Select Green provides excellent performance both on the consistency of the oxygen delivery and on the right level of oxygen which needs to be available to the wine.
HOW MANY LEVELS OF OXYGEN INGRESS ARE OFFERED WITH SELECT GREEN?
Select Green comes as a series of three closures: 100, 300 and 500. The oxygen ingress performance will enable customers to easily switch to Select Green if they value the environmental benefits. Vinventions will provide further assistance in optimal bottling conditions by the use of the NomaSense® oxygen analyzer. This unique combination of services and products will ensure a perfect solution for sustainable wines.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT FOR A CUSTOMER TO SWITCH FROM THEIR CURRENT CLOSURE TO SELECT GREEN?
If a winemaker is looking for an added unique selling point difference, Select Green offers them a chance to promote that their closure has zero carbon footprint and is made from plant-based materials. Select Green and the distinct oxygen levels of the Series provides them with a tool that allows them to control oxygen post-bottling, so they can produce the wine they way they intended. Those winemakers, whose brands are positioned as sustainable, organic or biodynamic, now have a highly engineered closure designed especially for their wine. When customers are concerned about consumer perception, Select Green is a great choice for winemakers who want consistency, no risk of TCA and our attractive cosmetic package.