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Speaker Interview- Jim Gordon

Global Director Cleaning & Hygiene at Itaconix
Jim-Gordon
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Ahead of his presentation at Cleaning Products Europe 2024 this April, we spoke to Jim Gordon, Global Director Cleaning & Hygiene at Itaconix, to get an exclusive preview of his presentation on 'How to Improve the sustainability of ADW products using new raw materials', and to get insights into what he thinks are the key industry challenges for 2024 and 2025

DAY TWO - 10th APRIL 2024

11.20am - SESSION FOCUS: Sustainable Polymers in the Spotlight

How to Improve the sustainability of ADW products using new raw materials

Smithers: We are excited to have you join us in Prague on April 9-10. Could you provide a brief overview of your presentation topic, focusing on strategies for enhancing the sustainability of Automatic Dishwasher (ADW) products through the utilization of new raw materials?

Jim:  Itaconix produces plant based alternatives to petroleum based polyacrylate polymers for the HomeCare and I&I markets. These polymers are very weight effective in terms of chelation and scale inhibition allowing dose size reduction. We provide our customer the possibility of being both more sustainable and increasing product performance.

Smithers: Can you elaborate on the challenges traditionally associated with exchanging synthetic materials for bio-based alternatives in terms of cost and performance loss, and how advancements in polymer technology, specifically using Itaconic acid, address these concerns?

Jim: You talk about performance loss but we talk about performance gain: being plant based does not need to mean being less effective. Itaconic acid is a natural metabolite and our manufacturing process is simpler and safer than petro-based processes. In addition, the multi-functionality enables several ingredients to be removed and offers the potential to reduce product dosage. Petro-based polymers use cheaper raw materials and also have production scale advantages. The main European eco-labels do not seem to credit bio-content and focus instead on applying inappropriate small molecule biodegradability standards to large polymers.

Smithers: Can you provide a concise summary of Itaconix TSI 322’s key functions in three bullet points?

Jim: 

  • Superior performance
  • Dual functionality in chelation and scale inhibition
  • Increased safety and sustainability

Smithers: With the increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, how does Itaconix leverage its unique polymer technology to meet both environmental considerations and performance expectations, particularly in the context of brand extensions and positioning?

Jim: We do not compromise on performance and consequently aim to be implemented in mainstream products and formulations. In North America we have achieved a lot of success in the ADW Private Label sector and are growing rapidly. In Europe, Petro-pricing and eco-label criteria are not as helpful which has slowed uptake.

Smithers: What aspects of the upcoming conference are you most eagerly looking forward to?

Jim: I am very much looking forward to hearing about the European debate on sustainability of detergent ingredients  and of course networking with customers and NGO’s.