BASF has formed a manufacturing partnership with Heritage Plastics to produce ecovio-certified compostable products in North America.
Production of ecovia has begun at the Heritage facility in Picayune, Miss. Ecovio will be exclusively marketed and available for purchase from BASF, while maintaining a production partnership with Heritage, the companies say.
Ecovio products have been available commercially in the US, Canada and Mexico since 2007, with production taking place in Germany.
Earlier this year BASF and California biochemical company Genomatica inked a deal to build a production facility to make sugar-based 1,4-butanediol (BDO) using Genomatica’s technology. The German chemical giant says renewable BDO has valuable applications for the plastics, textile and automotive industries.
Other companies are cashing in on the growing demand for bioplastics, too. Bio-Tec Environmental in August patented a method of creating a layered polymeric plastic or composite. The biodegradable-plastics company has been granted US Patent 8,222,316 and foreign equivalents for this process. Products that combine the patented method with Bio-Tec’s patent-pending formulations are under development, the company says.
The same month, Gevo, with support from the Coca-Cola Company and Japanese chemical giant Toray Industries, opened a demonstration-scale paraxylene plant in Silsbee, Texas. Paraxylene is a key building block for renewable, non-petroleum derived PET beverage bottles and polyester for packaging films and fibers used in textiles, clothing and other applications.
Meanwhile, Metabolix and other companies are exploring whether plants can be genetically engineered to make polymers for producing bioplastics in a way that’s cheaper than oil-based plastics.