Novamont, an Italian bioplastics firm which produces fully compostable products, has opened a revamped Mater–Biopolymer plant south of Rome, boosting production capacity from 120,000 tonnes per year to 150,000.
The new facility will increase Novamont’s production of ORIGO–BI®, biopolyesters with a high level of renewables, components of MATER-BI® compostable bioplastics, used to manufacture various applications as an alternative to traditional plastics, including coffee cups and pods, carrier bags, cutlery, straws and food packaging.
The overall investment amounts to €70 million, rising to a €100 million within the next three years. With a production capacity of 100,000 metric tonnes of ORIGO-BI® per year, and occupying a total surface area of 140,000 m2, the Patrica site employs around 90 people, not to mention the indirect employment generated by its operation.
Novamont also said that it has perfected a process for wastewater purification to obtain from renewable sources tetrahydrofuran (THF), a chemical intermediate used by the pharmaceutical industry to produce antidepressants and hormone drugs. It will be the first industrially produced bio-THF.
The company also recently secured a deal with the UK's Co-op retailer to supply bio-based and compostable carrier bags for shoppers at its stores. The increased production of the Patrica site will help meet the demand from contracts for compostable plastic bags to retailers throughout Europe.
“Novamont's industrialisation efforts over the last few years have been enormous and have few equals anywhere in Europe," said Catia Bastioli, Novamont's CEO.
"All in all, we must work together towards a regenerative approach to natural resources, which should be seen as a great opportunity to redesign our society on a sustainable basis with its roots in the land, more inclusively and contributively, where there is equal space for the big and the small. In all of this the world of agriculture and the soil and its preservation and regeneration are of vital importance,” she concluded.
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