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Environmental news and technical  innovation in the nonwovens sector

LONDON - Indorama Ventures’ fibre manufacturer FiberVisions and nonwovens manufacturer Avgol have partnered with the Polymateria to commercially harness the ‘biotransformation’ technology pioneered by the UK-based company. The patented technology alters the properties of polyolefins to make them biodegradable in a natural process.

The Biotransformation Technology will enable the companies to bring disposable products a unique managed lifecycle and further expand an already extensive catalogue of fibre/spunlaid offerings. The focus of these efforts will be in the launch of non-oxo-degradative components for personal protection masks and face covering, hygiene, agricultural, industrial and homecare applications.

The use of Biotransformation Technology will support applications in non-virgin resin recycling while providing a solution for ‘fugitive’ used articles, including those items that have not been properly recycled or disposed of. This process involves the material decomposing into a wax, wherein the wax is further degraded by environmental bacterial action into carbon dioxide, water and biomass.

The parties have been developing prototypes of component fibre and nonwoven products. The first prototypes developed through the partnership have been tested and are compliant with the stringent testing for biodegradability defined in British Standards Institute’s (BSI) new standard for Biodegradation, PAS9017. In meeting this standard, fibre and fabrics are confirmed to form no harmful microplastics as part of the biodegradation process.

Welcoming the venture, K. Agarwal, CEO of Indorama Ventures, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Polymateria to bring their revolutionary technology into our fibers business and sustainability portfolio more broadly. The collaboration between our businesses over the last 18 months has been exemplary and created a credible and scalable solution to an increasingly visible environmental issue.”

Niall Dunne, CEO of Polymateria, added: “With 32% of all plastic winding up in our natural environment each year we need to ensure we are working with partners who can enable scalable solutions to address what is becoming close to a 100 million tons per year problem.

"Indorama has a strong track record on sustainability and shares our mission and values. The trust that has emerged between our businesses has been grounded in science and a shared mission to tackle the plastic pollution pandemic at scale”.

Shachar Rachim, CEO of Avgol, said: “This is an incredibly exciting collaboration for IVL and Avgol. Our business remains dedicated to developing sustainably sound materials, and the development of entirely biodegradable components is an important step in bringing the first 100% biodegradable-recyclable Hygiene products to the market. This collaboration underscores our commitment to commercialise innovative products which are environmentally focused.”

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