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PLYMOUTH - NatureWorks has signed a Master Collaboration Agreement with PHA producer CJ Biomaterials, solidifying their relationship to collaborate on new biopolymer solutions. The two companies will work to develop sustainable materials based on CJ Biomaterials’ PHACT PHA polymer technology and NatureWorks’ Ingeo PLA.

Under the terms of the partnership, CJ Biomaterials, Inc., a division of South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang and NatureWorks will develop high-performance biopolymers that will replace fossil-fuel based plastics in applications ranging from compostable food packaging and food serviceware to personal care, films, and other end products.

The initial focus of this joint agreement will be to develop products that create new performance attributes for compostable rigid and flexible food packaging and food serviceware. They will also aim to speed up biodegradation to introduce more “after-use” options consistent with a circular economy model. The focus on compostable food packaging and serviceware will create more solutions for keeping methane-generating food scraps out of landfills, which are the third largest source of methane emissions globally, according to World Bank.

CJ Biomaterials and NatureWorks plan to expand their relationship beyond cooperative product development for packaging to create new applications in the films and nonwoven markets. For these additional applications, the two companies will enter into strategic supply agreements to support development efforts.

“We are excited to build on our strong relationship with NatureWorks to tackle the challenge of plastic waste,” said Seung-Jin Lee, Head of Biomaterials business from CJ CheilJedang. “Plastic pollution is a major global concern, and to successfully address this problem, it is critical to introduce new solutions that will have a real impact by improving the biodegradability and compostability of plastic. Using its Ingeo PLA technology, NatureWorks has served as a leader in developing sustainable solutions for more than 30 years. By combining our PHACT amorphous PHA [aPHA] biopolymers with their Ingeo PLA biopolymers, we can deliver advanced solutions that improve the biodegradability and compostability of plastic in almost limitless applications.”

NatureWorks CEO, Rich Altice added: “We feel strongly that the next generation of sustainable materials needs to begin with renewable, biobased feedstocks, have a wide range of tailorable performance attributes, and be designed for after-use scenarios from compostability to chemical recycling. These principles are inherent in both CJ’s PHACT PHA and our Ingeo PLA, and we have witnessed very positive early results when incorporating these two industry-leading biomaterials. This collaboration between our two organizations is going to lead to the development of exciting, industry-advancing technologies."


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