Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
BASF and Heritage Plastics Partnering to Bring ecovio® Bioplastics Production to U.S.

BASF has announced a strategic manufacturing partnership with Heritage Plastics, Inc. to produce the chemical company’s ecovio® compostable bioplastic products in North America.

The partnership enables BASF to expand manufacturing of its ecovio biopolymers, which are currently only produced in Europe. ecovio production will begin immediately at the Heritage facility in Picayune, Mississippi.

BASF’s ecovio products offer a versatile range of compounded polymer solutions that contain renewable, biobased materials; offer excellent processability and physical properties; and are certified compostable worldwide. Thus far applications have included plastic films such as organic waste bags, dual-use bags (first for shopping, then for organic waste) and agricultural films, as well as compostable packaging solutions such as paper-lamination, shrink films, foam packaging and injection-molding products.

“At BASF, we strive to find new ways to offer our customers the best solutions for their evolving needs,” said Juergen Keck, Vice President of Global Business Management, Biopolymers. “Our partnership with Heritage Plastics allows us to respond efficiently to a growing market and pass along numerous benefits to our customers in North America.”

Through the partnership, BASF will draw upon years of compound manufacturing experience at Heritage Plastics, marrying that with the chemistry behind ecovio. The compostable biopolymers will be exclusively marketed and available for purchase from BASF, while maintaining a production partnership with Heritage.
“Combining our experience and expertise with BASF’s to broaden the production of ecovio products was a natural fit,” said Paul Lewis, President of Heritage Plastics. “Both companies are focused on helping customers achieve success by providing them the best in product quality, as well as exemplary service and support on a global scale.”

By expanding manufacturing of ecovio products to North America, BASF will be better able to supply the compostable products while also improving delivery flexibility, increasing reaction speed to market needs and providing more customization for new applications. ecovio products have been available commercially in the U.S., Canada and Mexico since 2007, with production taking place in Germany.

With the increase in availability of municipal composting throughout the U.S., the broadening range of product disposability options can often be confusing for buyers and consumers, but new resources are helping to inform buyers about the proper disposal methods of various materials and preserve the integrity of waste streams: Last week, the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) released an online catalog of detailed information on the over 3,300 BPI-certified compostable products; and GreenBlue’s How2Recycle label gives explicit directions to influence consumer recycling behavior, and specifies when packaging is not recyclable.

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