14 Juli 2016

Novamont and the Barbier Group sign deal to develop new bag for fruits and vegetables from renewable resources, suitable for home composting

Ma-Ter-Bio (the bag for planet Earth) as alternative to traditional non-biodegradable, non-compostable plastics packaging

Italian bioplastics firm Novamont and French leading producer of plastic films Barbier Group announced today they have signed a partnership aimed at the development of a new kind of bioplastic light-weight bag for fruits and vegetables, as an alternative to traditional non-biodegradable and non-compostable plastics packaging, called: Ma-Ter-Bio (the bag for planet Earth).

It is of plant origin, in accordance with the dictates of French law, wholly compostable in home composting and obtained from locally sourced starch and sunflower oil. Ma-Ter-Bio’s percentage of renewable content is of at least 35%, but can already be increased to over 50%.

The Barbier Group is the leading French producer of plastic films and sixth at a European level. The company sells polyethylene sheeting for agriculture and industry as well as bags for the supermarket sector (for vegetables and fruits, waste collection, with soft handles). Heavily involved on the fronts of circular economy and energy transition, the Barbier Group has developed products from both recycled and biodegradable/compostable materials for over 15 years. All its products are covered by the trademark “Guaranteed French origin”.

Novamont is the pioneer company in the sector of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics from renewable sources. Founded in 1989, it built its growth on the principles of the circular bioeconomy and the production of bioplastic materials alternative to traditional plastics from fossil sources. This mission finds practical application in the adoption by major European cities such as Milan and others of a system of organic waste collection and management where litter becomes a resource again through industrial as well as home composting.

With its Mater-Bi line of bioplastics and an annual production capacity of 150,000 tons, Novamont is today the leading manufacturer of these new materials. Novamont opened its French subsidiary in 2006 to follow more closely the developments of the new energy transition law as well as of the local market as a whole. As a result, a partnership agreement with a French company was signed and the basis were laid for the supply of locally sourced materials. This can be considered as a first step towards the creation of a production site on French soil. Novamont has already revitalised five chemical plants already decommissioned or about to be dismantled in Italy.

Other than France, Novamont has commercial offices in Germany, the UK and the United States and operates through its own distributors in Benelux, Scandinavia, China, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The company has its headquarters in Novara (Italy), a portfolio of 1,000 patents, 600 employees and a global turnover of €170M. The main fields of application of Novamont’s biochemicals are packaging, separate organic waste collection, retail purchasing, disposable tableware, farming, cosmetics and automotive. The company produced biodegradable tableware for the 2012 Olympic Games and works with many local councils (including some London boroughs) engaged in the separate collection of bio-waste.

Source: Novamont, press release, 2016-06-29.

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