Solegear Bioplastic Technologies Inc. and Columbia Plastics Ltd., a custom injection molding company based in Surrey, BC, have agreed to work together to manufacture and distribute products made with Solegear’s proprietary Polysole® bioplastics. Solegear’s plant-based plastics are known for their high-performance characteristics and processability on existing manufacturing equipment, allowing for the effective integration of Solegear’s green chemistry-based technologies with Columbia’s custom manufacturing capabilities. The companies will work on a customer-by-customer basis to capitalize on business opportunities in the North American market.
“We feel very fortunate to be working with Columbia Plastics, given their longstanding history and expertise in high-quality manufacturing. You don’t get to be successful for seven decades by letting the grass grow under your feet, and Columbia’s focus on innovation makes them an ideal partner for us,” said Toby Reid, CEO of Solegear. “We believe this collaboration will allow Solegear’s Polysole injection moldable materials to access new applications, providing next-generation and sustainable solutions to a wider group of brands. We are excited about the work we’ve already done with Columbia and look forward to continuing to innovate with them.”
Solegear’s Polysole injection moldable materials are a suite of high-performance bioplastic materials that can be processed on conventional injection molding set-ups. With bio-based content ranging from 75% to 100%, the Polysole family is designed to be recyclable and compostable, offering more options for end of life disposal. Solegear’s focus on green chemistry also means that these materials are more eco-effective, while providing additional efficiency benefits over traditional oil and gas-based plastics such as Polypropylene (PP) and High-Impact Polystyrene (HIPS).
“Columbia Plastics is excited to be adding the Polysole material to the list of engineered thermoplastic resins that we currently process,” said Brian Holmes, Vice-President and General Manager of Columbia Plastics Ltd. “We are constantly listening to our customers and looking for innovative offerings to meet their requirements, and Solegear’s Polysole bioplastics material fit the bill perfectly. Test trials of Polysole were immensely successful, proving that the material processes efficiently in our existing manufacturing setup. We are very excited to be partnering with Solegear to offer Polysole to customers who are interested in exploring more eco-friendly material choices.”
Columbia have validated the characteristics and scalability of Solegear’s Polysole bioplastics and the companies will begin to jointly market and distribute Polysole starting in May 2015.
In addition, Solegear has granted a stock option to purchase 30,962 of its common shares to each of Michel Labonté and Noel Harvey, both officers of the Company.
The options granted are each exercisable for ten years from April 30, 2015 at an exercise price of CDN$0.28 and are subject to the terms and conditions of the Company’s stock option plan, a stock option agreement on the Company’s standard form, and the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. For each of Messrs. Labonté and Harvey, one quarter of the option will vest after one year and the balance in equal monthly installments over the ensuing 36 months.
About Columbia Plastics Ltd.
Columbia Plastics, based in Surrey, British Columbia, is a custom injection molder that has been in business since 1945. The company provides high performance manufacturing solutions for a variety of industries and markets. Services provided in addition to molding include design, tooling, assembly, decorating, and packaging. All processes are ISO certified to either the 9001:2008 or 13485:2003 standards.
About Solegear Bioplastics Inc.
Solegear, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, is an innovator in the field of next-generation plastics. The Company is an advanced materials firm that engineers, produces and distributes high-performance bioplastics (bioplastics are a category of plastics that are bio-based, compostable, or both). Founded in 2006, Solegear has developed, and is commercializing, proprietary bioplastics technologies that utilize annually renewable plant-based ingredients formulated using green chemistry, to address the growing North American market opportunity for rigid consumer packaging and durable plastic goods.