11 Februar 2019

Unilever and Bio-on present My Kai the new line of ultra-green sun creams

World’s first product made from renewable plant sources and 100% biodegradable

  • 1The partnership between Unilever and Bio-on has created new brand My Kai, set to enter the cosmetics market with the first line of eco-friendly sun creams.
  • It is the world’s first product made from the new cosmetic ingredients designed by Bio-on: micro powders made with the revolutionary minerv bio cosmetics bioplastic, obtained from renewable plant sources and 100% biodegradable.
  • Bio-on’s ultra-green ingredients enable cosmetics products to significantly reduce the percentage of UV filters, which are essential to protect the skin but can be harmful for the environment, boosting water resistance at the same time.
  • My Kai products will be available in stores from March 2019.

Bio-on is proud to present alongside Unilever a brand-new line of sun protection products made from its revolutionary, 100% natural and biodegradable bioplastic. The new products have been developed by Bio-on, and will be sold by Unilever under the new brand My Kai. They are the first ones made using minerv bio cosmetics, the bioplastic micro powders presented in spring 2017 and designed for cosmetics that respect the environment and human health. The innovation in this line is a series of ultra-green, high-performing SPF (Sun Protection Factor) Boosters designed to improve sun protection products.

The line builds on the skills and excellence at Unilever and Bio-on, meeting the demands of consumers who are increasingly concerned about sustainability and making responsible purchasing choices. Increased awareness of the harm caused by exposure to sunlight is accelerating the number of products with UV filters released on the market. Their purpose is to screen against UV radiation. UV-B rays, the most common cause of sun erythema and sunburn, and UV-A rays, which are responsible for more serious long-term effects: blood vessel damage, photoaging, photocarcinogenesis. The main goal of Bio-on and Unilever is to come up with a way to limit their concentration in cosmetics formulas without compromising performance. These ultra-green ingredients (micro powders made from naturally biodegradable bioplastic microscopic spheres or capsules) are designed to significantly reduce the percentage of UV filters used in the sun protection product and boost water-resistance.

“This new product line is a concrete example of how Unilever sees sustainability and proposes innovative solutions for consumers, pursuing the goals stated in its Unilever Sustainable Living Plan business model. With My Kai, Unilever is simultaneously fulfilling two objectives of the USLP: to help more than a billion people to improve their health and wellbeing by 2020 and to halve the environmental impact of its products by 2030,” explains Fulvio Guarneri, Chairman & CEO of Unilever Italia. “We are proud to do this alongside such an excellent company as Bio-on, which shares our commitment to innovation for the health of both humans and the planet.”

«My Kai represents another building block in our green cosmetics revolution – says Marco Astorri, Bio-on Chairman and CEO – to make the sun creams market sustainable and fully respect the ocean and the land. Through our collaboration with Unilever and our ongoing search for new cosmetics solutions, we are defining a new production standard with our bioplastic. We began industrial production of micro powders on schedule in autumn 2018 and, thanks to our ingredients and Unilever’s help in organising distribution and sale, our My Kai creams will be on store shelves in March 2019, offering consumers a more eco-friendly alternative».

The cosmetic ingredients (bioplastic micro powders) in the My Kai SPF Booster line are the result of innovative R&D by Bio-on CNS, the Business Unit specialised in developing solutions for the cosmetics sector. They are made by Bio-on Plants at Bio-on’s first industrial facility built in Castel San Pietro Terme (Bologna, Italy) with an investment of over 20 million Euro.

The new My Kai brand is designed to safeguard the seas and oceans and references the Hawaiian terms Kai (sea) and Makai (to the ocean). It is inspired by the principles of Hawaii, one of the countries at the cutting edge in marine ecosystem protection and where Bio-on began its work in the early days.

All the biomaterials developed by Bio-on (PHAs or polyhydroxyalkanoates and PHBs or polyhydroxybutyrate) are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains. In most cases, they guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional plastics with the advantage of being completely eco-sustainable and 100% naturally biodegradable.

Since 2007 Bio-on has been dedicated to changing the world of plastic, to reduce pollution for a more sustainable future and preserve nature thanks to its exclusive, innovative know-how in bio-based and eco-compatible plastics development.

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About Unilever

Unilever is one of the largest companies operating on the Food, Refreshment, Home and Personal Care markets. Located in over 190 countries around the world, its products are used by 2.5 billion consumers every day. Unilever employs approximately 169,000 people worldwide and recorded sales of €52.7 billion in 2016. Approximately 57% of company sales comes from developing countries and emerging markets. The company portfolio includes over 400 brands found in homes all over the world, such as Dove, Sunsilk, Knorr, Algida, Magnum, Lipton, Mentadent, Svelto, and Coccolino. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), outlining the company’s sustainable growth plan, has three main goals:

  • Help more than 1 billion people to improve their health and wellbeing by 2020
  • Halve the environmental impact of its products by 2030
  • Improve the living conditions of millions of people by 2020

The USLP acts as a guide that leads to value creation, boosting growth and trust and cutting risks and costs. The company’s sustainable brands are growing 50% more quickly than its other brands and make up approximately 60% of growth recorded by Unilever in 2016. In 2017, Unilever came top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in its category of reference. The FTSE4Good Index assigned the company the highest score in the Environment category. Unilever has also topped the ranking of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders for the last seven years, resulting from the research that GlobeScan/SustainAbility runs every year. Finally, Unilever is committed to becoming carbon positive by 2030.

For further information on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan: https://www.unilever.it/sustainable-living/

About Bio-on S.p.A.

Bio-on S.p.A. is an Italian Intellectual Property Company (IPC) operating on an international scale. Listed on the AIM segment of Borsa Italiana since 2014, Bio-on licenses and manufacturers the world’s most innovative bioplastics, conducting applied research and developing advanced bio-fermentation technologies, and cutting-edge natural and sustainable chemicals for the future.

Bio-on’s biopolymers, PHAs or polyhydroxyalkanoates, are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains, including molasses and sugar beet and sugar cane syrups, fruit and potato waste, carbohydrates, glycerol, waste frying oil and even carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Bio-on bioplastics, called Minerv PHAs, have the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional oil-based plastics with the advantage of being completely eco-sustainable: 100% natural and 100% biodegradable, as certified by Vincotte and by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

The great versatility of PHAs means Bio-on can produce Minerv PHAs bioplastic in microscopic dimensions to replace the invisible microbeads used in cosmetics products, in professional SLS 3D printers, fragrances, animal feed and many other applications. To promptly meet the exponentially rising and increasingly diversified demand, Bio-on, which is already working alongside big multinationals to develop alternatives to conventional plastics, operates through six Business Units: Bio-on Plants, RAF Recovery And Fermentation, CNS (Cosmetic, Nanomedicine & Smart Materials), SMD (Structural Materials Developments), fdm (Fashion Development Material) and ENG (Engineering).

Source: Bio-on, press release, 2019-01-28.

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