New strategic partnership to boost natural fiber-reinforced biopolymers

New strategic partnership to boost natural fiber-reinforced biopolymers

April 3, 2019
Press Release: Spectalite

Newly formed partnership aims to bring sustainable bio-based plastic alternatives to fruition

Spectalite and Evegreen have announced that they have entered into a strategic cooperation to boost biodegradable applications that substitute traditional single-use plastic parts.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 speaker Spectalite – located in Heidelberg, Germany and with manufacturing facilities in Quzhou, Zhejian – is a global supplier of different natural fiber-reinforced material compounds and sheets for applications in the automotive industry, among others. The company manufactures durable grades with traditional thermoplastics (Spectadur) as well as 100% biodegradable and bio-based materials (Spectabio), available as either compounds or sheets. All grades are either reinforced with mechanically extracted, performance bamboo fibers, rice husk, wheat straw/husk or other natural fibers. And they are available for injection, extrusion, thermoforming and press-molding processes.

Evegreen, located in Mislinja, Slovenia, is a supplier of 100% biodegradable products across different industries. The company recently launched a series of 100% biodegradable plant pots in soil targeting different gardening centers and chains all over Europe. Seeing a great demand in their natural fiber-reinforced biodegradable products, the company is now scaling up to meet industrial production using Spectalite materials.

The companies plan joint European operations to be set-up in Slovenia, the center of Europe. Both will jointly invest into materials R&D, application development, material compounding and part molding. Initial focus will be gardening, agricultural and hydroponics applications.

Traditional, non-biodegradable thermoplastics are widely used in gardening and agricultural applications to increase crop yield and to ensure food security. Single-use applications here include flower and plant pots, root trainers, etc. Hydroponics is a fast-rising sector in the agricultural industry with most of the hydroponic reservoirs currently being built from single-use plastic pots; thousands and thousands of additional non-biodegradable thermoplastic containers are polluting the environment every day, from an industry that wants to be eco-friendly, clean and sustainable.

The substitution of non-biodegradable plastics with 100% bio-degradable polymers in these applications promises to effectively reduce the constantly rising non-degradable plastics accumulation in the environment. The use of 100% biodegradable polymers and their products in the gardening, agricultural and hydroponics industry is still very limited; inadequate properties, difficult processability, limited raw material supply, new supply chains, lack of understanding and experience and especially high material costs of biopolymers are still restricting the use of bio-degradable materials.

Spectalite and Evegreen’s fiber reinforcements in carefully designed material formulations do not only improve the mechanical performance of the final part, they also help to adjust the speed of biodegradation to customer expectations. Finally, the reinforcements decrease the material price significantly compared to similar materials that are made from biodegradable polymers. Only when gardening products, such as plant or hydroponic pots, come with a really attractive price, end customers will accept eco-friendly solutions on a mainstream scale.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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