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Solegear partners with NRC to develop bioplastic technology

By Joe Whitworth , 21-Sep-2012

Solegear Bioplastic has partnered with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to develop new bioplastic technology and muted the first product will be commercialized by the first quarter of 2013.

The development project is aimed at increasing performance characteristics beyond what is currently available with bioplastics.

The partnership combines Solegear's proprietary formulations with the NRC's proprietary formulations and processes to create products that would otherwise not be possible on the open market.

What each party brings

The firm said they were committed to collaborating with scientists, creating partnerships through the plastics supply chain and developing technologies that increase the strength, processability and real-world performance of bioplastics.

A Solegear spokeswoman told FoodProductionDaily.com: “We have not specifically targeted food and beverage companies, but are in active discussions with a number of customers who require food and/or beverage packaging as part of their overall solution.

“We have a customer who will be using the resulting bioplastic formulation in a high-performance flexible packaging application.”

2013 launch

Solegear said they were currently in production trials ahead of the proposed Q1 2013 launch.

The spokeswoman added the firm expect market pressure to continue against petroleum-based products, both from a toxicity and a waste management perspective.

“We believe this will drive sustainable and increasing demand for alternative materials. However, there is no silver bullet and no single solution to environmental and toxicity concerns; nor is there only one type of plastic that is suitable for all applications.

“Our name, "Solegear", was chosen to reflect this reality. We are but one gear, one sole component, in a system that requires multiple gears to operate effectively. Keeping this in mind, bioplastics are very well suited to applications where toxicity and waste management are of increasing concern.”

Solegear said the Polymer Bioproducts team at the NRC would bring understanding and expertise in stabilizing bioplastics, and would be a ‘great fit’ with their technology for modifying specific performance characteristics of bioplastics.

“The team at Solegear has done an excellent job to identify key market opportunities in the rapidly growing field of biopolymers.

“Their technological expertise and their commercialization acumen make them a valuable partner in our efforts to bring these Canadian innovations to the market,” said Nathalie Legros, group leader for Polymer Bioproducts at NRC.

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