In October 2019, Novamont Group announced that it has increased its MATER-BI® production capacity by 40,000 tonnes, bringing it to a total of 150,000 tonnes a year. With the well-established Terni site, where the company has been producing MATER-BI® with an annual capacity of 110,000 tonnes, Novamont has now started production at its Mater-Biopolymer plant in Patrica, situated in the province of Frosinone, thus, increasing its production capacity by 36%.
This step is in response to the rapidly increasing demand for biodegradable and compostable products from consumers due to rising environmental concerns.
Novamont, an Italian company, is a world leader in the production and development of biochemicals in the bioplastics sector. The company, with more than 600 employees, registered a turnover of €238 million in 2018. The company is involved in continuous investments in research and development activities, investing 5% of its turnover in research activities and deploying 22% of its staff in the research sector. It has a portfolio of around 1,800 patents and has become the first company to develop five proprietary technologies in the world. The company utilises new sustainable development model, reducing the harmful impact on the environment and promoting a circular economy.
MATER-BI, produced by the company, is a bioplastic with properties and characteristics which are similar to traditional plastic, but at the same time, it is biodegradable and compostable. MATER-BI is composed using starches, cellulose, vegetable oils, and their combinations by means of advanced proprietary technologies. Further, the products made of MATER-BI guarantees quality, performance, and safety. The biodegradable and compostable properties of MATER-BI ensure optimal organic waste management, contributing to the development of virtuous systems that could provide significant advantages throughout the entire production-consumption-disposal cycle. This is a significant step in the development of a wide range of bio-based products, designed to safeguard soil and water.
Presently, the company produces ORIGO–BI®, which is a biopolyester of renewable origin, used as a component in the production of MATER-BI, at its Mater-Biopolymer plant in Patrica. The increased output of MATER-BI will complement the ongoing production of ORIGO–BI®. With the expansion of the Patrica site, the company will be able to diversify its range of products for different applications, resulting in improved production efficiency and fulfilling rapidly increasing market demands for the compostable products.
The Mater-Biopolymer plant directly employs 90 people and was constructed following the redevelopment of the former Mossi & Ghisolfi PET plant, with an estimated investment of over 100 million euros. With the annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes of ORIGO–BI®, the new process will allow the site to reduce its volume by half compared to the previous production method, further resulting in the development of products that have greater specificity. Mater–Biopolymer has proved to be a highly efficient plant, which satisfies safety requirements, quality, and environmental regulations. The plant, through the recovery and reuse of waste material, is able to minimise cost and waste, further promoting circular economy and sustainability.
Novamont also announced its technological partnership with Saes Group, which develops solutions to meet the growing demand for materials with lower environmental impact and high performance. Novamont and Saes Group are aimed at unveiling a range of compostable solutions that are UNI EN 13432 standard compliant, using each of the companies’ expertise in the fields of biodegradable materials and functional materials, respectively. Intended for use in a wide variety of applications, particularly food packaging, the new solution will provide gas and water vapour permeability, unlike traditional packaging, and at the same time, it utilises material that can be recycled, thus promoting sustainable development.