Ingeo News: August 2022

NatureWorks Sponsors Sustainability at the 3M Open

NatureWorks was proud to be a Sustainability Sponsor for the 3M Open for a second year in a row. In an effort to bring more zero waste practices to the game of golf, NatureWorks teamed up with other sustainability team members to ensure event-wide composting receptacles were added to the course, with the organics being delivered to local industrial composter, Specialized Environmental Technologies (SET) in Empire, MN.

In addition to NatureWorks’ efforts to assist the 3M Open in meeting their sustainability commitments, Ingeo-based compostable cups and serviceware were used across the event and a Compost Garden was set up to demonstrate some benefits of healthy compost being a bed for lush and attention-grabbing flower gardens. The Compost Garden sign encouraged event-goers to put their food waste and Ingeo compostable packaging into the green organic collection bins to help turn them back into compost and help sequester CO2 from the atmosphere and increase soil biodiversity.

NatureWorks employees and summer interns also joined the 3M Open Sustainability Crew and volunteered their time to assist in sorting the waste receptacles and help event-goers dispose of their waste correctly to ensure waste streams were clean for the processors.

PGA TOUR Shares Sustainability in Golf Video Featuring NatureWorks CEO, Rich Altice

Even though "Single Stage Thermoforming Process" might sound like it's a simple process, creating a compostable, high performance K-Cup compatible capsule is complex! Follow along with NatureWorks Sr. Scientist, Nikushi Yatigala, as she walks through this process to perfection in the NatureWorks Applications Development Facility in Savage, MN.

New research from the Plant Based Products Council shows that nearly half of Americans are purchasing plant-based products on a monthly basis

The Plant Based Products Council recently released findings from their 2022 annual consumer research program. This year’s report revealed strong and growing interest in plant-based products with 71% of consumers reporting they consciously think about products and packaging made from plant-based materials when they shop. Also in the survey, 88% of consumers said they are likely to purchase products and materials made from plants in the next three months.

This consumer knowledge of plant-based products and desire to purchase them underscores why the biomaterials industry needs to continue providing certainty regarding the biobased content of their materials. Products and packaging advertised as plant-based comes with the expectation that these items contain actual biogenic carbon. Third-party certifications, like the USDA Certified Biobased Product program, verify the presence and levels of biobased content and provide a clear label for communicating that information ensuring consumer expectations are met.

When 61% of consumers say they would be more interested in a company if they were using products and materials made from plants, it’s an opportunity for the industry to elevate their brands while also delivering plant-based products or packaging that will have a meaningful impact on accelerating our transition to renewable resources while reducing our collective carbon footprint. Read more about PBPC's consumer research.

Grand Opening for labs at Plymouth Ponds

At the new NatureWorks headquarters and Research & Development Facility, in Plymouth, MN, the Technology Team celebrated the grand opening of the labs. To celebrate the much-anticipated milestone, the team hosted a lunch, ribbon cutting, and recognitions for those who contributed to the safe start-up of the laboratories.

Expanded state-of-the-art laboratory capabilities at the new R&D facility will support research into the full circular lifecyle of Ingeo biopolymers from next generation fermentation technology to new applications, to increased polymer functionality. The new laboratories will also support the construction and operation of NatureWorks’s new fully integrated Ingeo PLA manufacturing complex located in Thailand.

Visiting the Minnesota based Commercial Composter

NatureWorks staff recently toured the local commercial composter, Specialized Environmental Technologies (SET), in Rosemount, MN. The team at SET guided the group through the process of turning organics into healthy compost. Being a commercial composter, SET is able to take on large amounts of food waste, including BPI-certified compostable products, and yard waste from the surrounding area, including the Twin Cities.

The compost process remains similar whether done at home or at a large scale. The exception with the large scale being that commercial composters carefully manage the temperature during the composting process to ensure pathogens from food waste and weed seeds are killed.

Composting is a two step process



Green Sports Alliance Summit

NatureWorks sponsored the 2022 Green Sports Alliance Summit this year in an effort to continue contributions to zero-waste sporting events. During the summit, NatureWorks released a Compost Playbook and led and participated in panels.

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Available Job Opportunities:

Scientist/Senior Scientist, Fermentation | Plymouth, MN
The Fermentation Scientist/Senior Fermentation Scientist performs fermentation research and development to support commercial-scale lactic acid production. The successful candidate will participate in a range of activities, including: bioreactor operations, microbial strain evaluation, fermentation process development and optimization, analytical analysis, and the authoring of technical reports, presentations, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Project Engineer | Blair, NE
The Project Engineer will focus on front end loading and project design to develop and implement capital projects for the manufacturing facilities. This role also serves as a technical resource for engineering, research and development, and manufacturing. Technical support can include technology evaluation, most effective technology development, process troubleshooting, process modeling and general technical support.

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