Ingeo News: Vol 15, Iss 3

April 2020

Dear NatureWorks Community,
Over the last several months we have all seen one of the most challenging and unprecedented global pandemics unfold in COVID-19.

For us at NatureWorks, the health and safety of our employees and their families is foremost in our minds. I want to thank the NatureWorks team for embracing the many ways in which we have changed how we do business and for tirelessly working to maintain safe operations at our facilities. As a part of the critical essential infrastructure, we take seriously our responsibility to deliver our materials on time as promised to the global supply chains that rely on them.

To accomplish this goal, we have implemented a broad set of policies to ensure that we protect the health and safety of our employees, while effectively operating our facilities. Our manufacturing plant in Blair, NE is running very well, including setting a new polymer production record in March. Due to the high degree of automation within our facility, we are able to maintain production levels while practicing effective social distancing. At our headquarters, applications development lab, and in remote offices, we have enabled our colleagues who can work remotely to be able to do so. Our leadership team continues to assess our plans on a daily basis as the crisis evolves to ensure both safety and continuity.

Across NatureWorks, we remain committed to our mission to meet the challenges of our partners and a changing world by creating more responsible high-performance materials for a more sustainable future. As we collaborate with our downstream industries like 3D printing and nonwovens, it is clear that with the right partnerships, passion, and dedication to invention throughout our supply chains, we can begin to address the shortage of critical personal protective equipment needed to protect healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic.

I am certain that when this time passes, we will look back with pride and gratitude that we were able to work together to take care of our customers, our communities, and each other exactly when it was needed the most.

Rich Altice
President & CEO of NatureWorks

Nonwovens Institute Ramps Up to Create Masks for Healthcare Workers

The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) at North Carolina State University is proactively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the full support of NC State, NWI is dedicating its meltblown and spunbond nonwoven making facilities and expertise to produce specially designed fabrics that can be delivered to U.S. manufacturers to assemble face masks. We, at NatureWorks, applaud the critical work being done by our longtime partners at the Nonwovens Institute to help healthcare workers and patients stay safe. Learn more.

360 million tea bags made with Ingeo instead of oil-based plastic

Yorkshire Tea is introducing industrially compostable tea bags made with Ingeo and they report the switch is going well. Some of the new tea bags are out and available now and they're expecting 360 million tea bags to be made and available by the end of April. Rigorous strength testing and trialing measures have been completed to ensure the new tea bags are strong enough to last for that perfect (and sustainable) cup of tea. Read the release.

Ingeo in Urethane Reactive Hot-Melt & Solventborne Adhesives

Researchers and chemists, Bill CoggioMike GehrungMatt Tjosaas, and Danielle Varecková from NatureWorks recently had a study published in Adhesives and Sealants Industry Magazine. Their study shows that in addition to a low carbon footprint, Ingeo brings value to multiple applications with performance attributes like high modulus, excellent solvent & grease resistance, and food contact compliance. Read the article.

Ingeo filament - ideal for prototypes & functional parts

In a new video from 3D Universe on Terrafilum Tough PLA filament made with Ingeo 3D870, the presenters note improved mechanical performance, material toughness, ease of printing, & a great part finish. This filament is ideal for prototypes & functional parts.

Thermoforming single-serve coffee capsules with Ingeo

We recently visited the NatureWorks Applications Development facility in Savage, MN for a thermoforming lesson from Sr. Scientist & Technology Admin Lead, Joshua Weed. He demonstrated how to thermoform compostable coffee capsules made with Ingeo. The video below is from our thermoforming training session visit and shows Ingeo sheet formed into coffee capsules that deliver an excellent brewing experience and are industrially compostable.

Thermoforming training for Ingeo coffee capsules at the NatureWorks Applications Development facility in Savage, MN



The response from the 3D printing community to the COVID-19 outbreak has been staggering and we've been proud to see so many of our partners along with volunteers and other organizations come together in an effort to produce much-needed PPE (personal protective equipment) for healthcare workers in need on the front lines. The following are just some of the companies offering their help in this unexpected and vast worldwide need. 

Companies like Makerbot3D Systems, and Raise3D made landing pages to connect medical PPE gear with those in need. Some companies are utilizing teams of volunteers to print and donate face shields like Matterhackers with their Response Hub. Spectra3D is printing face shields with ColorFabb and Stacker is making theirs with with iBeam filaments for local MN and NY medical assistance. Ultimaker is offering design support and connections of people to available printers and 3D-Fuel has increased their filament stock to meet demands and offered discounts. We also noticed Slant 3D is printing face shields and ventilator parts and IC3D teamed up with United Way of Central Ohio and the new website, Make4Covid, to join in the need for printed PPE.

We, at NatureWorks offer our sincere gratitude to everyone taking part in these 3D printing efforts whether it's donating filament, offering their printers for PPE printing, or being helpful resources proving 3D printing has an important place in medical manufacturing and beyond.

Food Serviceware

Good Natured Buys Thermoformer, Packager Shepherd
Congratulations to partners, good natured Inc. on their acquisition of thermoforming & packaging company, Shepherd. “We’re delighted to welcome Mark and Todd Shepherd and the entire Shepherd team to the good natured® family," said Paul Antoniadis, CEO of good natured®, "We share a common vision to be leaders in the development and adoption of sustainable, planet-friendly packaging solutions in North America, so the combination of our collective expertise, people and manufacturing capability further positions the Company to execute against this ambition." Read the article.



Green Sports Alliance Webinar: It Takes a Team to Win: Using Composting Infrastructure to Achieve Zero Waste | March 25th

NatureWorks' Business Development Leader for Performance Packaging, Doug Kunnemann, spoke on how sports venues can implement zero waste programs in areas with little existing industrial composting infrastructure sharing examples from Penn State, Pocono Raceway, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Green Sports Alliance members can view the presentation with a password here.

ASC: Designing Foodservice Packaging for Compostability | April 8th

This webinar provided an overview on legislative and societal trends in the circular economy across the EU and US and how these trends impact the design criteria for foodservice packaging seeking certification and acceptance at industrial composting facilities. They also shared insights into what composting accomplishes within the circular economy, along with certification & labeling requirements for compostable foodservice packaging in the EU and US.
Presenters: Nicole Whiteman and Shannon Pinc, NatureWorks


August 3 - 6 | Shanghai
NatureWorks will exhibit at this event.

6th PLA World Congress
October 7 - 8 | Munich, Germany
NatureWorks' Erwin Vink will present "Designing the Complexity of Organics Recycling".

We're Growing!

Join a fast-growing, ever-evolving team of professionals. Join NatureWorks!

Available Job Opportunities:

Export Logistics Representative IV | Minnetonka, MN
Responsible for executing a full scale of customer service activities for NatureWorks customers including customer service operations, process development, execution of business strategy, and customer & client interaction/business partnership. This role primarily supports export customer service functions. 
Customer Service & Logistics Rep III | Remote, NLD
Responsible for executing a full scale of customer service activities for NatureWorks clients including customer service operations, process development, execution of business strategy, and customer & client interaction/business partnership.  This role supports a mix of both non-export and export customer service/order fulfillment activities. The Customer Service and Logistics Representative III will work closely with regional and global partners and customers.

Process Engineer | Blair, NE
responsible for the development and continuous improvement of industrial processes to maintain efficiency and maximize profitability including process control and process operations. The Process Engineer will focus on the front end loading and process design work 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 for information on technology evaluation, most effective technology and similar. Provides recommendations for process improvements in safety, rates, yields, operating cost and quality.

Keep up with ALL of our available job opportunities on our Careers page.