Ingeo News: Vol 15, Iss 9

October 2020

NatureWorks announces additional lactide monomer purification technology to expand availability of Ingeo biopolymer from Blair facility

The manufacturing upgrades increase NatureWorks' responsiveness to rapidly evolving market dynamics and high demand for Ingeo™️ (PLA) biopolymers

NatureWorks has announced a slate of manufacturing technology projects, including lactide monomer purification efficiency, that will increase the availability of the full Ingeo™️ (PLA) biomaterials portfolio by 10 percent. Installation is currently underway at NatureWorks’ facility in Blair, Nebraska, the world’s first and largest commercial-scale PLA manufacturing plant. The projects will be completed by the end of 2021.

The expanded availability will support growth in markets that demand sustainable, low-carbon materials and require the high-performance attributes that Ingeo is uniquely suited to deliver.

These markets include 3D printing and nonwoven hygiene masks as well as compostable coffee capsules, teabags, and coated-paper food serviceware.

“The market continues to rapidly evolve due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the undiminished demand for sustainable, bio-based alternatives to petrochemical-based plastics,” said Rich Altice, President & CEO of NatureWorks. “For NatureWorks to satisfy this unprecedented demand, this purification technology is one of many additional capital improvements we are actively working on at our facility in Blair. At the same time, we continue to pursue a potential future second manufacturing site outside the U.S. to serve our growing international markets.” Read the Press Release.     

Biodegradable Products Institute Releases New Guidelines for Compostable Products & Packaging

In September, Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) introduced what they call "a big next step in the effort to curb contamination from non-compostable packaging in organics streams". The result of a collaborative project between BPI staff, a task force of BPI Board companies, and a range of other member and non-member stakeholders, the new "Guidelines for the Labeling and Identification of Compostable Products and Packaging" document is available as a starting point for an ongoing labeling and identification conversation. BPI requests feedback, comments, questions, and suggestions. Read BPI Labeling Guidelines.

Organic Waste Systems to Open a Laboratory in Ohio

Organic Waster Systems (OWS) will open a laboratory in Dayton, OH in spring 2021 to meet a growing demand for biodegradation and compostability testing services. 

“We are seeing unprecedented growth in the development of biodegradable polymers and compostable products,” said Richard Tillinger, general manager of OWS’s North American business unit. "The surge in demand is coming from multiple industry sectors, each of whom are making commitments to circularity, sustainability and reducing accumulation of plastics in the environment, especially the oceans.” Read the announcement.


Food Serviceware

Vegware's London Composting Route is a Footprint Finalist
The London, Brighton, and Sussex composting collection route from Vegware and Paper Round has been announced as a finalist for the 2020 Waste2zero awards from Footprint Media. After the success of their trial run of the collection service, it was launched on a permanent basis, creating London's first large-scale compostables collections service. Read more.



Great Coffee without Compromise: Designing High Performance Compostable Coffee Pods with Ingeo | Recorded September 9, 2020
Presenters: Donavon Kirschbaum, Applications Engineer, Joshua Weed, Senior Scientist & Technology Admin Lead, and Flavio Di Marcotullio, Global Industry Manager from NatureWorks.

RISE | September 23 - 30, 2020 | Virtual Conference
On Wednesday, Sept. 30th, NatureWorks' Director of Fibers and Nonwovens, Robert Green, presented, "Driving Production Efficiency and Performance in N95 Face Masks".                         

SPC Advance Virtual | September 29 - 30 | Virtual Conference
NatureWorks' Shannon Pinc contributed to the roundtable discussion: How can brands and suppliers work with municipalities and composters to plan for the future of compostable packaging?


Green Sports Alliance 10th Annual Summit | October 13 - 14 | Virtual Conference
NatureWorks is the proud presenter of Green Sports Alliance's 10th annual Summit with a focus on environmental and social justice issues the sports industry will face over the next decade. Don't miss CEO & President, Rich Altice, who will speak during the welcome event, as well as Global Public Affairs Director, Mariagiovanna Vetere who joins the conversation, SUIT UP: The Future of Sports Sustainability Targets in the Wake of COVID-19 on October 14th. See the agenda here.

Plastic Free World | November 9 - 10 | Virtual Conference
NatureWorks' Erwin Vink will present, "Where non-persistent polymers fit within a circular economy".

Formnext | November 10 - 13 | Virtual Conference
NatureWorks will be exhibiting at this virtual event.

We're Growing!

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

Available Job Opportunities:

Technology Intern | Minnetonka, MN
The NatureWorks Technology Internship program provides science and engineering students with the opportunity to combine classroom-based education with practical work experience in a leading industrial organization.
  • Work closely with technical mentors at the professional, senior, and fellow level.
  • Assist with fundamental research and development.
  • Assist with product and application development.
  • Assist with manufacturing process development
  • Craft, vet, and execute experimental designs and/or mathematical models.
  • Collect, analyze, and report data with scientific significance.
  • Document and present project findings to co-workers.
  • Manage effectively communications and collaborate with internal stakeholders

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