An alliance to promote sustainability

In October 2022, CJ Biomaterials and NatureWorks, an advanced materials company that is the world’s leading producer of polylactic acid (PLA), signed a Master Collaboration Agreement (MCA) for the development of sustainable materials solutions based on CJ Biomaterials’ PHACTBiodegradable Polymers and NatureWorks' Ingeo™ biopolymers. The two companies are developing high-performance biopolymer solutions that will replace fossil-fuel-based plastics in applications ranging from compostable food packaging and food serviceware to personal care, films, and other end products.

The initial focus of this joint agreement will be to develop biobased solutions that create new performance attributes for compostable rigid and flexible food packaging and serviceware. The innovative solutions developed will also aim to speed up biodegradation to introduce more "after-use" options consistent with a circular economy model. By using compostable food packaging and serviceware, more food scraps can be diverted to composting, where they become part of a nutrient-rich soil amendment that improves soil health through increased biodiversity and sequestered carbon content.

CJ Biomaterials and NatureWorks plan to expand their relationship beyond cooperative product development for packaging to create new applications in various fields, including films, nonwoven, etc.

NatureWorks is a pioneer in developing bio-based materials with a small carbon footprint and enabling new after-use options with its Ingeo technology. As a company, it has developed many of the leading high-volume applications for PLA. Due to its unique functionality, it has been used to replace petrochemical-based plastics with 100% renewable, bio-based content and to enable more after-use options, which include compostability, chemical recycling, and mechanical recycling.