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Clariant partners to bring “biotransformation” technology to market in South East Asia

Clariant is partnering with Polymateria, a British business developing a new standard in biodegradable and compostable plastics which ensures return to nature without creating microplastic.


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October 19, 2019 by Canadian Plastics

Specialty chemical maker Clariant is partnering with Polymateria, a British business developing a new standard in biodegradable and compostable plastics, to bring Polymateria’s new Biotransformation technology to market in South East Asia.

The announcement was made at the K 2019 trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Clariant and Polymateria staff at the partnership announcement at K 2019.
Photo Credit: Clariant

Polymateria and Swiss-based Clariant have decided to focus on South East Asia as this is the main source of “fugitive” plastic globally. Fugitive plastic is the 32 per cent of plastic each year which escapes the circular economy and leaks into the natural environment.

“Previous issues with biodegradable solutions have faltered in the past, largely due to the creation of microplastic and lack of compatibility with recycling systems,” Clariant said in a statement. “There has also been confusion from consumers around what action to take once they are finished with the packaging.”

“In order for the circular economy to work, products need to be designed with end of use in mind, ensuring that the materials used are good for all life,” Clariant’s statement continued . “What’s really needed for the circular economy to work is ‘Good Cycling’, which ensures the materials used are able to return to nature when the technical cycle fails without causing any ecotoxicology issues. Any plastic that is unable to demonstrate this, whether degraded or not, is simply ‘Bad Cycling’”.

The concept of “Good Cycling” has influenced the development of Polymateria’s Biotransformation technology, which ensures return to nature without creating microplastic. It also ensures products don’t begin biodegrading until a pre-programmed timeframe has elapsed and importantly allows for recycling to take place.

“Clariant Masterbatches has a clear strategy towards sustainability, supporting recycling, bioplastics and biodegradation through partnerships,” said Dr. Jan Sueltemeyer, Clariant’s global head of innovation and sustainability. “Polymateria provides a missing link for us and we are excited to bring this technology to regions of the world where fugitive plastic is greatest. Together we will also support government and standards bodies around the world to accelerate work on a new standard for biodegradability.”