Canadian Plastics

NatureWorks relocating to new headquarters, R&D facility

The move into the plant in Plymouth, Minn., is prompted by the rapid growth in the market for sustainable biomaterials.

January 21, 2022   Canadian Plastics

Photo Credit: NatureWorks LLC

In a move said to be prompted by the rapid growth in the market for sustainable biomaterials, biopolymer maker NatureWorks LLC is moving from Minnetonka, Minn. into a new headquarters and advanced research facility in nearby Plymouth.

In a news release, NatureWorks officials said the expanded laboratory capabilities will support research into the full circular lifecyle of Ingeo biopolymers from next generation fermentation technology to new applications, to increased functionality.

The expanded R&D capabilities will also support the construction and operation of NatureWorks’s new fully integrated Ingeo PLA manufacturing complex located in Thailand. With an expected opening in 2024, the facility will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer and produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades.

“In the face of these challenging times, we’ve designed a space that will enable research, invention, and collaboration between us, our partners, and the market, no matter where we are located in the world,” said NatureWorks president and CEO Rich Altice. “These new facilities will help accelerate the pace of research and innovation as the urgent need for real, safe solutions that help address climate and environmental challenges from plastics and chemicals continues to grow.”

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The new headquarters has been built using low environmental impact materials and features lighting, flooring and art made with Ingeo, as well as systems for reducing water and energy usage. An organics recycling collection system has been installed that will divert food waste away from landfills to compost. Compostable food serviceware, coffee pods and tea bags will all be available to visitors and employees.

NatureWorks will move into the new facility beginning in February 2022.