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EcoSmartPlastics: All-natural packager comes to Canada

Nothing says summer in Canada like mosquitoes and other nuisance insects. But they’d better beware: a ...


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August 10, 2009 by Canadian Plastics

Nothing says summer in Canada like mosquitoes and other nuisance insects. But they’d better beware: a new plastics packager has come to town with a product designed to keep them, as well as a host of unwelcome animals, at bay.

EcoSmartPlastics is the manufacturer of two distinct lines of biodegradable packaging products. The company’s Repellem green garbage bags use all-natural ingredients to (as the name implies) repel everything from dogs to wasps; Eco-Smartbags, meanwhile, are a line of unscented trash bags designed to meet the toughest industry standards.

After several years in business, the Bohemia, N.Y. company recently added Montreal-based Larry Schwartz as its executive vice president and Canadian representative.

According to Terry Feinberg, president, both Repelleum and Eco-Smartbags are 100 per cent biodegradable, compostable, non-toxic and chemical-free. But while many all-natural packagers can, and do, make that claim, few can assert the following: neither of the products requires oxygen, light, moisture or heat to break down.

“Our technology utilizes the microbial environment that is living in a landfill or compost bin, and doesn’t degrade without that,” Feinberg said. “This means that our products won’t degrade under the kind of heat that might be encountered on the top shelf of a warehouse or supermarket, which is a problem for packaging products made from ingredients like cornstarch.”

The active ingredients in Repellem and Eco-Smartbags, which Feinberg prefers to keep confidential, take between nine months to seven years to biodegrade, depending on landfill conditions, meaning that the bags themselves will disappear in that time.

“We have two different additive technologies,” Feinberg said. “One makes the biodegradable technology found in Eco-Smartbags and the other makes the Repellum technology.”

Whatever the active ingredients are, Repellem bags were singled out for notice in the 2007 Cool New Product Expo held by Stamford University.

While important to its growth, the addition of Canadian representation is just one part of EcoSmartPlastics’ bigger plan. “We have two production plants in Wisconsin, and others in the U.S. that are on standby,” Feinberg explained. “We’re also finalizing deals to have several U.S. plants that will produce our products for many different retailers, including some larger corporations that are very interested.”

The company is also looking to license its technology for the production of a variety of non-packaging products.

“We’re a little company that wants to grow,” Feinberg said.