Development of Biodegradable Products from Renewable Raw Materials

Novamont

Biodegradable Packaging Products Development

“Living chemistry for quality of life” has been Novamont’s vision and mission since its establishment. Originally founded as a research centre, today it’s involved in the development of products containing renewable raw materials from agricultural origin. The company purpose is to contribute in a significant manner to forging a new industrial policy capable of reconciling the twin demands of development and sustainability, thus creating an integrated system involving chemistry, agriculture, industry and the environment in “genuinely sustainable development” with low environmental impact. This requires solution of the urgent problems of environmental pollution through the use of renewable resources of agricultural origin, while reducing to a minimum any post-consumption waste and developing processes with low environmental impact.more

Novamont Company History

Novamont's origins go back to the Montedison School of Materials Science, the achievements of which include the development of the polypropylene first synthesized by Nobel prize winner Giulio Natta. These origins could be further traced to the Chemistry School founded by Natta and Giacomo Fuser earlier in the 20th century. Discoveries made there on the chemistry of nitrogen in fact gave birth to the Montecatini company, which was later to become Montedison.

Novamont was founded in 1990 in order to develop and market products manufactured by Fertec, a Montedison subsidiary whose mission was to fuse Montecatini's chemical capabilities with those of the agro-industrial Ferruzzi group. After incorporating Fertec Novamont continued to strive to find new ways of utilising green raw materials, resources which could be renewed from year to year. The aim was to transform these into “bioplastics”, biofuels and renewable chemical intermediates for low environmental impact applications, but with all of the properties of traditional products.

Timeline1992: Novamont creates with Lecce Pen the Green Pen, the very first product in Mater-Bi. The pen is greeted at the international conference on the future of the planet held in Rio de Janeiro as the symbol of a possible new generation of products that could eventually combine economic gain with due attention to environmental issues. In September manufacture sorted refuse collection bags in Mater-Bi is launched in Fuerstenfeldbruck (Germany). This is the first step towards the creation of a network that today includes more than 3500 municipalities throughout Italy and the world.

1994: Bellusco is the first Italian municipality to use Mater-Bi bags for sorted refuse collection.

1995: R&D partnership launched with Goodyear.

1996: Novamont acquired by Banca Intesa and Investitori Associati.

1997: Novamont acquires US company Warner Lambert's patents for biodegradable products, and achieves manufacturing output of 15,000 tons.

1998: Cartiera Lucchese launches its Ecolucart line of mass market tissue products, wrapped in Mater-Bi, throughout the retail sector.

1999: Swedish company Naty introduces the first ever Mater-Bi diaper.

2001: Goodyear launches the first low rolling-resistance BIOTRED technology tyres using Mater-Bi biofiller as a partial substitute for silica and carbon black.

2002: Novamont develops Wave, a new technology for the production of Mater-Bi-expanded foam. The company reaches manufacturing capacity of 20,000 tons and records its first net profits. At the Johannesburg meeting, the UNED (United Nations Environmental Programme)and the International Chambers of Commerce present thecompany with the “World Summit Business Award for Sustainable Development Partnership” for its “Living Chemistry for Quality of Life” project.

2004: Novamont buys Easter Bio from Eastman Chemical and obtains ISO 9001 and 14001 certification. The company is also awarded the Frost & Sullivan Prize for product innovation.

2005: Several Italian municipalities adopt the Novamont aerated system, which uses small bins combined with breathable refuse bags already tested by the Norwegian company Biobag.

2006: The Novamont biorefinery opens in Terni. Fully operational in 2008, the company's manufacturing capacity reached 60,000 tons of completely biodegradable and compostable bioplastic with low environmental impact throughout its life cycle.

Novamont currently has a workforce of 160 employees and allocated more than 10% of its 62 million Euro turnover in 2008 to R&D activities. The company has a patent portfolio that includes 80 patent families and 800 internationally registered patents.

Company offices and plantsThe company head office is in Novara, with manufacturing operations at its Terni plant. The Novamont network extends directly or through distributors to: Germany, France, Benelux, Scandinavia, Denmark, USA, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Naturally Compostable, Biodegradable Mater-Bi Packaging

Novamont’s chief product Mater-Bi is biodegradable, naturally compostable and offers the same degree of resistance and impermeability as traditional plastics. Contained renewable resources from agricultural origin, it lowers emissions of greenhouse gases, and reduces consumption of energy and non-renewable resources. It thus completes a 'virtuous circle': raw materials of agricultural origin are returned to the soil through biodegradation and composting without the release of pollutants.

Mater-Bi is used in a variety of sectors: agriculture, mass market retailing, tableware, waste management, hygiene and personal care, motor industry, packaging, etc.less

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Novamont
Via Giacomo Fauser 8
28100, Novara
Italy

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