Nov 15, 2022
CJ Biomaterials Inc. and NatureWorks join forces on sustainable materials solutions

CJ Biomaterials Inc., a division of South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang and leading producer of polyhydroxyalkanoate, and NatureWorks, an advanced materials company that is the world’s leading producer of polylactic acid, have signed a Master Collaboration Agreement.

Rich Altice, president & CEO of NatureWorks (left), and Seung-Jin Lee, head of the Biomaterials Business at CJ CheilJedang, gathered to celebrate the signed Master Collaboration Agreement between the two companies focused on developing new products based on the Ingeo PLA and PHACT PHA technologies.

The agreement calls for the two organizations to collaborate on the development of sustainable materials solutions based on CJ Biomaterials’ PHACT Biodegradable Polymers and NatureWorks’ Ingeo biopolymers. The two companies will develop 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 food serviceware. The new solutions developed will also aim to speed up biodegradation to introduce more “after-use” options consistent with a circular economy model. The focus on compostable food packaging and serviceware will create more solutions for keeping methane-generating food scraps out of landfills, which are the third largest source of methane emissions globally, according to World Bank.

“We are excited to build on our strong relationship with NatureWorks to tackle the challenge of plastic waste,” said Seung-Jin Lee, head of biomaterials business for CJ CheilJedang. “Plastic pollution is a major global concern, and to successfully address this problem, it is critical to introduce new solutions that will have a real impact by improving the biodegradability and compostability of plastic.”

CJ Biomaterials and NatureWorks plan to expand their relationship beyond cooperative product development for packaging to create new applications in the films and nonwoven markets. For these additional applications, the two companies will enter into strategic supply agreements to support development efforts.

“We feel strongly that the next generation of sustainable materials needs to begin with renewable, biobased feedstocks, have a wide range of tailorable performance attributes, and be designed for after-use scenarios from compostability to chemical recycling,” NatureWorks CEO Rich Altice said. “These principles are inherent in both CJ’s PHACT PHA and our Ingeo PLA, and we have witnessed very positive early results when incorporating these two industry-leading biomaterials. This collaboration between our two organizations is going to lead to the development of exciting, industry-advancing technologies.”

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