Verde Bioresins president: PolyEarthylene bioplastic offers “significant price reductions”
02 Nov 2023 — US-based bioplastics start-up Verde Bioresins says its bioplastic technology, branded PolyEarthylene, can perform as effectively as fossil-based plastics at a fraction of the price of other bioplastics on the market. The company claims its material is suitable for durable applications, is recyclable and biodegradable in landfills.
Brian D. Gordon, president and COO at Verde Bioresins, tells Packaging Insights that the company’s “primary focus lies in the largest segments of the plastics market, particularly PE and PP.”
“At Verde, we concentrate on developing bioresins tailored for single-use products and durable goods. These bioresins are designed to seamlessly replace traditional plastics with physical and mechanical properties that align with industry standards. Our goal is to broaden our product range, optimize our already economically viable production costs, and further enhance the biodegradability of our materials.”
Currently, bioplastics compose roughly 2% of the global plastics market despite being a major talking point among industry stakeholders as a circularity solution.
According to European Bioplastics, the global production capacity of bioplastics is set to grow from around 2.23 million tons in 2022 to approximately 6.3 million tons in 2027.
The largest application remains packaging, which consumed 48% of the total market in 2022.
An example of a Verde shopping bag created with PolyEarthylene.Double costs, long-term benefits?
Gordon explains that it took approximately three years to develop the processes that enable PolyEarthylene to be drop-in ready with existing plastics conversion equipment.
“Our committed team of chemists, chemical engineers and mechanical engineers successfully integrated a dozen traditionally incompatible ingredients, achieving their harmonious collaboration,” he says.
Generally, PolyEarthylene behaves similarly to traditional plastic, Gordon claims. Being curbside recyclable and biodegradable in landfills separates the material from most other bioplastics, he says.
“PolyEarthylene is not temperature sensitive or brittle and is suitable for producing durable goods. It is also highly scalable and a fraction of the capital cost of most bioplastics at scale.”
However, while Verde says its PolyEarthylene offers an economically competitive solution at the lower end of the price range among bio-based biodegradable resins, it remains approximately double the cost of fossil-based materials.
“In the coming years, we anticipate significant price reductions, aiming to lower the cost from US$1.80 per pound to US$1.50 per pound or less,” Gordon says.
Verde is now looking to raise US$55 million net of expenses in conjunction with its partner, TLGY SPAC (special purpose acquisition company). TLGY is led by Jin-Goon Kim, a former partner of TPG Capital and a former CEO of industry leaders in Asia, including Dell Korea and Li Ning.
This investment, if successful, is expected to grow Verde’s PolyEarthylene production to hundreds of millions of pounds per year, says Gordon.
“The deSPAC process should enable Verde to become a NASDAQ-listed publicly traded company with access to the capital markets to foster the expansion of PolyEarthylene production capacity worldwide,” explains Gordon.
As investors and industry come together to develop the nascent bioplastics sector, Gordon also says global governments must step in to aid the transition away from fossil-based materials through financial designs.
“Policymakers should provide plastics users with tax incentives to use renewable and sustainable biodegradable resins. The UN Global Plastics Treaty, if and when adopted, narrowly tailored, and universally enforced on all nations, could play a significant role in encouraging renewable and sustainable products with quality end-of-life solutions,” he says.
By Louis Gore-Langton
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