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August 8, 2008

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Greening of an Industry: PHBV gets food-contact approval

Tianan Biologic Materials Company Ltd. (Ningbo, China; www.tianan-enmat.com), which claims to be the world’s largest supplier of polyhydroxy butyrate valerate (PHBV), a plastic based on renewable resources, reports that law firm Keller and Heckman LLP concluded that PHBV produced by Tianan Biologic complies compositionally with the EU Plastics Directive (2002/72/EC), and therefore may be lawfully used within Europe in food contact plastic articles.

Jim Lunt, VP sales & marketing for Tianan Biologic Materials Company Ltd., says food-contact approval should open up a number of new packaging opportunities for the material. “We are also aggressively pursuing food contact approval in the USA as well,” wrote Lunt in an email to MPW. Lunt was one of the founders of NatureWorks LLC (www.natureworksllc.com), a major supplier of polylactic acid, a plastic also based on plant starch.

Tianan Biolig has 2000 tonnes/yr of PHBV capacity but plans to expand that fivefold. PHBV also is derived from corn starch and is biodegradable. Tianan Biolig offers molding grades already and is developing extrusion and other grades. The material offers a natural water, gas, and aroma barrier.—[email protected]

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