(Ludwigshafen / Germany; www.basf.com
) has licensed its technology for certified compostable aliphatic-aromatic co-polyester (PBAT) to China’s Red Avenue New Materials
group (Shanghai; www.rachem.com/en
). With a 60,000 t/y plant to be built in Shanghai, the Chinese company will produce and sell PBAT that meets the German chemical giant’s quality standards. The facility is set to go on stream in 2022, and BASF will take the output to produce its “Ecoflex” biopolyester.
According to BASF, the global market for certified compostable and bio-based plastics should grow by around 15 % this year. Going forward, as new laws and regulations specifying the use of compostable materials in packaging, agricultural mulch films and bags come into effect across the globe, the positive market development is expected to continue, it said.
The Ecoflex biopolymer launched by the Ludwigshafen-based group in 1998, though biodegradable, is petrochemical-based. However, when compounded with renewable raw materials to manufacture such products as “Ecovio” it qualifies as a certified compostable biopolymer. The compound Ecovio contains 45% polylactic acid (PLA) by weight. Typical applications are in organic waste bags, cling film and fruit and vegetable bags, in addition to agricultural mulch films and food packaging.