A new bioplastic facility in China will be opened by, Shanxi Jinhui Energy, a local company better known for mining coal, following an announcement on 21 April.
The $35 million (€25 million) factory will be located in Shanxi province and produce the complex bioplastic polybutylene adipate co-terephthalate (PBAT). When it hits its full production volume, the facility will be able to produce 20,000 tonnes of the bio-based polymer every year. This, the company claims, will make it the largest PBAT production site in Asia - though only 10,000 tonnes are expected before the close of 2014.
PBAT can be employed in a range of products, including plastic shopping bags and beverage containers. Initially the principal market for Jinhui's bioplastic will be overseas, with around 70% earmarked for export to Europe and South Korea. The remaining output will be mixed with other biopolymers and sold in China. Plastic bags made of PBAT take 180 days to decompose and are classified as biodegradable according to technical standards ASTM 6400 and EN 13432. The bioplastic is also considered safe for use in food contact applications by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Jinhui's commitment to bioplastics will be welcomed by Chinese authorities, who are increasingly concerned about the volume of plastic waste being generated as its citizens enjoy the Western capitalist mode of consumption in greater numbers.
This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in food contact material , markets, and technologies.
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