Designed to rebirth

Novara, Piemonte

Among the many Italian industrial excellences, Novamont is exceptional, thanks to its highly strategic activity in bioplastics and research into renewable raw materials. Continuing the work begun within the core of Italian chemistry, Novamont, under its CEO chemist Catia Bastioli, immediately stood out for its study of innovative bioplastics derived from agricultural waste such as maize, sunflower and cardoon. Starting with the upstream agricultural chain this research led, in the early 1990s, to the invention of
Mater-Bi, the first certified biodegradable, compostable bioplastic that is also recyclable with organic waste. Mater-Bi is used mainly for the production of biodegradable bags to replace those in the traditional polyethylene, and in the production of biodegradable film for agricultural crop mulching, food
packaging and personal care products. Mater-Bi created the world’s first biodegradable plastic bag, produced under a pilot project for urban refuse collection conducted by the Bavarian town of Fürstenfeldbruck in 1992.

All images © Novamont

Mater-Bi is a range of biodegradable and compostable plastics developed by Novamont over thirty years of research. They are obtained by patented technologies in the field of processing starches, vegetable oils and combinations thereof; they have material characteristics and properties similar to those of traditional plastics, while being of vegetable origin, biodegradable and compostable according to European Standards (EN 13432).

“Thanks to what has been achieved in Italy, the carrier bag is now becoming a symbol of a possible paradigm shift, whereby we need to look at even the most insignificant object around us with new eyes in order to reinvent it, and accelerate the reconfiguration of production and consumption systems towards the triple challenge of resource efficiency, ecosystem resilience and people’s well-being.”

Catia Bastioli, Managing Director of Novamont

The text is an extract from the Lectio Magistralis “Un approccio circolare alla bioeconomia: un’opportunità per decarbonizzare l’economia e riconnetterla con la società”.

The 4th generation Mater-Bi, biodegradable compostable bioplastics.<br>
Photo Max Rommel

↑ The 4th generation Mater-Bi, biodegradable compostable bioplastics.
Photo Max Rommel