In each issue of the Bioplastics Newsletter, we present some facts about a member of European Bioplastics. This month, Leah Ford, Global Marketing & Communications Manager of NatureWorks, shares some interesting insights on her company.
5 facts about NatureWorks, USA
NatureWorks is an advanced materials company offering a broad portfolio of renewably sourced polymers and chemicals. With performance and economics that compete with oil-based materials, naturally advanced Ingeo™ biomaterials are valued for their unique functional properties and used in products from coffee capsules and food serviceware to tea bags and 3D printing filament.
NatureWorks was the first to produce PLA biopolymers at commercial scale and, to this day, is the largest manufacturer globally of PLA biopolymers. With an annual total capacity of 150,000 metric tons, our Blair, Nebraska facility is the largest PLA manufacturing plant in the world.
NatureWorks recently announced plans to build a new Ingeo PLA manufacturing complex in Thailand, adding an additional 75,000 metric tons of Ingeo biopolymer to our annual production. The complex will include production sites for lactic acid, lactide, and polymer, making it the world’s first PLA facility designed to be fully integrated.
NatureWorks is continually developing Ingeo grades tailored to enhance performance in its various markets and applications. For example, our newest grade, Ingeo 3D700, was developed for large-format 3D printing and significantly reduces warping and minimizes print failures.
Since 2015, NatureWorks has partnered with the Ellen MacArthur foundation to support the foundation’s New Plastics Economy Initiative, a comprehensive strategy for creating a global plastics system based on circular economy principles. We regularly partner with customers to design products that fit with multiple after-use options like mechanical recycling, composting, chemical recycling, incineration with energy recovery, and anaerobic digestion.