Italian bioplastics technology company Bio-on SpA, which, up until now, has licensed out its technology, has inaugurated its first owned plant to produce polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) - 100% natural and biodegradable biopolyesters that are produced by microorganisms.
Located in Castel San Pietro Terme, Bologna, the plant spans an area of 30,000 square metres, with a current production capacity of 1000 tonnes per year.
In a 20 June statement, the Italian company said the €20m plant will supply materials for high-added-value niche markets such as microbeads used in cosmetics.
Operated by Bio-on Plants, the site can ‘quickly double' production capacity, the company has claimed.
Bio-on Plants is the division responsible for production, future expansion and new plants at Bio-on.
Also, the site includes new research laboratories, where the company will be working on new carbon sources from agricultural waste to produce new types of biodegradable bioplastic.
According to Riccardo Casoni, Bio-on Plants director, the facility is currently running a series of tests before becoming fully operational in the autumn.
The first product to come out of the plant will be Minerv Bio Cosmetics, the bioplastic microbeads for cosmetics designed to replace the oil-based plastic particles currently used.