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Nordic Bioproducts Group signs strategic Thai MoU

Nordic Bioproducts Group signs strategic Thai MoU
At the MoU signing on April 5, 2024, in Bangkok, Thailand, Ambassador of Finland Jyri Järviaho (left); Takeyuki Doi, President of PTT MCC Biochem Ltd; Olli Kähkönen, CEO & Co-Founder of Nordic Bioproducts Group; Ville Tavio, Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, and Dr Olli Dahl, Aalto University (photo courtesy NBG).

Finnish biomaterial innovation startup Nordic Bioproducts Group (NBG), developer of the pioneering AaltoCell Technology, has announced that it has entered into a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Thailand-headed PTT MCC Biochem Company Ltd (PTT MCC), one of the world’s leading bioplastic producers, to advance the performance and compostability of bioplastics.

A spinout from Aalto University, Nordic Bioproducts Group was founded in 2019 by Professor Olli Dahl and Senior Commercial Officer Olli Kähkönen in cooperation with the Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering.

According to a statement, the partnership marks a significant milestone in advancing bioplastic technology. It includes, for example, PTT MCC utilizing Nordic Bioproducts Group’s cellulosic fibers as an ingredient in its innovative bioplastic product “BioPBS”.

The joint development project is focused on creating next-generation bioplastics, specifically, new grades of bio-polybutylene succinate (BioPBS) that leverage Nordic Bioproduct Group’s biomaterial expertise and integrate its advanced cellulosic materials, such as its sustainable activated cellulose fibers.

The cellulose can serve as a key component in the manufacturing process of bioplastics, effectively replacing petroleum-derived substances.

Spur bioplastics innovation

Thailand is the world’s second-largest producer of bioplastics, with the local government supporting many initiatives to help the world move from petroleum-derived plastics to biodegradable bioplastics.

As a result, the collaboration between Nordic Bioproducts Group and PTT MCC is a natural step towards advancing innovation in bioplastics.

The project target is to produce bioplastic materials that boost home compostability and biodegradability while delivering advanced properties and performance, enabling penetration into new markets where petroleum-based plastic products have dominated.

Develop ‘home compostable’ materials

The project will prioritize the development of ‘home compostable’ materials, targeting single-use products (SUPs) such as coffee capsules, cutlery, containers, plates, and mugs – enlarging the growing markets.

NBG’s activated cellulose fibers meet strict food container safety regulations and are uncompromising in quality and purity. They are derived from clean water and FSC-certified, traceable, sustainably managed forests in Finland, making them the perfect solution for the growing industry without compromising product quality or price (photo courtesy NBG).

The coffee capsule market is expected to grow to US$11.9 billion by 2032, with Asia Pacific being the largest market for coffee capsules in 2023, followed by Western Europe.

However, most capsules are produced from aluminum, which can be recycled but is not compostable.

As single-use packages often end up in nature rather than recycling centers, ensuring their compostability is key to making the whole industry more environmentally friendly.

The collaboration represents a significant step forward in the green transition through innovative, high-performance, and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional plastics. Bringing high-quality and competitive solutions to the market is key to making alternatives to plastic attractive and scalable, said Olli Kähkönen, CEO and co-founder of Nordic Bioproducts Group.

Partnership with Marubeni

The new MoU with PTT MCC is a continuation of Nordic Bioproducts Group’s success in the Asian market, followed by its partnership with Marubeni, the Japanese multinational corporation.

We are delighted that big companies like Marubeni and PTT MCC have trusted us and our technology to help them achieve their ambitious goals. As we are gearing towards impact at scale and mass production, we can be a vital partner for more and more big global companies, helping them create environmentally conscious products that meet the highest standards of quality and sustainability, ended Olli Kähkönen.

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