Golden, Colorado-based PolyNew developing biodegradable plastics made from corn-based PLA; company currently focusing research on developing bioplastic that can withstand dramatic swings in temperature

LOS ANGELES , December 12, 2011 () – Scientists at Golden, Colorado-based PolyNew, Inc. say they are developing biodegradable plastics and using renewable materials in the process, the Aurora Sentinel reported Dec. 9.

The company says the plastics being developed are derived from corn-based polyactic acid. PolyNew's plastics could also be derived from nearly any organic material, according to Laura Hollingsworth, the company's president.

PolyNew's goal is to license the material to larger companies that manufacture their own plastic packaging. Companies, Hollingsworth told the Sentinel, are eager to move away from petroleum-based material because of unpredictability and uncertainty in the petroleum market. These companies need predictable sourcing for their packages, Hollingsworth said.

Another major driver for the development of bioplastics is consumer interest in products that are sustainable.

At present, PolyNew is focusing its research on developing a bioplastic that can withstand freezing and boiling temperatures. Hollingsworth said the company's bioplastic outperforms some petroleum-based products in regard to hot and cold temperatures, but the product cracked when submitted to extreme swings in temperature. Hollingsworth acknowledged that some strength issues needed improvement.

The Sentinel noted that a 2010 EPA report stated that only 8% of the U.S.'s 31 million tonnes of plastic waste is recycled.

The primary source of this article is the Aurora Sentinel, Aurora, Colorado, Dec. 9, 2011.

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