Floreon Secures New Investors for "Performance" Bioplastic; Aims to Hit U.S. Shores Soon
4. February 2014
Floreon Transforming Packaging of Hull, U.K., has secured multiple new investors through an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) to bring its patent-pending “performance” bioplastic material to market, and the U.S. is its prime regional target. An EIS is designed to help high-potential growth start-up companies to raise finance with the process of investment offering a range of tax reliefs to investors who purchase new shares in those companies.
The Floreon bioplastic has been under development for the past four years through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Sheffield. It is a specially formulated compound which is added to standard PLA bioplastic. The plant-based, fully-recyclable and biodegradable compound reportedly is four times tougher than standard PLA and requires less energy to produce than oil-based PET. The product has been analyzed and tested in many different applications, has been shown to outperform other plastics, and has passed independent food-contact testing by Smithers-Rapra.
Company spokesman Andrew Gill tells PT that the material was first developed to product large ‘water cooler’ bottles and that the company has been exploring a wide range of other applications—from gift cards to film and even more ‘durable’ items. He says, their core technology has been demonstrated and successfully trialed and they are keen to explore all options for the North American market. In particular, Floreon’s next step is to move into the U.S. market, where over 330-million lb/yr of PLA are now being produced.
“Floreon is an extremely versatile material and is designed to run on existing equipment with little or no modification, so we’re aiming to reach the market sooner rather than later. Our first goal is to make contact with the best and most active converters who are already working with PLA. These companies would ideally use our material as a drop-in solution to enhance their existing production and more importantly to enable them to get into new applications and markets.”
The company is making its ‘debut’ this month at this year’s Innovation Takes Root conference (Feb. 17-19 in Orlando, Fla.) sponsored by leading PLA producer NatureWorks, Minnetonka, Minn., and expects to meet with potential partners.