French start-up advances milk-based bioplastics

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Lactips Lactips is making packaging from biodegradeable resins based on milk proteins.

A French start-up producer of biodegradable thermoplastics is expecting its materials to hit the market in the third quarter of 2017 as it plans further growth with the construction own production plant. 

Lactips, is a producer of water soluble and biodegradable thermoplastic pellets based on milk protein, based in eastern French city of Saint-Jean Bonnefonds. 

The company was founded in 2014 after a seven-year project by the University of Saint-Etienne to develop films and pellets made of casein, a protein derived from milk. 

 

Lactips has exclusive rights on the patented pellets manufacturing process and is still working on this project, explained CEO Marie-Helene Gramatikoff to Plastics News Europe. 

“Our material is a clean biomaterial (biosourced and biodegradable), it doesn’t leave any residues or any traces in the environment. It’s an environmentally friendly product,” added Gramatikoff. 

The company is currently in the final phase of developing the pellets for the detergent market, more specifically the powder tabs for dishwashers. 

Other developments are also planned in the laundry, water treatment and agrochemicals market. 

The pellets are mainly made of milk protein, that comes from milk powder industry. The company uses non-edible casein for the non-food application and biodegradable additives. 

The milk powder is supplied by manufacturers based in Eastern Europe. 

The development of dishwasher tablets, said Gramatikoff, should finish by the end of April so the product should be on the market third quarter of 2017. 

For now, Lactips produces pellets in its lab and at a subcontractor for industrial production, a partner packaging plant manufactures its films.

The company, however, is planning to build a manufacturing site in France by the end of 2018. 

“We are looking at the different places but the plant will be in France in Loire, between Saint Etienne and Lyon in the Vallée du Gier,” the CEO explained. 

The company is still at the planning stage in terms of costs and budgeting for the new plant. 

“For the investment and size we do not yet exactly know. We haven’t made the plans yet as the building site hasn’t been define yet,” Gramatikoff added.