An Australian bioplastic manufacturer has won a US$1.2 million contract to provide biodegradable packaging to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Biograde Ltd., based in Melbourne, will supply seven types of bags made from its patented Biograde BF resin, including branded show bags, bin liners and waste management bags.
Biograde BF is derived primarily from cornstarch and polyesters and is ``fully biodegradable,'' giving it an advantage over bags that mix biodegradable resins with conventional plastics like polyethylene, said Managing Director Frank Glatz. The bioplastic meets European compostability standard EN13432, as required by the Beijing Olympics organizing committee. The resins are manufactured at the company's plant in Nanjing, China.
The European standard requires 95 percent of a bag's material to biodegrade into carbon and water within six months, with the help of microbial organisms, he said. The biodegradable bags also are in line with the Beijing committee's ``green materials, green Olym-pics'' strategy, Glatz said.
Biograde's ability to manufacture the packaging from its Nanjing plant also worked in its favor.
Biograde Chairman Pat Volpe said winning the Olympics contract has given Biograde ``rapid growth opportunities'' to expand its market further in Australia and internationally.
The Chinese government also has expressed interest in using Biograde BF products in a bioplastics case study to be presented to manufacturers across China, said a company spokesman.