German bioplastics compounder FKuR Kunststoff GmbH is importing material into the U.S. and Canada and hopes to have a North American production site by 2012.
Willich, Germany-based FKuR has a single customer each in the U.S. and Canada, but interest in its product is growing, said technology and marketing director Christian Bonten.
We want to have a sales staff and production in [North America], but we need to have about 3,000 kilotons [6.6 million pounds] of demand there before we take that step, Bonten said at NPE2009 in Chicago.
He said he was optimistic that FKuR could reach that goal by 2012.
FKuR makes compounds based on combinations of polylactic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoate and similar materials. The firm's suppliers include BASF AG, NatureWorks LLC and Tianan Biologic Material Co. Ltd.
Bioplastic compounds made by FKuR include Bio-Flex-brand compostable PLA and Biograde-brand cellulose blends. Markets for Bio-Flex include fruit and vegetable packaging, as well as bags for waste and mulch. Biograde is being sold into cutlery, bottles and technical parts.
Recent Bio-Flex applications include a fruit and vegetable net bag made by GirÃ³ Group of Badalona, Spain, that GirÃ³ claims is the world's first fully compostable net bag. Also, the Bio-Pen ink pen, made by Ritter-Pen GmbH in Brensbach, Germany, is 80 percent composed of renewable and compostable Biograde.
FKuR ranks as Europe's third-largest bioplastics supplier, according to Bonten.
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