Grain-based products maker MGP Ingredients Inc. has commercialized its first biodegradable resin.
The material — sold under the Terratek BD trade name — will be formally introduced at the Sustainable Packaging Forum, scheduled for Sept. 11-13 in Pittsburgh.
Atchison, Kan.-based MGP has made bioplastics since 2006, but its offerings to date were bio-based but not biodegradable, Mike Parker, product development and sales manager, said in a Sept. 6 phone interview.
The firm's previous product lines were starch composites and wood-plastic composites, also sold under the Terratek name, he said.
Terratek BD now is aimed at a variety of injection molded industrial and consumer products, such as disposable packaging materials and containers. Products made with Terratek BD will biodegrade within 90 days, Parker said.
MGP makes the material at a plant in Onaga, Kan., from a proprietary blend of wheat-based and corn-based products and other compostable materials. The 71-year-old firm also toll produces a separate line of bioplastics for MCG Biocomposites, a technology firm based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Parker said the two materials do not compete with each other. MCG even does some marketing of MGP's bioresins for MGP, he added.
MGP's main product lines are grain-based food ingredients and alcohol products for branded packaged goods. Bioresins are a smaller part of what the company does, but they've grown to the point where MGP is producing 1 million to 2 million pounds of them each year.
“Bioplastics started out as [a research and development] effort for us, but they've shown a lot of potential,” Parker said.