Pet owners are driving demand for dog waste bags manufactured from bioplastics.
Australian company Secos Group Ltd. says the trend has boosted sales, particularly to major U.S. and European retailers.
Melbourne-based, publicly listed Secos was formed though a merger of Melbourne-based Cardia Bioplastics Ltd. with Melbourne-based privately held Stellar Films Group Pty. Ltd. in April 2015.
Cardia Bioplastics CEO Frank Glatz told Plastics News pet owners are environmentally aware consumers and U.S. and European retailers are “years ahead” of Australian retailers in wanting to sell the green-colored compostable and blue-colored Biohybrid dog waste bags.
He said Australian retailers' purchasing managers are resistant because the bags cost more than those manufactured from traditional resins.
The bags, manufactured at Secos' Nanjing, China, plant, are made from either a compostable bioplastic or Cardia's patented Biohybrid product, a mix of renewable thermoplastics, mainly corn starch, and traditional resins, which can include polyethylene and polypropylene.
The bags are sold in bone-shaped containers that are also molded from the Biohybrid resin.
Last year the Chinese plant expanded to reach an annual capacity of 250 million Biohybrid and compostable bags. Monthly orders for dog bags had increased 60 percent in the last 12 months to reach more than A$100,000 (US$79,900).
Secos moved into the dog waste bag market after exhibiting at an environmental packaging fair in Germany almost two years ago. Glatz said it took two years to become the preferred supplier of environmental packaging to a large U.S. retailer, who he would not identify.
Glatz said the Chinese plant has achieved “significant production and cost efficiencies” because its 10 production lines are operating at full capacity. This year Secos will spend about A$300,000 to further expand capacity.