Italian bioplastics firm Bio-on srl has signed a licensing deal with a major customer.
The customer wasn't identified in a Dec. 22 news release from Bologna, Italy-based Bio-on, but was described as “a major multinational company and leader in its sector.” Bio-on officials said the contract was worth 55 million euros ($57.5 million).
The customer plans to replace conventional plastic with Bio-on's sugar-based PHA bioplastic by the end of 2019. Bio-on and the customer also will develop new PHA applications that officials said will be worth 1 million euros per year ($1.05 million).
Over the next three years, Bio-on plans to build several PHA plants in Europe and Asia with combined annual production capacity of more than 200 million pounds. Chairman and CEO Marco Astorri said in the release that PHA “is the only real alternative to the environmental problem of conventional plastics.”
In late 2015, Bio-on invested $1.4 million in a PHA project at the University of Hawaii. That project aims to use lignocellulosic materials from wood processing waste — as well as domestic or agricultural waste — as PHA raw materials.