NantBioPlastics LLC, a subsidiary of Calcean Minerals and Materials LLC, has invested $8.3 million in a new Gadsden, Ala., manufacturing facility to meet demand for compostable single-use products.
"Many states and counties have passed legislation moving from plastics to environmentally friendly materials. However, they have not clearly identified replacement products or processes," Kenn Budlong, chief operating officer, told Plastics News in an emailed statement.
"NBP has been developing products [using] our core 'ocean calcium sand,' which is renewable and sustainable, provides negative carbon credits [at the] beginning of [its life cycle] and valuable nutrients to the soil at end of life," Budlong said.
The company's goal is to have a one-stop shop for customers to use NBP's proprietary formula bioresins "and convert to finished products in one location," he said.
NBP also plans to continue developing additional formulas through research and development at the plant "to expand the use of bioresins," Budlong said.
The 55,000-square-foot building, which opened at the beginning of 2023, features compostable straw extrusion, sheet extrusion and thermoforming, blown film and bagging lines, and 3D filament extrusion.
NBP expects to create 55 new jobs by the end of the year as a result of the expansion, Budlong said, including 35-45 direct and eight to 10 indirect employees. That number "more than doubles" the company's current staff, he added.
"We are extremely excited to provide the market manufacturing capacity of 200 million compostable straws per month," Budlong said. "Significant investment in multiple new extrusion lines will provide superior quality at market-leading pricing."