NatureWorks LLC is moving its headquarters and opening a new biopolymer research facility in Plymouth, Minn. The company, previously based in nearby Minnetonka, said the move was prompted by the rapid growth in the market for sustainable biomaterials.
The expanded laboratory capabilities in Plymouth will support research into the full circular lifecyle of Ingeo biopolymers from next-generation fermentation technology to new applications and increased functionality, the company said.
The new space will also act as a showcase for examples of Ingeo in applications from appliances to 3D printing and compostable and recyclable paper coatings. It has been built using low environmental impact materials and features lighting, flooring and art made with Ingeo as well as systems for reducing water and energy usage. An organics recycling collection system has been installed that will divert food waste away from landfills to compost. Compostable food serviceware, coffee pods and tea bags will all be available to visitors and employees.
“These new facilities will help accelerate the pace of research and innovation as the urgent need for real, safe solutions that help address climate and environmental challenges from plastics and chemicals continues to grow,” President and CEO Rich Altice said.
The move to the new headquarters and research facility will begin in February.