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CJ Biomaterials Unveils Fully Biodegradable PHA Bottle Cap
Beyond Plastic is using CJ Biomaterials polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers to develop the world’s first completely biodegradable plastic bottle cap CJ Biomaterials, a division of South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang, has announced another application for its PHACT-branded PHA. Beyond Plastic, a California-based PHA manufacturer, is using PHACT to develop what it calls the world’s first completely biodegradable plastic bottle cap. In addition to being fully biodegradable, the bottle cap is also recyclable and compostable. “Utilizing CJ Biomaterials’ PHA biopolymers, we’ve developed an authentically eco-conscious alternative to conventional plastic bottle caps,” said Fred Pinczuk, Beyond Plastic’s CTO. “Our aim is to offer tailored PHA formulations for diverse applications, such as straws, caps, and various single-use plastics currently threatening our environment. Once the process is streamlined, it will catalyse a profound transformation within the industry,” he added. CJ Biomaterials’ PHACT, a contraction of ‘PHA’ and ‘Act’, was launched in 2022 and was then the only amorphous PHA on the market. It is a softer, more rubbery version of PHA that offers different performance characteristics than the crystalline or semi-crystalline forms that currently dominate the PHA market. Polyhydroxyalkanoates are linear polyesters produced in living cells in nature through bacterial fermentation of sugars or lipids. The raw materials for Phact are sugars sourced from plants like sugar cane, tapioca, corn and cellulosic biomass. CJ BIO can increase PHA content in microorganisms from about 5% default accumulation up to 85% through fermentation via engineered microbial strains. The company employs advanced downstream technology for the extraction of PHA components and for the manufacture of specific products. PHACT is certified biodegradable under industrial compost, soil (ambient), and marine environments. It is also considered ‘home compostable,’ meaning that it does not require specialised equipment or elevated temperatures to fully degrade. “These PHA-based bottle caps not only address the pressing environmental concerns associated with traditional plastic caps, but also demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of our PHA technology in delivering sustainable alternatives,” said Max Senechal, CCO at CJ Biomaterials. Earlier this year, CJ Biomaterials introduced a PHA-based polybag for same-day delivery. The company also works with NatureWorks to broaden the use of PHACT PHA in multiple markets and applications.
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