Through its Novamont North America subsidiary, Novamont is strengthening its commercial presence in North America after confirming its partnership with Canadian firm Dubois Agrinovation, which will be marketing its Bio360 films throughout North America under the Agro Mater-Bi® brand.
Mater-Bi® is the family of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics compliant with international standards, containing renewable resources of agricultural origin and guaranteeing the same physical and mechanical performance as traditional plastics. Novamont’s bioplastics made of Mater-Bi® reduce the consumption of energy and non-renewable sources, thus completing a virtuous circle: raw materials of agricultural origin return to the earth through processes of biodegradation and composting, without releasing pollutants.
In agricultural mulching the plastic film is placed on the ground to maintain humidity, prevent the growth of weeds and keep the soil warmer. Compared with traditional plastic films, Agro Mater-Bi® mulch film offers an agronomically and environmentally more efficient alternative because at the end of the crop cycle it does not need to be removed or disposed of. Agro Mater-Bi® mulch film is certified with the “OK Biodegradable soil” label. This certification is in line with the biodegradability requirements specified by the National Organic Program of USDA. With its certified biodegradability in the soil, mulch film made of Agro Mater-Bi® is converted into an organic substance, water and carbon dioxide, without releasing any harmful substances, thus drastically reducing the environmental impact and saving the farmer time and resources.
“Dubois Agrinovation is a sound business that combines competence in the agricultural sector with innovation, and is the ideal partner to offer mulch films made of our biodegradable and compostable bioplastics on the vast North American market,” explains Alessandro Ferlito, Head of Sales at Novamont SpA.
“In 2005, we introduced Mater-Bi mulch film in North America; the interest for this unique compostable mulch film has been continuously increasing over the years. Our customers are very passionate about Bio360. Dubois Agrinovation is looking forward to working with Novamont to further develop the North American agricultural market,” stated Eric Menard, Business Development Manager at Dubois Agrinovation.
Mater-Bi® mulch film is the first polymer in the world that has managed to meet the “OK Biodegradable Soil” standard issued by Vinçotte (a leading international certification institute). It fully meets the requirements of existing international standards in terms of biodegradation and environmental impact and complies with the following European and American standards:
• UNI EN 13432:2002 (“Packaging - Requirements for Packaging Recoverable through Composting and Biodegradation - Test Scheme and Evaluation Criteria for the final acceptance of packaging”)
• UNI EN 14995:2007 (“Plastics. Evaluation of Compostability. Test Scheme and Specifications”)
• ASTM 6400:04 (“Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics”)
• NF U52-001 (“Matériaux biodégradables pour l'agriculture et l'horticulture - Produits de paillage - Exigences et méthodes d'essai“) relating specifically to the biodegradability of mulching film.
Novamont (novamont.com) is the leading company in the development and production of materials and biochemicals through the integration of chemistry, the environment and agriculture. With 370 employees (approx. 20% employed in R&D), it registered a turnover of €136 million in 2013 and made continuous investments in research and development activities (6.2% of its 2013 turnover). It has a portfolio of around 1,000 patents. Headquartered in Novara, Novamont has a production facility in Terni and research laboratories in Novara, Terni and Piana di Monte Verna (CE). Novamont also has subsidiaries in Porto Torres (SS), Bottrighe (RO), Terni and Patrica (FR) and commercial offices in Germany, France and the United States. It operates through its own distributors in Benelux, Scandinavia, Denmark, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.