SOURCE: BI-AX Inc.

BI-AX Inc.

June 24, 2009 09:00 ET

Brand Alert: Compostable Biodegradable Plastics Are a Reality

Corn-Based Evlon Film From BI-AX Enables NviroWare to Offer Tableware Products Consumers Are Willing to Pay More for to Protect the Planet

WINGHAM, ON--(Marketwire - June 24, 2009) - David Inglis, CEO of Wingham, ON-based BI-AX International Inc., sensed a green packaging opportunity in the late 90s after he learned about the Eastern Garbage Patch -- a swirling vortex in the Pacific Ocean of mostly plastic trash that has since grown to twice the size of the continental United States.

"I fully understood the strain on the earth due to petroleum-based plastics," said Inglis. "So I devoted my company to becoming part of the solution with an R&D program resulting in a completely compostable, biodegradable film called Evlon." Evlon is available in a wide range of thicknesses that can be used in all manner of consumer packaging.

Environmentally aware consumers are demanding an earth-friendly approach motivated by knowledge that plastic litter is leaching known carcinogens and hormone disruptors into the earth's soil and water. Government legislation isn't far behind, with municipalities across North America demanding that retail stores and corporations pick up more of the tab for recycling mountains of plastic and other waste.

Evlon is certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) as a packaging material that can disintegrate and biodegrade quickly and safely when composted in a professionally managed facility. When composted all that remains is water and carbon dioxide.

The inspiration for Evlon came from the rolling fields surrounding BI-AX's two manufacturing plants, totaling 265,000 sq. ft., in the southwestern Ontario farm communities of Wingham and Tiverton. Evlon's key ingredient is corn, a renewable field crop that provides starch, converted to sugar, then fermented to form lactic acid. The lactic acid is converted into a lactide molecule using heat, then the lactic acid molecules are polymerized to form PLA, or Ingeo, provided to BI-AX by NatureWorks.

BI-AX employs a proprietary process to turn the PLA into manufactured film -- the raw material for printable packaging including gift bags, health food and produce wrappers, candy wrappers, snack food bags, DVD and CD wraps, rigid cosmetics containers, labels, folding cartons and more.

Since Evlon's introduction in 2004, BI-AX has dealt with more than 100 consumer packaged goods companies, including Nviroplast, a LaPlace, LA-based bio-plastic resin and finished good manufacturer of environmentally friendly bio-plastic products with estimated 2009 revenues of $2.5 million. One of those products is the NviroWare bio-plastic line of tableware products that include forks and knives that are packaged in a rigid, printed Evlon container.

Nviroplast is currently on track to produce $2 million-a-year with NviroWare products, and promises to be a $10 million-a-year business based on interest from large U.S. retail chains. NviroWare products include: plates, bowls, cups and cutlery kits. The suggested list price ranges from $3.29 for a package of 15 count plates to $3.39 for a package of 48 pieces of cutlery compared to "oil-based" competitors that retail for about $2.39 for plates and $2.59 for cutlery kits.

"We are experiencing tremendous success with 'NviroWare,'" says Nviroplast Founder/COO Blaine DuBose. "And we've heard that our retailers in some cases are marking up NviroWare products that represent about a 50% premium over traditional plastics. This matches our own research that says 80% of consumers will pay 99 cents more for the demonstrably greener version of consumer staple products. Consumers want to do the right thing," he adds, "and that's what is being reflected in our retail customers' environmental mandates."

"In our case Evlon is an absolute requirement," says DuBose. "Yes, it costs more than plastic, but our customers are thrilled that our bio-plastic cutlery sets are biodegradable and compostable right down to the packages we put them in. The bottom line's right at the cash register, and consumers are speaking with their wallets."

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:

    Jill McCubbin
    Conversation Architect
    market2world communications inc.
    Office: (613) 256-3939
    Email: Email Contact

    or

    Dave Inglis
    CEO
    BI-AX International Inc.
    Office: 519-357-1818
    Email: Email Contact