Trellis Earth Products, Inc. (“Trellis” or the “Company”), a rapidly growing supplier and manufacturer of branded biodegradable food packaging and plastic bags made with renewable resources, announced that it has filed two new patents for bioplastics technology with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The first of Trellis’ two new patent applications covers an improved method of bioplastics formulation and technology for the Company’s “sustainable” starch/hybrid blend, enabling the production of a food safe, waterproof, injection moldable and thermoformable blend at approximately 70% biomass. This represents a modification of the Company’s existing product blend (“Trellis Classic Blend”) adapted to new, high performance processing equipment for its U.S. manufacturing plant in Wilsonville, Oregon, leading to improved product qualities that include additional strength, higher biomass, lower cost, and greater formability, among other attributes.
Trellis’ second patent application covers the U.S. implementation of its “next generation” technology blend for a bioplastic that uses agricultural industry byproducts such as wheat chaff and soybean hulls as feedstock, creating 100% petroleum-free “plastic.” This new proprietary blend of biomass will allow the creation of deliware that behaves like paper, but is manufactured with the economies of scale of plastics. This material is water proof and food-contact safe, yet is entirely petroleum free at a lower cost, within the realm of polystyrene manufacturing. This blend is ideal for thermoforming trays and plates for compostable food service and conventional packaging applications. Both patent applications were filed on July 8, 2011.
“We are continuing to strengthen our intellectual property portfolio as the market for bio-based plastics in the food services industry is growing rapidly,” stated Bill Collins, Founder, President and CEO of Trellis Earth Products, Inc. “These two new materials represent significant enhancements to enable us to extend our product lines in both retail and wholesale markets, while building on our brand, Trellis Earth® and our commitment to reducing and eliminating petrochemicals from food service disposables, and delivering on our commitment to enabling our customers to ‘Go Green For Free,’ or at no additional cost to petroleum based plastics.”
According to a recent report referenced in Packaging Digest, the global demand for bioplastics is expected to quadruple by 2013, driven by increased interest in the use of plant-based polymers as a result of rising oil prices and fossil fuel depletion. The new report — The Global Outlook for Biodegradable Packaging — notes that bioplastics currently accounts for less than 10% of global plastics use and that sector growth is approximately 17% to 20% a year since 2006.
Mr. Collins added, “We are leading the industry into a new era of petroleum free bioplastics that repurpose agricultural by-products and eliminate both the use of food crops and the use of petroleum in plastics. This can greatly reduce the food service and retail packaging industries’ reliance on materials that contribute to global warming, and help create new jobs and new opportunities for sustainable business practices at the same time.”