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02 | 2010

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Materials New Business

Materials New Business Formed To Buy Post- Consumer PLA In early March BioCor LLC from Concord, California, USA announced its launch as a new venture in the business of buying, aggregating, and processing post-consumer Polylactic acid (PLA). BioCor will capitalize on the ease with which PLA can be converted back to its original lactic acid feedstock for subsequent use in a variety of existing end markets BioCor Executive Director Mike Centers explains that BioCor will pay recyclers an economically attractive price for PLA in any packaging format and work with recyclers to achieve efficient separation of post-consumer PLA from other plastics. BioCor provides recyclers with a market for any postconsumer PLA they process. BioCor will also collaborate on PLA recycling pilot projects and work with federal, state, and municipal entities, non-governmental organizations, consumer groups, and recycling organizations. “Greater sustainability in plastic packaging depends on decreasing the carbon footprint of the plastics used and on recapturing and re-using a greater percentage of postconsumer packaging,” said Centers. “Plastics made from renewable plant sources such as PLA, which is 100 % biobased, offer a means to achieve these goals. I’ve joined BioCor LLC with the intent of making a business out of buying the post-consumer PLA already out there in the market. I believe the economics of selling recycled PLA to a variety of lactic acid end markets are compelling. The BioCor business will conserve nonrenewable resources, lower carbon emissions, and reduce packaging waste.” Unlike most petroleum-based plastics today, bioplastics such as PLA offer multiple end-of-life scenarios. For example, PLA offers a true ‘cradle-to-cradle’ end-of-life option whereby PLA can be completely converted back into its fundamental building block, lactic acid, and then reformulated into a biopolymer. PLA can also be commercially composted and incinerated carbon-neutral in a waste-to-energy plant. BioCor’s primary focus is on supplying recycled PLA to those interested in lactic acid uses. Centers is a 20 year recycling industry veteran and founder of Titus Maintenance and Installations Services, Inc., an industry leader in the installation of Material Recovery Facilities (MRF’s) and in supplying MRF maintenance services in the western U.S. While president of California based consulting services provider CMMA, Centers advised on the California Bottle Bill and Assembly Bill 32, wrote grants for several single stream MRF’s in California, and provided input to California’s Department of Conservation and the California chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. Centers has also been in different general management positions. Located in Concord, California, BioCor is currently hiring staff and scaling up its infrastructure to address the North American market. In the meantime, Centers indicates that BioCor has already been approached by several parties eager to sell post-industrial and post-consumer PLA and is in the process of assessing those initial supplies. MT www.biocor.org 30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/10] Vol. 5

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