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Mater-Bi ® of new generation: an Italian biodegradable plastic material to be used for fishing gears

Mater-Bi® of new generation is a biodegradable plastic with good biodegradability in the marine environment. It is produced as granules by the Italian company Novamont S.p.a. and can be processed according to normal industrial conversion techniques. The raw materials used for the production of Mater-Bi® of new generation are starch and partly bio-based biodegradable polyesters. The raw materials are obtained from corn and oil crops cultivated in Europe according to traditional agricultural practices. All grades of Mater-Bi® are certified according to the main European and international standards by certification agencies.

In the framework of the European Pilot Program "Environmental Technology Verification" (ETV), laboratory tests have been carried out by Novamont S.p.a. on samples of Mater-Bi, which were exposed to marine sediments taken from a coastal zone.

The tests, supervised by the Italian Institute of Plastics (IIP) and verified by Certiquality, showed that the products realized with Mater-Bi®, degrade very quickly, thus reducing their residence time in the marine environment  to less than one year. These results suggest the use of Mater-Bi® for the production of plastic objects with high risk of dispersion in the sea (for example, fishing gears). As illustrated by Dr Degli Innocenti  (Novamont SpA) during the Third Meeting with stakeholders organized by GHOST project, the production of Mater-bi® nets for mussel farming is currently being tested, which would drastically reduce their  impacts on marine environment.

For more information: http://www.novamont.com/

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