Business looking at North Dakota for 'biodegradable plastic alternative' polymer plant
North Dakota’s Industrial Commission has approved a $4.2 million grant to a company that manufactures a form of bio-degradable plastic, to potentially build a plant in North Dakota, using methane.
The grant comes from the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority.
Newlight Technologies is a California-based company that already makes plastic alternative dinnerware. The company says it's product is Aircarbon, which is a high-performance, carbon-negative PHB.
"These folks have proven that they can make biodegradable polymer, a plastic alternative, that will degrade in a landfill, yet still be able to be used in your dishwasher," said Authority director Al Anderson.
In an interview, Anderson said Newlight has major companies that already sell the product – including Target.
"The key is, they have to get it up to a large enough plant scale, that they can be competitive on a cost basis, and make some money," Anderson said. "That's where we want North Dakota to come in, and be able to have one of the first facilities making bio-degradable plastic out of our methane."
Anderson said Newlight started because of the concern over the amount of plastic being dumped into the ocean.