Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Business looking at North Dakota for 'biodegradable plastic alternative' polymer plant

Clean Sustainable Energy Authority director Al Anderson
Dave Thompson
Clean Sustainable Energy Authority director Al Anderson

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.

Related Content