Formerra Begins Selling ISCC Plus–certified Materials

The healthcare industry is leading demand for biobased feedstocks because of concern over contamination using recycled-content materials, said the company at NPE.

Geoff Giordano

May 8, 2024

2 Min Read
compostable plastic resin
Image courtesy of Formerra/AFC Ecoplastics

Performance materials distributor Formerra announced at NPE2024 that it has earned approval to begin selling ISCC Plus–certified materials for the mass balance process. 

Formerra also will supply compostable products from AFC Ecoplastics to consumer and medical packaging customers across North America in answer to growing customer demand for sustainable alternatives and more stringent plastics regulations.

The mass balance approach to making plastics combines alternative renewable or circular feedstock with fossil-based feedstock. 

“We’re seeing interest (for ISCC-certified materials) on the supply side and the demand side,” said Michael Balasko, Formerra’s director of sustainability and business development.

The healthcare industry is leading demand for biobased feedstocks, Balasko explained, because of concern over the contamination inherent with recycled-content materials. That interest is leading more suppliers to approach Formerra to partner in selling ISCC-certified materials.

Nine warehouses across the US earn certification.

Formerra earned certification for nine of its warehouses located across the United States for optimal delivery. Formerra was audited and certified by SCS Global Services and will undergo annual audits to maintain certification. It’s an important step for the young company, formerly Avient Distribution, in its second year.

With certification in hand, “we’re ready to start selling material,” Balasko said. “We have suppliers that have materials available, and we had told some customers that we had started down this path. We’re going to start contacting those customers and letting them know we are ready to start sampling and pursuing opportunities.”

Mass balance approach is preferred process.

The mass balance approach “is one of three chain-of-custody processes that ISCC uses, but it’s really the only one that allows blending of sustainable materials with virgin fossil fuel–type materials,” Balasko said. This helps stakeholders along the supply chain ease into using more sustainable materials without having to change their equipment or processes, he added. 

Going hand in hand with the ability to sell these materials, Balasko stressed, is the need to educate more users — processors, assemblers, and contract manufacturers operating between the material suppliers and brand owners — not only in their application, but the emerging landscape of plastics regulations.

“Helping customers meet their sustainability goals is part of our growth initiative. Providing sustainable solutions is just the first component; we have to figure out where exactly advocacy plays a role in the future," said Balasko.

AFC partnership expands range of compostable resins.

Meanwhile, the partnership with AFC, announced just before NPE2024, makes available a range of AFC’s compostable resins, compounds, and colorants, including:

  • PBAT (polybutylene co-adipate co-terephthalate)

  • PBS (polybutylene succinate)

These materials, engineered for use in rigid and film applications, medical packaging, and labware have received FDA and Health Canada approvals and BPI certification.

Find Formerra at booth S39025 at NPE2024, which runs through May 10 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

About the Author(s)

Geoff Giordano

Geoff Giordano is a tech journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in all facets of publishing. He has reported extensively on the gamut of plastics manufacturing technologies and issues, including 3D printing materials and methods; injection, blow, micro and rotomolding; additives, colorants and nanomodifiers; blown and cast films; packaging; thermoforming; tooling; ancillary equipment; and the circular economy. Contact him at [email protected].

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