CJ Biomaterials, Inc., a division of South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang, partnered with lifestyle innovation company Yuhan-Kimberly Co, Ltd (Seoul, South Korea) to produce sustainable products using polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), an eco-friendly, biodegradable and compostable biopolymer technology. CJ Biomaterials has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to participate in Yuhan-Kimberly’s Green Action Alliance, created to foster partnerships between organizations that work together to introduce innovative solutions using eco-friendly materials and products that accelerate the use of sustainable materials as well as the transition to a circular economy.
The two companies recognize the importance of sustainable material development and product application, and by signing this MOU they have agreed to work together to achieve mutual sustainability goals through technological innovation, and to actively participate in the commercialization of new products using sustainable materials based on CJ Biomaterials’ PHA technology.
CJ Biomaterials is one of a limited number of companies that can produce PHA at commercial scale, after recently inaugurating a PHA production facility in Pasuruan, Indonesia. The company will initially collaborate with Yuhan-Kimberly to develop consumer goods such as diapers, wet wipes and various packaging materials. If the R&D collaboration succeeds and the products are commercialized, it is expected that the value to consumers will be very impactful.
This is the latest in a series of collaboration agreements entered into by CJ Biomaterials. In August, the company signed an MOU with the global hotel chain Accor to begin developing hotel amenities that are made with PHA. Through this agreement, the two companies are working together to replace single-use plastic amenities that are provided to all Accor hotel guests. Earlier this year, CJ Biomaterials also signed a letter of intent with NatureWorks, an advanced biomaterials company, to develop sustainable materials solutions based on NatureWorks’ Ingeo™ polylactic acid (PLA) technology and CJ Biomaterials’ PHACT® amorphous PHA technology. Amorphous PHA is a softer, more rubbery version of PHA that offers fundamentally different performance characteristics than crystalline or semi-crystalline forms of PHA. It is certified biodegradable under industrial compost, soil (ambient), and marine environments.
“We plan to expand the use of eco-friendly biodegradable materials to replace petroleum-based plastics,” said Hwang Yun-il, CEO of CJ CheilJedang’s Bio Business Division. “Single-use products in our daily lives will be the starting point, and we will continue to seek relationships with companies that share our objective to develop products using sustainable materials like PHA.”
Yuhan-Kimberly has set an ESG management goal of achieving more than 95% of sales from sustainable products by 2030. "Product innovations based on eco-friendly materials generate greater consumer preference and help them to become market leaders, which ultimately enhances the circular economy. Through this cooperation with CJ Biomaterials, we will play an important role in advancing the response to climate change and creating a sustainable future for consumers by enhancing environmental performance and product power,” said Chin JaeSeung, CEO of Yuhan-Kimberly.
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