. (NASDAQ:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, compostable and sustainable plastics, announced today that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Italy-based ColorTec S.r.l. to supply bioplastic resin to the Southern Italian and Slovenian markets. This partnership reflects Cereplast’s continued commitment to working with local partners throughout Europe to bring bioplastic materials to the continent for the manufacturing of products and packaging. Manufacturers, in Italy in particular, are increasingly seeking out plastic alternatives to comply with legislation that go into effect in 2011.
"Recent environmental legislation, such as the plastic bag ban that went into effect this year in Italy, is driving demand for bioplastics, which are non-petroleum-based products," said Mr. Frederic Scheer, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Inc. “We are confident that demand will continue to rise in Europe as stores in Italy alone use approximately 20-24 billion plastic bags a year, which accounts for one-fifth of all European use. This is the equivalent of a potential $1 billion bioplastics market in Italy as plastic bag manufacturers now have to replace traditional plastic with environmentally-friendly materials.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Cereplast will provide ColorTec with its patented Compostable 3000 film grade for use in its masterbatch process for the production of shopping and garbage bags. The Cereplast 3000 film is designed to have strong puncture strength, toughness, and can be processed on existing blown film extrusion machines.
ColorTec is a leader in designing and developing masterbatches for adding colorant to bulk, uncolored resins. Its color and additive masterbatches are used in all major plastic processing methods, including blown and cast films, blownware, injection molding, extrusion coating, wire and cable, pipe and conduit, fiber spinning, among others.
ColorTec has a dominant position in Southern Italy and works closely with the municipalities in the country that have made the use of bioplastic trash bags mandatory as of January 1, 2011. As reported by British Plastic & Rubber in December 2010, Italy accounts for approximately 20 - 24 billion plastic bags in total consumption or 330 per person, annually.