MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northern Technologies International Corporation (Nasdaq:NTIC) announced that it has formed Natur-Tec India Private Limited, a majority (90%) owned subsidiary based in Chennai, India, to capitalize on the increasing market demand for Natur-Tec® bioplastic products in India and the surrounding South Asian region. With the rapid growth of the Indian economy over the past decade, and the emergence of a burgeoning consumer-oriented middle class, plastics consumption in India has grown exponentially. According to a report from GlobalData, India is currently the world's third largest consumer of plastics, behind China and the United States. However, the increased plastics consumption combined with inadequate waste disposal infrastructure, has created a plastic pollution problem in India. Local governments in various regions within India have stepped in with legislation and regulations curbing the use of single-use plastic bags and plastic packaging for fast-moving consumer goods. This is turn, has created a substantial opportunity for certified compostable and biobased alternatives to conventional plastics. NTIC was one of the first companies to promote bioplastics in India in 2006, when it started marketing its Natur-Tec line of fully compostable and biobased packaging solutions through its Indian joint-venture Harita-NTI Pvt. Ltd. G. Patrick Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Northern Technologies International Corporation, said, "NTIC has built strong credibility in the Indian market over the past few years. Our Natur-Tec bioplastic packaging solutions have been readily adopted by major consumer brands, including a large global marquee garment brand. This newly formed subsidiary will allow us to build upon this initial momentum and better serve our customers in the growing market for bioplastics within India and the surrounding countries of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan." The General Manager of the new NTIC subsidiary will be Dr. Sunder Balakrishnan, a graduate of the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai, India. He also earned a doctorate in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University, under the guidance of Prof. Ramani Narayan, a world-renowned expert on bioplastics. Dr. Balakrishnan has co-authored several patents and international publications in the area of bioplastics and is currently a representative on bio-polymers at International Standards Organization and Bureau of Indian Standards, and an expert consultant to UNIDO, International Centre for Advancements in Manufacturing Technology in the area of Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers.