Sustainable innovation in bioplastics: Cleantech Hero B4Plastics delivers tailor-made solutions



With its sustainable bioplastics, B4Plastics won the coveted title of Cleantech Hero Materials 2022. The biodegradable polycondensates produced by the company, which is based in Dilsen-Stokkem, have the same qualities as many classic variants such as polyamides and polyesters, but they are both recyclable and biodegradable.

This innovation addresses a real sustainability issue and the demand for biodegradable plastics is growing steadily, especially in so-called ‘wear applications’ such as shoe soles, tyres and textiles. Moreover, this technology has a major potential impact in Flanders and beyond.

Successful financing round with European money

The innovative technology paid off for B4Plastics. In addition to numerous other accolades, the company was also the winner of the European Innovation Council Fund in 2020. A unique achievement for a Flemish company, in a process with barely a 3% chance of profit. This resulted in a financing round in which the German family business Lindal Group and Europe are investing in B4Plastics.

Thanks to these investments, external capital is flowing into Flanders and B4Plastics can scale up further. As a result, at the beginning of 2023, a first satellite hub was put into operation in Ghent and the team is growing rapidly. Today, B4Plastics works with about 25 colleagues, but the company is aiming to multiply that number this decade. A larger production hall is currently being planned, which in the future will be able to scale up to several kilotonnes per year of the most local and specialised bioplastics in the world and produce them in limited numbers.

Solutions for diverging sectors

Plastics are ubiquitous and sustainable alternatives are desperately needed. That is why B4Plastics is developing solutions tailored to the sector, the customer and the customer's circumstances. The most obvious projects include non-persistent trimming lines and fishing nets, or the plastic clips used in tomato cultivation in greenhouses.B4Plastics is currently working on about 25 customised plastic development projects in various sectors. In cosmetics, too, plastics play a bigger role than you might expect. For example, we all send kilotonnes of plastics into nature every year, by way of the soaps, ointments and foams that we use in our bathrooms every day. With B4Plastics' technology, it is possible to produce the first completely non-persistent cosmetic goods.

Bioplastics everywhere in the home in just a few years

How degradable the bioplastics are and what their degradation rate is depends on various circumstances. The solution offered by B4Plastics is therefore configurable for every application and every project. After all, a trimming line that is used in Spain winds up in very different natural conditions than one that ends up in the grass and soil in Belgium.

From tyres to soaps: B4Plastics is working every day to be part of many products around our homes within 5 to 10 years.

Contact B4Plastics: Leen Thys