Plastics Recycling Update

Hemp-fiber additive company nets investment

Heartland developed hemp-based materials that can be used as additives in plastic compounds. | StanislauV/Shutterstock

A Detroit-based startup that uses natural fiber as plastic additives has secured an investment from a German business incubator. 

Chemovator, the business incubator and early-stage investor of BASF, recently invested in Heartland, which has developed hemp-based materials that can be used as additives in plastic compounds, replacing some chemical additives. 

“Heartland’s dedication to developing natural fiber additives aligns perfectly with our purpose of shaping the future of the chemical industry,” Gati Kalim, head of portfolio management at Chemovator, said in a press release. Heartland is Chemovator’s first North American investment. 

A Heartland spokesperson said the material recycles like typical additives and how it works in traditional recycling streams is more dependent on the polymer it’s blended with.

Typically, Heartland blends the fiber additives with olefins, and “we are careful to blend at rates that will keep the specific gravity of the compounded material below 1.0, so a standard float tank can be used,” the spokesperson said in an email to Plastics Recycling Update. 

The fibers are also micronized, so they are small enough to be completely encapsulated by the resin. That way, the polymer retains its strength, impact and moisture uptake specifications.

The company noted that in terms of plastic packaging, its fibers are most commonly used in HDPE-based reusable containers, pallets and trays. 

More stories about technology

Exit mobile version