Romania: Manufacturing 100% biodegradable and compostable packaging
Promateris SA is a Romanian company with more than 60 years of experience in plastics processing. The company offers sustainable alternatives to single-use, disposable plastic packaging. Promateris teamed up with a Norwegian partner – BioBag Norge – to implement a project under the EEA and Norway Grants Programme SMEs Growth in Romania. The project is producing plant based packaging that is 100% biodegradable and compostable.
Bio-based and compostable packaging
The projects allows for Promateris to green its production, reduce energy consumption, reduce fuel consumption and improve material efficiency. It also integrates local agricultural chains for bio-based and compostable packaging. This ultimately reduced the company's carbon footprint, subsequently strengthening the local circular economy.
Romania is also a key producers of agricultural outputs within the EU, and Promateris aims to encourage the development of a strong local bioeconomy and an efficient use of natural resources in Europe.
The project produced four new products: compostable mulching film, compostable hygiene film (lining for pads and diapers), ultralight produce bags (fruit and vegetables) and marine biodegradable film using biodegradable materials, instead of classical plastic material.
The Norwegian partner BioBag Norge shared its competence and know-how on developing biodegradable and compostable products. Even though Promateris is in charge of producing these goods, this is being done under the guidance of BioBag Norge. The partners are sharing the Intellectual Property Rights for the products they are developing within the project.
Responding to demands for green production
There are increasingly legislative measures that encourage the development and use of biodegradable, compostable and biodegradable products. There is also increasing demand for eco-friendly materials. Biodegradable, compostable and marine biodegradable products are appealing for consumers interested in sustainability and environment protection. Consumers are concerned especially with food waste, carbon emissions, packaging waste, marine pollution and plastic pollution.
In the wake of a highly successful project, Promateris embarked on another remarkable endeavor in collaboration with the EEA and Norway Grants. This ambitious initiative aims to establish the BIO Compounds division, dedicated to producing BioMateris, a biodegradable and compostable raw material primarily derived from corn starch. BioMateris pellets find versatile applications in agriculture, packaging, food service, and bio waste management, significantly streamlining Promateris' production process.
Promateris' astute approach to securing grants under the EEA and Norway Grants through Innovation Norway led to exciting new prospects. Building upon their prior successes in the SME, business, and innovation program, they ventured into the Energy Program in Romania. Their steadfast commitment to sound business practices and professionalism paid off once more, securing funding for the installation of photovoltaic panels on their facilities, expected to lead to an annual reduction of 341.053 tons of CO2 emissions.
Visit from the CEO of Innovation Norway
Following Promateris’ tremendous success with projects supported by the EEA and Norway Grants by Innovation Norway, the CEO of Innovation Norway, Mr. Håkon Haugli, paid the company a visit on the 13th of September 2023. Present at Mr. Haugli’s visit was also the Romanian Secretary of State at The Ministry of Investments and European Projects Mr. Ovidiu Cimpean. Mr. Haugli was deeply impressed by his visit to Promateris, even going as far as to call it the highlight of his trip to Romania.
Promateris CEO Tudor Georgescu: "Receiving financing from the EEA and Norway Grants enabled our company to grow and to develop a new line of products, introducing to the Romanian public a new generation of sustainable packaging".
Hear from the CEO at Promateris, and learn about their cooperation with the Norwegian partner BioBag in the video below:
Results of the project
- 50 new employees (more than 10% increase)
- 297% increase of turnover by the end of 2021
- 610% increase of profit up by the end of 2021
- Registered one brand of marine biodegradable products, namely Aquamateris
- 100% recycling and reusing technological waste (1846 tonnes/years)
- Reduced annual fuel consumption with 4800 liters
- Reduced electricity used by 58% (971 MW) for the intended yearly production
- Reduced the used raw materials with 10% (155 tonnes)
- De-fossilised production by cutting back on 99% low-density polyethylene compounds and replacing it with 100% compostable and biodegradable ones
The SMEs Growth Programme in Romania
The project is supported by Norway through the Norway Grants. See more opportunities under the SMEs Growth Programme in Romania.