For its fourth year, the ACS GCI held a business plan competition as part of the 20th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference. There were four semi-finalists, all of which convened in Portland, OR to pitch their companies for the winning title and $10,000 grand prize. The teams were scored on their written business plans and final, in-person presentations.
The winner of the 2016 competition was Grow Bioplastics, a start-up firm improving the sustainability of agriculture by producing biodegradable plastic mulch films for the farming industry. Their technology uses lignin, a waste product from the paper and biofuel industry, to create a biodegradable polymer that can be used as a drop-in replacement for oil-based plastics. At the end of a growing season, farmers can plow these bioplastic films into the soil where they will break down naturally at a rate that the Grow Bioplastics team can actually tune based on farmers needs. This helps farmers alleviate their current need pay for labor and landfill fees to remove and dispose of conventional, non-biodegradable films from their fields, saving them at least $100 an acre.
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