Biodegradable polymer specialist Novamont, whose Mater-Bi biodegradable and compostable starches have been successfully used in loosefill, thermoformed containers and transparent packaging films, has won a top global award.

The Italian company, whose other packaging products include biodegradable agricultural films, toilet paper packaging and biodegradable foams, is the recipient of the 2003 Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Innovation.

The growth consulting specialist says the award recognises Novamont’s “excellence in product and technology innovation within the European engineering plastics and composites industry”.

Said to be the world’s largest player in biodegradable polymers, Novamont serves sectors ranging from packaging and disposable tableware to tyres, and has been instrumental in driving volume demand growth at an annual average of 30%. One of its pioneering achievements was the 2002 launch of Mater-Foam, acknowledged by Frost & Sullivan to have been the world’s first biodegradable foam to be produced on a commercial scale.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and the Co-op are among UK retailers to have used Novamont packaging products, mainly for fruit and produce, while ‘green’ refuse bags, made of a special Mater-Bi variant, are reportedly in wide-scale UK local authority use.