Canadian Manufacturing

Magna signs research deal with Italian bio plastics company

The development focuses on bio plastic that does not rely on food as an input and could provide alternatives to conventional automotive plastics

February 7, 2014  by Staff

SAILAUF, Germany—Magna International Inc. has signed an exclusive bio plastics research and development with bio-on, an Italian intellectual property company

bio-on has developed a bio plastic created by naturally occurring bacteria which feed off sugar beet by-products. In the process of fermentation, the material is turned into plastic (polyhydroxyalkanoate or PHA) using no organic solvents.

The result is fully biodegradable in water and soil, an environmentally friendly product that does not rely on food as an input and could provide alternatives to conventional plastics for the automotive industry.

Magna, through its Interiors operating unit, is pairing its automotive know-how with bio-on’s chemical expertise to research how production of this natural polyester product can be cost-effectively elevated to an industrial scale.


The two companies will test and evaluate how bio-on bio plastics will perform in different standard industry processes such as thermoforming. Magna Interiors will utilize its facility in Liberec, Czech Republic, for joint testing.

bio-on is an intellectual property company that provides technology for the production or use of PHAs based on a license. It has developed the world’s first bio plastic PHAs that are naturally biodegradable in water and soil.

Magna Interiors, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., is a global full-service supplier of automotive interior systems.

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