Biocomposites

Italian plastics maker will distribute hemp products under deal with U.S. company

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Italian plastics maker LATI Industria Termoplastici (LATI) is to distribute products from U.S.-based The Hemp Plastic Company (THPC) under a recently signed agreement.

LATI, Vedano Olona, Italy, makes high-performance thermoplastic compounds for engineering use, mainly for electrical and electronic equipment, household appliances and the automotive industry. LATI’s range includes sustainable compounds based on polymers from mechanical or chemical recycling or from renewable sources.

The Hemp Plastic Company, which dates to 2018, makes a line of ecological hemp blended plastics that meet technical and safety standards of major sectors such as automotive, furniture, packaging, durable goods, agricultural, industrial and construction.

Roots in sustainability

A legacy European composites maker, LATI produces 40,000 tons of plastics and turns out 2,400 active formulations annually from its two manufacturing sites in Vedano Olona and Gornate Olona. The company has 282 employees. Among roughly 2,000 customers, LATI reported sales of ~€131 million in 2020.

LATI has its roots in recycling and reuse in a sustainable circular economy, having been founded by industrialist Cosimo Conterno in 1945 as a producer of cellulose acetate compounds recycled from materials left over after World War II – underwear made of cellulose acetate, plastic army masks and many other remnants. The Italian company is headed by CEO Michela Conterno whose father, Francesco Conterno, serves as company president.

‘Relatively simple to implement’

THPC CEO Glen Kayll said the deal means the two companies “can accelerate our mutual customers’ transition to sustainable alternatives that reduce plastic and carbon emissions and are affordable, available in volume and relatively simple to implement.”

An industrial technology veteran, Kayll has served in executive and board positions with such companies as TSO3, Argex Titanium Inc. and Kyudoka Capital. Other executives at The Hemp Plastics Company are Chief Commercial and Operations Officer Greg Dean, a veteran plastics industry executive, and co-founder and Chairman Paul Benhaim, a hemp entrepreneur who was an original founder of CBD maker Elixinol Wellness and who is currently also President of Hemp Foods Australia.

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