Miscanthus Giganteus, commonly known as elephant grass, is now found in Europe also. In the Netherlands, it is planted around major airport, Schiphol, to keep the geese away. Bioplastic called Vibers is made from the elephant grass by one of the newly started company in the Netherlands.
Jan-Govert van Gilst, founder of NNRGY, in Honselersdijk, the Netherlands, said, “Elephant grass contains the same energy value as coal and lots of cellulose fibers, making it suitable as an alternative resource to produce various materials.”
Jan-Govert van Gilst, an idealist, committed to eliminating fossil-based plastic packaging, realized great potential in the crop. Based on the great potential for making bioplastics from the elephant grass, he founded his company, NNRGY, in Honselersdijk, the Netherlands.
Elephant grass, a fast-growing crop, absorbs four times more CO2 like a forest. Neither pesticides nor fertilizer is needed to thrive on to male the bioplastics from elephant grass, and it is not even harmful.
NNRGY uses the grass needed for production by growing it locally on unused land, which is not suitable for food crops owned by the plastics processor with whom the company collaborates to manufacture its products.
A biodegradable, compostable bioplastic called as Vibers has been developed by NNRGY from the elephant grass and from the residual product from the potato processing industry produced by Dutch bioplastics producer Rodenburg.
A range of kitchenware products is produced. The packaging industry has developed a new film in 2017, based on which three subsidiaries NNRGY Biopolymers, Vibers Consumer Goods and Vibers Packaging were established. The new film consumes low energy as it is thermoformable on existing machinery at low temperatures and saves energy. Like biodegradable waste, the new film can also be processed.