Cargill and Dow Chemical will no longer be 50:50 partners in the corn-based plastics industry. Cargill has agreed to acquire Dow's interest of the venture formed in 1997 to commercialize polylactic acid biopolymers.
Cargill is the original inventor of polylactic acid (PLA), a polymer derived from natural plant sugars and marketed by the joint venture as NatureWorks PLA and Ingeo fibers. NatureWorks PLA is used in a broad range of packaging applications for companies seeking plastics made from an annually renewable resource. Ingeo fibers are used in fiberfill applications including pillows, comforters, mattress pads, blankets and apparel.
The business employs 230 people in Minnetonka, Minn. and Blair, Neb.