MicroGREEN Polymers has announced that the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians has made a strategic investment of $5 million in MicroGREEN. This round of funding, the first closing in a $20 million round, will enable MicroGREEN to expand its commercial production capabilities to produce a wide range of environmentally responsible cups and trays for consumer use. The Stillaguamish Tribe will also use MicroGREEN’s cups in their Angel of the Winds Casino and other businesses.
“We are very excited to have the Stillaguamish Tribe as both an investor and customer,” said Tom Malone, president and chief executive officer of MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. “Our sustainability ethos resonated with the Stillaguamish Tribe, and while we have investment from venture capital and corporate strategic funds such as Waste Management and WRF Capital, we have refocused our funding efforts toward other like-minded Tribes.”
Koran Andrews, CEO of the Stillaguamish Tribal Enterprise Corporation commented “We first approached MicroGREEN about purchasing their InCycleTM cup for use in our casino but immediately recognized how the InCycle products could be a strategic fit in our sustainability and economic diversification goals. We are committed to a strategy of diversifying our investment portfolio into enterprises whose goals, values and products align with those of our people, protecting our planet for generations to come while also contributing to the economic health of the Tribe.”
“There’s a convergence of sustainability and economic return at MicroGREEN,” Malone said. “Our technology allows us to use less plastic to produce high quality products. The recycled content and recyclability of InCycle products, coupled with their lightweight nature means that we are creating some of the greenest packaging products available, while having the advantage of being a low cost producer. Our investors are excited to see us developing products for airlines, food processors and quick serve restaurants which address a $25 billion market.“
“MicroGREEN has a breakthrough technology with fantastic traction across a number of packaging applications” said Andrews. “They are truly an innovative player in packaging; reducing waste while lowering cost and improving product performance. We see a huge opportunity for growth both in supplying Native American owned casinos and convenience stores as well as broadly across the economy.
MicroGREEN is an innovative plastics company that uses its patented Ad-air® technology to create its own InCycle brand of insulating and temperature resistant cups, trays and other items are made from expanded, recycled PET (recycled water bottles). The production process makes PET lightweight without using chemical blowing agents, and because the plastic is not chemically altered, it can be recycled at the end of its life. The technology lowers the raw material cost and reduces the weight of plastic products while improving functionality. By using recycled content and insuring that InCycle products are recyclable, MicroGREEN is contributing to the groundswell of support for #1 PET resin, the most widely recycled plastic in the world.
MicroGREEN’s commercial production facility in Arlington, Washington has the design capacity to convert at least 20 million pounds of PET per year. Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert commented, “MicroGREEN currently employs 45 people and expects to significantly expand its workforce to handle demand over the next 12 months. Arlington is thrilled to be home to MicroGREEN.”
Recently MicroGREEN was awarded a Silver prize by prestigious DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation as well as a Silver prize for manufacturing by the Green Washington Award. The company was also named to the 2012 Washington Green 50 list. MicroGREEN has also been recognized by the Wall Street Journal’s Innovation Awards as well as awards from Green Washington and Washington Manufacturing in previous years.
About MicroGREEN: MicroGREEN Polymers Inc. was founded in Washington State by graduate researchers at the University of Washington and funded by angel investors and Washington Research Foundation in 2006. The
company has developed InCycle plastic cups, trays and other foodservice packaging products. MicroGREEN was founded on the belief that recycling will only live up to its full potential with the creation of a value added end products through environmentally responsible manufacturing. Through its innovative technology and products, it is committed to helping grow the market for recycled products. More information can be found at www.microgreeninc.com and www.incycle.info
About Stillaguamish Tribe: For centuries the Stillaguamish people have celebrated the journey of life and lived from the resources their land and river provides. As their children played and learned about nature, the adults would hunt,fish, and hand craft items for daily survival. The Stillaguamish people still reverently celebrate their rich culture and history. The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians is a sovereign, federally recognized native tribe and is committed to serving their members, preserving their culture, and continuing the stewardship of their native lands and waters.
Source: MicroGREEN Press Release, January 10, 2013.