About B4Plastics

Reduce. Refuse. Rethink.

At B4Plastics we have already opted for “reduce” and “refuse”: pushing the old fossil plastics towards the New Plastics Economy. To help the world around us, we also “rethink” every day. We “rethink” the plastics industry by building our materials on a molecular level, to give them the best balance between functionality, ecology and cost.

A unique approach to Polymer Architecture

For your application, we design the dream material. Striking the best balance between functionality, ecology and cost. We prototype fast; we hit accurately. Your new polymer ambitions are in the hands of a team of biobased materials masters and experts – uniquely educated to create new material value chains, from the field to your product, and back. Our solutions did not yet exist. We create with you, and for you. And for this world.

Our Timeline

  • B4Plastics "The Polymer Architecture" Company
  • B4Plastics Scale-up
  • B4Plastics Start-up
  • B4Plastics Foundation
  • B4Plastics "The Polymer Architecture" Company

    • 2021

      Technologies and Teams

      Establishing dedicated teams to manage the various aspects of the company, B4Plastics develops its key competencies in R&D, sales and production, and expands into biotechnology with a new laboratory.

      • January

        B4Plastics starts building its Biotech Laboratory, to focus on the degradation of the B4P biopolymers, while the team at B4Plastics starts to organize in different divisions: R&D, Sales and Production, supported by Legal, Financing and HR.

      • February

        B4Plastics decides to build the first Specialty Bioplastics Production Facility in the world, located in Belgian Limburg, and at the same time gets support of an Operator Expert team to start up the unique Technology Platforms and to design, install and start up their new production facilities. Meanwhile, the Polymer Architecture lab is supplied with analytical equipment, to step up the characterization of the B4P prototype polymers.

      • March

        New EU legislation on banning plastic straws has major consequences for Biorix® but also provides an opportunity for B4Plastics' Sales department to pivot and target new consumer markets.

      • April

        B4Plastics pitched at The Big Score Sessions, demonstrating its Technology Platforms and market ambitions. In April, B4Plastics also hired its first dedicated technical operator who joined the production team to manage pilot equipment and upscaled production of the Technology platforms. Also the SAP program becomes operational and supports both the B4Plastics front and back office.

      • May

        B4Plastics director, Stefaan De Wildeman, pitches to the European Innovation Council and investors. And the VIPRISCAR Project comes to a close: a landmark EU project, comprising 3 years of innovative research into upscaling the synthesis of biobased polyurethane and polycarbonate precursors, is finalised with great results

      • June

        The new Biotech Laboratory opened its doors to to study the end-of-life behavior of the B4P biopolymers in-house, by focusing on (bio)degradation and studying microbial interactions.

      • September

        Our second B4Plastics Summer School with the entire company, including PhDs, not only enforced the team spirit, but also highlighted our gender balance. B4Plastics enters in the CrossRoads2-Interreg Vegan Leather project to offer sustainable and ethical alternatives to leather. And B4Plastics pitches at the Pitch Perfect and Boost the European Bioeconomy 2021 event in Brussels and extends its network in the EU bioeconomy.

      • October

        A month for triple nomination: B4Plastics is announced as 1 of the 4 finalists for Scale-Up of the Year, a Prize of the Flemish Government. Stefaan joins the 3 day workshop as 1 of the 9 BEyond 2021 laureates and finally B4Plastics gets nominated as 1 of the 6 finalist for the Curt Bergfors Food Planet Prize, the largest monetary award in the global food arena, for its efforts in the design and development in biobased and biodegradable fishing gear.

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  • B4Plastics Scale-up

    • 2020

      Unprecendented Growth

      Moving into the new base of operations, B4Plastics achieves growth like no other: building a new laboratory, launching a new website, reaching 10 employees and 14 million Biorix® straws sold in shops.

      • April

        During the start of the Corona crisis in Europe, B4Plastics opens its first own laboratory in Belgium, building the largest physical library of novel ecological plastic materials worldwide.

      • April

        Biorix® Certified is the first bioplastic straw worldwide to be certified "OK Home Compost": the product becomes accessible and affordable to every Belgian via Colruyt shops.

      • May

        Design and construction of the first ton-scale production plant for FortePlastics and TriggerPlastics, the 2 unique and customizable materials platforms of B4Plastics.

      • June

        B4Plastics increases sales by factor 15 in less than 36 months: it becomes the fastest growing bioplastics company in the world.

      • June

        The new headquarter is opened: it will become the place where new specialty biomaterials are designed and developed "from gram to ton" at the highest speed and highest accuracy available in the market.

      • July

        Because of its fast growth, a central software platform goes in first preparation to allow further expansion of the company. The team hits its first 10 employees by Summer 2020, and the first satellite activity is started in Switzerland to make novel biomaterials from local agro-waste sources.

      • July

        In full summer and between two Corona crisis waves, B4Plastics organizes its first Summerschool.

      • July

        B4Plastics is selected by the European Innovation Council to join the 2% top league of European Green Deal Scale-Ups: this boosts the investments and creates acceleration on top of the strong growth.

      • November

        14 Million Biorix® straws find their way to Colruyt shops: it allows all Belgian people to toast on the end of a Corona year, and to welcome a greener future!

      • December

        The new website is launched shortly before Christmas: it is a most illustrative website hinting at the whole development from ideation to full implementation of a new biomaterial. B4Plastics has become the first polymer architecture company ever. "Plastics on demand", does that exist? Of course, and it seems an essential key to the creation of the New Plastics Economy!

      • December

        Despite the Corona crisis, B4Plastics realizes strong growth, ending its 2020 book year with 15-fold higher sales than in 2017, making it one of the fastest growing bioplastics companies worldwide.

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    • 2019

      From Prototypes to Products

      B4Plastics begins designing a second pilot plant for the manufacture of novel precursors while mobilising a production team to supply Biorix® and develop prototype specialty polymers.

      • March

        The second pilot plant is designed and will start production of novel building blocks for renewable polycarbonates and polyurethanes by September 2019.

      • June

        B4plastics creates its first small production team for supplying Biorix® and for accelerating its prototyping activities to customers worldwide. The production team starts a study for upscaling specialty polymers at B4plastics to ton-scale.

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  • B4Plastics Start-up

    • 2018

      The First Employees

      Becoming a job provider for two expert technicians and a new Masters graduate, B4Plastics begins producing its first generation of FortePlastics at kg scale in the newly constructed pilot plant.

      • February

        On 27th February 2018, Stefaan De Wildeman openly announces his leave from Maastricht University and his role in the BioBased Materials Master program of AMIBM. Only one course of Industrial Biocatalysis at the Catholic University of Leuven is continued to keep the connection with the next generation of students and professionals.

      • April

        In early 2018, the first three employees are hired by B4Plastics: two very experted technicians and a first Master in BioBased Materials… the first graduated from the new Master Program at Maastricht University.

      • September

        B4Plastics becomes the first company to prototype its first generation of "FortePlastics" at kg scale in its own designed pilot plant: "the strongest materials ever made that are degradable in natural habitats like soil".

      • December

        The company acquires over 20 development partners and 10 contracted customers in Europe: the fast and accurate prototyping becomes the main differentiator of the young company, giving a designed balance between cost - sustainability - functionality for niche applications.

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    • 2017

      Production and partnerships

      B4Plastics steps onto a new playing field: this year, the company entered into three new European partnerships to develop new plastics and biocatalysts, while simultaneously releasing two product lines, Compost3D® and Biorix®.

      • January

        B4Plastics enters its first partnership with Flemish companies to develop biocatalysts for ecological materials production.

      • May

        Launch of Compost3D®, a biodegradable printing filament: the first plastic product ever coming with a smartphone app calculating the degradation speed from the design of the printed articles. The press release is the second most consulted news on the Flemish business channel Kanaal Z on May 16th 2016.

      • July

        Biorix® is prototyped: the first biodegradable straws that are designed and manufactured in Flanders.

      • December

        On December 15th 2017, B4Plastics signs 2 partnerships with European consortia to develop unprecedented plastic materials. The same evening, founder Stefaan De Wildeman decides to leave his academic Professorship Chair of Novel Building Blocks at Maastricht University, to dedicate the rest of his professional life to B4Plastics.

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  • B4Plastics Foundation

    • 2016

      The First Prototypes

      B4Plastics began the development of its very first prototypes: transparent degradable plastics.

      • March

        Founder Stefaan De Wildeman starts the first prototyping of degradable materials in his garden greenhouse.

      • June

        He acquires a Postgraduate in Business Administration from Hasselt University, Belgium.

      • December

        The first transparent degradable plastics are prototyped in the greenhouse, which becomes the first small laboratory of the company.

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    • 2015

      Building the B4Plastics Design

      Deciding on the company's direction and appearance defined this year, with the B4 concept enshrined in the new company logo.

      • April

        On top, a "Blue Ocean strategy" is followed with BioBased Building Blocks: B4plastics decides to only make new ecological plastics that were never made before.

      • August

        The B4Plastics logo is developed, a stylistic leaf design formed from the letter B and the number 4, referring to the unique "B4" (BioBased Building Blocks) technology platform used for customized polymeric backbone construction.

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    • 2014

      The Very Beginning

      B4Plastics is founded by Stefaan De Wildeman, with the aspiration to create new environmentally friendly plastics for a better planet.

      • January

        Stefaan De Wildeman founds B4Plastics, "a company with the mission to create the next generation of ecological plastic materials".

      • July

        B4Plastics explores the local Flemish Chemical Industry for product development and partnerships.

      • September

        B4Plastics decides to start its product development in niche applications, such as trimming lines and drinking straws.

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The pre-story

100 Potential building blocks for novel bioplastics

The story started much earlier. Stefaan De Wildeman started to create bioplastics in his greenhouse after quitting his job as a biocatalysis scientist.

Eco-plastics designed and realised with BioBased Building Blocks.

Consider these 4 B’s as “Lego blocks” in all possible forms and with all possible compositions which can be combined in accordance with your specific required product properties.

We listen, we reflect, we design. We take your challenge and start building with you.

Reduce. Refuse. Rethink.

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