High Performance Polymers Derived From Castor Beans
Driving Sustainable Farming in India
Pebax® Rnew® materials are made from the oil of the castor bean grown in the Gujarat region of India. The beans are crushed to produce castor oil. The oil is further refined during several steps to produce the primary bio-based raw material in the polymer.
Unlike traditional petroleum polymers, Pebax® Rnew® polymers actually absorb atmospheric CO2 during their growth cycle, thus greatly reducing the carbon footprint (climate change) of the resultant polymer. The combination of its truly exceptional mechanical performance plus its bio-based, sustainable origin, makes the Pebax® Rnew® range of polymers a winning combination!
Some Facts About Castor Bean Farming
- There are almost 700,000 castor bean farmers in India
- Each farm is independently owned by the farming families; No evidence of large monopolies
- Each farm is typically 1-2 hectares in size (approx. 5 acres)
- On each farm, they typically also raise cows and food crops
- Castor beans grow in the most marginal soil; They use the best soil for food crops
- Castor crop is considered profitable and easy to sell (a cash crop)
Castor - A Sustainable Crop
- There is no direct competition with food; Castor has no nutritional value
- No deforestation; Castor grows in arid regions, where there is little forest growth
- Castor beans are quite drought resistant
- Castor beans are considered a "Kharif crop", taking advantage of the Indian monsoon rain cycles
- The beans are openly traded in public auction yards across India; Farmers can choose to sell now or sell later
Every purchase of shoes or boots powered by Pebax® Rnew® materials helps the farmers and their families sustain a better life. These materials are not just specified for their renewable origin - but also for the tremendous positive impact they make on this social community.
Join Us As We Walk Through the Castor Fields
Take a walk with us through the fields and yards in Gujarat India. Every pair of shoes that contains Pebax® Rnew® materials helps give this farming community a higher standard of living. This is not just good for the planet - it's also good for the huge social community that relies on this renewable crop to improve their standard of living.
It's a human benefit!
Scarpa Demonstrates their Ski Boots to our Castor Farmers
Far from the winter ski slopes, the casor farmers in Gujarat marvel at the technology enbled by their sustainable farming activities.
Scarpa's lightweight, super durable ski boots help support many farming family members in the region.
HEXR Showcases their Sustainable Cycling Helmet
Cutting edge helmet designers, HEXR produces a custom 3D-Printed helmet whose protective honeycomb structure is made from our sustainable polymers. Watch their video here to see how they are replacing petroleum based materials with sustainable polymers made from castor beans.
Driving Improvements in Sustainable Farming
We are one of the founding companies of the Pragati project* in 2016. The Pragati goals include:
- Use of good agricultural practices to increase yield and farmer income
- Efficient use of water resources and maintaining soil fertility
- Adoption of good waste management practices
- Enablement of better health and safety practices, and respect of human rights
* Founding members are Arkema, BASF, Jayant-Agro Organics, and Solidaridad
Pragati is the Hindi Word for "Progress"
During the first three years of the Pragati project, 3,000 castor farmers have been trained and audited on good agricultural practices. As a result, we have seen a 25% reduction in water use in the demo plots where this can be measured. And a yield improvement of 50% has been observed compared to the baseline study in 2016. Additionally, 3,000 safety kits and storage boxes have been distributed.
We are now moving into Phase 2 of the program which will scale up to some 7,000 farmers.