Zeneca, K.K. is a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary of Zeneca Ltd. (U.K.). On June 1, 1993, Zeneca became a separate company from ICI, its former owner. The task force, consisting of Drs. McCarthy, Lenz, and Kaplan, met with Yoshinobu Muta, Manager of BioProducts; Makoto Yamashita, Biopol Commercial Manager; and Katsuhiko Tsuchikura, Biopol Technical Manager, at the Zeneca Office located in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. The entire staff of Zeneca, K.K. consists of ten people in both the Tokyo office and in the research and development laboratory in Tsukuba at Japan Technical Center.

The biodegradation position of Zeneca is to impose strict guidelines on converters to use, ideally, biodegradable or inert food grade colorants and additives, and insure complete biodegradation of any product using Biopol, or poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3- hydroxyvalerate). Currently there are no industry or government standards. Zeneca stated that incinerators are difficult to site. Also, large city composting facilities are a problem due to the lack of farmers near large cities and fear of contamination. The company stated that home composting is popular, and that there are sophisticated composting devices that can be installed inside the home; 3,000 of these very popular devices have been sold. In addition, the consumer feels somewhat better when purchasing a biodegradable product since, in the worst case, if the waste is dumped into the ocean or ends up as litter, it will biodegrade.


Published: March 1995; WTEC Hyper-Librarian