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Trinseo Continues To See Interest in Animal-Derivative-Free Medical Plastics

Market grows with a focus on ethical souring, sustainability and safety concerns

BERWYN, Pa. - Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Trinseo (NYSE: TSE), a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, continues to see an emphasis in the marketplace on medical grade resins that are free of animal-derived raw materials.

The concern over bovine-free materials and products began nearly a decade ago in response to the highly-publicized bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease. Interest in removing animal content from plastics has continued with a growing emphasis on ethical sourcing and sustainability.

According to Neal Wassberg, Trinseo’s director of product stewardship, who oversees product safety and regulatory tracking, this doesn’t necessarily mean that customers who currently use a product with a raw material from bovine sources need to switch materials or that the product is unsafe.

“Materials containing animal-based derivatives are subject to more stringent scrutiny,” said Wassberg. “This takes time and, from a regulatory perspective, materials with a vegetable-based composition don’t require this complex screening process.”

Trinseo has animal-derivative-free offerings for all of its medical grade plastics. An example of a typical animal-based substance that could be found in a plastic resin might be a mold release additive which uses a raw material derived from animal tallow, the same ingredient found in many soaps.  Trinseo’s solution for eliminating a bovine-based raw material in this case is to source additives that are derived from palm oil.

Trinseo has identified a supplier that requisitions the ingredient from palm oil plantations where the oil is harvested in such a way that it is not associated with deforestation and the ensuing harmful results.  

“Raw materials and additives for plastics production need to be carefully monitored to prevent unwanted content --such as bovine-based raw materials -- from appearing in a finished product,” continued Wassberg. “Trinseo is committed to obtaining its raw materials from sources that not only meet our customers’ expectations and objectives, but advance our own safety, sustainability and ethical concerns.”

About Trinseo

Trinseo (NYSE:TSE) is a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber. We are focused on delivering innovative and sustainable solutions to help our customers create products that touch lives every day — products that are intrinsic to how we live our lives — across a wide range of end-markets, including automotive, consumer electronics, appliances, medical devices, lighting, electrical, carpet, paper and board, building and construction, and tires. Trinseo had approximately $3.8 billion in net sales in 2019, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,700 employees. For more information visit

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