AgroRenew to break ground on Knox County Bioplastics Facility

AgroRenew to break ground on Knox County Bioplastics Facility

Vincennes-grown bioplastic startup AgroRenew is pleased to announce a Groundbreaking Ceremony on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT), marking the commencement of construction for its first manufacturing facility where advanced technology will transform crop waste from Knox County fields into fully biodegradable plastics.

These bioplastics will enter the market as critical alternatives to single-use plastics for everyday items like straws and grocery bags. Unlike conventional petroleum-based plastics, which do not degrade and are nearly impossible to recycle, AgroRenew’s bioplastics fully break down in soil after only six months, mitigating environmental impact and fostering a greener future for generations to come.

Founded from an idea that began at The Pantheon Innovation Center & Co-Working Space in downtown Vincennes, AgroRenew will be one of the first manufacturers worldwide to produce bioplastics at scale. AgroRenew will begin recruiting in the coming months, with applications expected to open in late summer.

“The demand for an alternative to permanent single-use plastics is extraordinary, and growing exponentially,” says Brian Southern, Founder & CEO. “AgroRenew is a company of transformation – we’re creating a product that has the potential to transform our ecosystem, and we’ve taken the concept of transformation and applied it at every level of our company. We are committed to having a positive transformative effect not just on the plastics industry but on the people who join our team and the community at large. From recruiting to hiring to training, coaching, and professional development, we will do things differently.”

AgroRenew’s hiring approach will prioritize matching team members with roles that align with their skills, preferences, and career goals, including where they are now and where they’d like to go.

“We’re using an unconventional approach to hiring because we’re an unconventional company. If you want different results, you have to do things differently,” says Southern.

“We have the opportunity to retain talent in the community, as well as to attract people who may have left to pursue roles in science and engineering they couldn’t find here,” says Katie Southern, Founder & Chief Science Officer. “We’re particularly hopeful that we’ll see an influx of local applicants who will choose to stay in Knox County or those who’ll be returning home.”

Hiring for roles in Business Operations, Food Science, Engineering, Quality, and Production will begin this summer.

AgroRenew plans to invest $83 million by 2026 to build out the facility in 4 phases. Once all phases are completed, the 196,000 sq. ft. facility will span 20 acres and employ 300+ people.

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