The base polymer is polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) which is a refinery product originally derived from ethylene. Ethylene is converted to vinyl acetate (a very useful chemical, used as a base for many other polymers), which is then polymerised to polyvinyl acetate, and converted to polyvinyl alcohol.
The unique process here is to produce thermo-processable fully hydrolysed polyvinyl alcohol. This PVOH is unusual as a petro derived polymer in that it is hydrophilic (water liking) and has enhanced biodegradation properties. It is well documented as being biodegradable in aerobic (soil, compost, freshwater) and anaerobic (sewerage, some landfills) conditions.
It is important to note that while the current base PVOH polymers are derived from petro refining, the switch to bio-based PVOH, such as from cellulose is imminent. There is no significant manufacturing of the bio-based version due to demand. But as demand grows, the life cycle of our Hydroplast products become more and more renewable.
I wish I could say this was just a stock photo, but this was from a recent day out to the beach in Hong Kong!