A new facility in Sanford aims to help create plastics from plants on a mass scale.

Business certainly is booming for Dillon Baxter, CEO and co-founder of PlantSwitch. Along with fellow co-founder Maxime Blandon, Dillon has brought the future of environmentally friendly, plant-based plastics to their new facility in Sanford. Being a Sanford native myself, I knew I just had to talk with Dillon and hear about his vision for PlantSwitch as he gets things rolling in my hometown.

It is immediately clear that Dillon is passionate about this business and the positive environmental impact it possesses. “We’re trying to redefine the entire plastic industry. Plastic waste is becoming a massive issue,” Dillon said. “By using plant material instead of petroleum, we’re able to use a more sustainable material that looks like plastic, feels like plastic, but is much better for the environment long-term.”

As you can see on their website, PlantSwitch uses breakthrough technology to create bioplastic material for things we use in our day-to-day lives. Spanning across the fast food, pharmacy, and cosmetics industries, PlantSwitch aims to ween society off its reliance of petroleum-based products that do lasting damage to the environment. In our conversation, Dillon was excited about his vision for the future of his business and the industry as a whole. “Our goal is to make Sanford the center of bioplastic production for the US. This is going to be a massive industry going forward.”

Admittedly I was a bit surprised to find that a business like PlantSwitch would choose Sanford as its central hub for such a colossal undertaking. Don’t get me wrong, I have much love in my heart for my hometown. Let’s be honest though, the Santrap wouldn’t be anyone’s first guess when you ask them which NC city was host to a bioplastic lab. But according to Dillon, Sanford is actually the ideal locale for his blossoming bioplastic business.

“We have a world-class lab here in Sanford that we’re using for (research and development). We have lots of access to agricultural feedstocks. Sanford was a really great spot, just checked all the boxes for us. Seems like a real booming area that we can create a lot of jobs with.” 

Dillon is preparing to take PlantSwitch to a national stage by developing their raw material for many Fortune 500 companies. He even has aspirations of going international with his innovative and exciting business. I for one am proud to have such a progressive and environmentally-conscious business in my old stomping grounds, and I wish Dillon all the luck in the world moving forward.

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