Singapore-based RWDC Industries, a company that develops alternatives to single-use plastics, plans to invest $260 million into expanding its operations into Athens-Clarke County, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office.
RWDC was founded in an innovation lab at the University of Georgia by Roland Wee and Daniel Carraway in 2015, according to the release. In 2017, it partnered with UGA to award research grants for biodegradable technologies for consumer goods, according to the RWDC website. This research led to UGA testing RWDC’s biodegradable straws in 2018, according to UGA’s New Materials Institute.
In its expansion of operations in ACC, RWDC plans to occupy an existing 400,000-square-foot facility in Athens, according to the release. It plans to invest $260 million into this expansion and create 200 new jobs. RWDC continues to invest in Georgia and Singapore, according to the release.
There are currently six job openings in Athens on RWDC’s website — mechanical engineer, process engineer, maintenance professional, project accountant, human resource professional and bioprocessing technician.
The company develops alternatives to single-use plastics made of biodegradable materials, including polyhydroxyalkanoate, a biopolymer, according to the release. PHA can be used to substitute plastics in objects such as straws, utensils, cups, plates and lids. RWDC encourages sustainable choices in plastic management, including recycling, according to the release.
“We are excited to see RWDC expand its operations in Athens and add a substantial number of new well-paying jobs,” said Mayor Kelly Girtz in the release. “Athens is the home of the University of Georgia, and we have a long record of supporting innovation and industry. Like communities across America and the world, we want to see a reduction in plastic pollution, and we have high hopes that RWDC, with the help of the Athens community at their new facility, will be able to solve that problem.”