Hemp bioplastics startup expanding to former Pennsylvania textile mill

A Pennsylvania company that makes hemp bioplastics is set to take over a former textile mill thanks in part to some investment from the state.

Sivana Converting purchased part of the mill in Sunbury, in central Pennsylvania. Sivana plans to make hemp-based biodegradable plastic food containers, cups, plates, and straws for the commercial market.

“We are really excited to be starting this new venture in the central Susquehanna region,” Sivana CEO Soheil Shahrooz told The Daily Item newspaper in Sunbury.

The company plans to hire 125 people within three years.

Sivana last year received $100,000 in a startup grant from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, a state-funded economic development program.

“We’re taking our expertise and applying it to this new technology to create a greener, more sustainable future,” Shahrooz said.