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MUSEOWEB dell'economia varesina

Mazzucchelli 1849 spa

From China to bioplastics


The group redesigned and simplified its corporate structure. In 1989, Mazzucchelli 1849 Spa was established, taking over a business unit and a number of the brand names owned by Mazzucchelli celluloide spa. The latter, having been transformed into a limited company, took on the new name of Mazzucchelli Vinyls srl in 1990, which in turn was later incorporated into the Venice-based European Vinyls Corporation Italia spa. Finally, in 1992, Mazzucchelli 1849 Spa incorporated Optinova srl and took over its production facilities. Meanwhile, the purely chemical upstream phase of the production process was abandoned to focus more specifically upon the adaptation of plastic materials for specific uses.

Following the acquisition of other competitors, including Termoplastica prealpina (later T&P spa) in Venegono Superiore and Tectonic Usa, Mazzucchelli group began to focus the bulk of its attention on the Chinese market, where it had already boasted a strong commercial presence in Hong Kong since the mid-1970s. In 1996, in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, Mazzucchelli opened its Hua Yi Plastic facility for the production of cellulose acetate, while in the year 2000 to also incorporated Jebsen-Mazzucchelli Ltd and Tectonic Hong Kong Ltd for the distribution of cellulose acetate sheets. Between 2001 and 2004, the company purchased the majority stake in Shanghai Da-Shen, specialized in the production of block acetate, and incorporated Ma Shuo Plastic in Shenzhen, thus giving rise to the production of cellulose acetate granules in China, for which it also established a technological collaboration agreement with the American company Eastman Chemical. In 2003, Mazzucchelli also entered the market of metallic eyewear frame components by purchasing shares in the French group Comotec Sa, which had a factory and sales office in China.

The "Museo arte plastica" (The plastic art museum) was inaugurated in Castiglione Olona in 2004, in the renovated residence of Palazzo dei Castiglioni in Monteruzzo. One of its kind in Italy, this permanent exhibition displays the plastic artworks by the artists who, thirty years earlier, had participated in the Polimero Arte workshops. In 2006, Mazzucchelli 1849 bought out the Varese-based company Visual Optical System Spa, which produced sunglasses lenses in Cr39 and polyamide. That same year, a joint venture with the Swiss group Gurit gave rise to GuMa, a company specializing in the production of transparent cellulose acetate sheets for sports and safety applications, which was later merged with Mazzucchelli. T&P, which specialized in the production of components for household appliances, also opened a new branch in Poland. Meanwhile in China, an agreement with Eastman Chemical in 2010 led to the establishment of Eastman-Mazzucchelli China Ltd, while a partnership was established between the Comotec division of Mazzucchelli Group and Visottica industrie spa for the creation of a Chinese centre of excellence in the eyewear components sector.

In 2011, the factory in Castiglione Olona began producing M49, a bioplastic obtained from cellulose acetate that's entirely biodegradable and recyclable, and boasts unique colour properties that are particularly appealing to the fashion accessories and interior-design sectors. When Giorgio Orsi resigned as chairman from Mazzucchelli 1849, he left the position to Giovanni Orsi Mazzucchelli. Giovanni's sister, Silvia, assumed the position of Vice President and also took charge of the company's cultural initiatives. Marco Orsi Mazzucchelli, on the other hand, had left the company a number of year earlier.

The multinational Mazzucchelli company - which even has a distribution company in the Rhône-Alpes region of France and a research and development office in New York - currently employs more than 2,000 workers, 1,500 of whom are employed at its three Chinese production facilities. Above all, it boasts an enormous wealth of knowledge, know-how and relationships that render it one of the world's leading companies: a true expression of made-in-Italy creativity and innovation. The sixth generation, which is comprised of Giovanni's children, Davide and Elena Orsi Mazzucchelli, and Silvia's children, Umberto and Corrado Brustio, joined the Mazzucchelli "archipelago" a few years back, with full intentions of living up to their family's legacy.