UK Startup Develops World’s First Fully Biodegradable Plastic that’s Recyclable Too
In a ground-breaking innovation, technology startup Polymateria has created a plastic material that is biodegradable and can be recycled as well
Plastic pollution is choking every corner of the planet but its countless applications in human world has made this non-biodegradable material indispensable. However, with the rising awareness about the harmful impacts of plastic, scientific community is trying to create various alternatives. One such substitute has been create by UK-based technology startup, Polymateria, which is the world’s first fully biodegradable plastic that’s recyclable as well.
Using an innovative biotransformation technology, the startup aims to break down any run-away plastics safely through a propriety additive. Based at Imperial College, London, the startup claims to be the world’s first firm to offer such a fully biodegradable solution without generating microplastics that are the most vicious faction and are fatally harmful for the planet.
Their time-controlling technology emphasizes on plastic packaging waste, such as takeaway containers, single-use cups, and another packaging material that are usually disposed of instead of being recycled. Additives help break down plastic polymers, transforming it into a wax that can be completely digested by natural microbes. The material can also be used to make food packaging or more sturdy containers such as cups or drink pouches.
Moreover, the biodegradable products from Polymateria are labeled with a recycle by date. This will help customers with the timeframe to dispose of the plastics conscientiously before they begin to break down.
Niall Dunne, CEO of Polymateria, said;
For too long, it has been assumed that biodegradable material cannot also be recycled. Our technology is changing perceptions. Products containing our technology should be recycled as a matter of priority, but any items escaping the system will return to nature at the right time without causing any harm.
He further said that plastic breaks down in about 226 days for polyethene-based products, while polypropylene products take about 336 days, without creating any microplastics. This technology has been verified by the British Standards Institution (BSI), and is now being adopted by several international brands worldwide.
The firm also made a deal with a supplier to 7-Eleven stores, South Plastic Industry Co, in Taiwan and also a $100 million deal to license its technology to Formosa Plastics Corp, one of the world’s biggest petrochemical manufacturers.
As much as the technology sounds fascinating, whether it succeeds in holding up its end of the bargain on a commercial level is an entirely different issue. Nevertheless, the success of this enterprise can revolutionize the plastic industry while helping make environment clean and pollution free.
Via: The Better India