Biodegradable Plastic from Waste Materials

Bio-on manufactures plastics from waste agricultural materials. Bacterial fermentation of by-products from sugar beet and cane cultivation produce a ‘natural’ plastic, requiring no chemical additives. The material is known as PHA and can be used to produce a wide variety of plastic-replacement materials. Since producing a Flos table lamp from PHA, designed by Philippe Starck, the company have expanded to produce materials for the automotive, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and packaging industries, some of which are biodegradable.

Bio-plastics are made from waste materials – not from products intended for food production. This, combined with complete biodegradability in water, is the big environmental advantage.

Marco AstorriCEO, Bio-on

According to the company, their biodegradable plastics (or bio-plastics) dissolve after just ten days when they come in contact with unsterilised water, such as river or sea-water. Importantly, however, the bio-plastics do not degrade when used for product packaging, such as water bottles, because the products are sterilized and no bacteria are present to biodegrade the plastic.

Why you should care

Oil-based plastics can be found in the oceans, soil and even in most human bodies. They have created severe risks for human health, wildlife and natural ecosystems. By substituting oil-based plastics with natural and biodegradable plastics, such as PHA variants, it is possible to reduces these risks.

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