There is a change coming – a change to the way plastics are manufactured. A change for the good of the environment, that’s also cost effective, and produces a product that is equal in every way to the plastic products of old. And best of all, these new plastics are biodegradable.
The Traditional Way:
Traditionally, plastics have been made the same, without very little change down through the years. The manufacturing methods required the use of items such as crude oil and other harmful to the environment compounds. Now, there is a real alternative. There are now ingredients like bio-based plasticizer, made from renewable source materials, that will no doubt revolutionize the way plastics are created. Combined with fatty acids from plant based sources, these new plastics offer the very same quality you’ve known of regular plastic.
How it Works:
Combining these fatty acids with a compound called isosorbide, which is a derivative of sorbitol (a kind of starch like item), leads to the creation of this new plastic. This isosorbide replaces the traditional petrochemical compounds previously used in the creation of plastic items. This process can be used to create polyesters, polycarbonate, curable resins and TPUs. So as you can see, the range is potentially wide reaching.
Bioplastics can be used in any setting that regular plastics can. They are the ideal replacement for a massive range of items. Take a look around your immediate surroundings, and you are bound to see many of the items in your eye range are plastic. Even the surround of your computer screen is most likely made from plastic or some derivative of plastic. Imagine all of these items replaced with a greener, more environmentally friendly option. This is not science fiction, or the distant future – these changes are being made right now.
Combining Safety with Performance:
One of the highest isosorbides used currently, in terms of purity, is POLYSORB ®ID. According to the website of Roquette, plastics performance specialists, “POLYSORB® from Roquette exhibits key attributes offering value or opportunities to develop successful and sustainable applications. Isosorbide offers technological solutions both for thermoplastics (polyesters, polycarbonates, TPU) and curable resins (polyurethanes, epoxy resins, unsaturated resins, reactive coatings), etc.” This means mechanical performance is improved, while remaining cost effective. Production capacity can be large scale if needed also.
Whatever way you look at it, the current mass produced way of making plastic is unsustainable. Greener solutions are required for the good of the environment, and not to mention before petro chemicals become exhausted. And with Governments around the world introducing carbon taxes (and their equivalents), it just makes sense to make this change now. Public services like hospitals and nursing homes can only benefit from making the change to bio plastic items and products, versus the usual petro chemically created items of old.
And even in the home, where you are surrounded by product after product, from your fridge, to the bottles of water in that same fridge, making the change to biodegradable plastics stands to make a major impact for the good.