Let’s meet “Compostable plastic” a new way to help the environment
The issue with plastic waste has been more critical than ever before. Many people now begin to take actions more seriously, including the governments in many countries, who publish new rules and regulations regarding the use of plastics. Scientists and environmentalists have put dedicated support toward research toward a solution to the plastic waste problem, one of which is to use compostable plastic instead of the traditional ones. We introduce you to the new way for the environment, meet “Compostable plastic”
Let’s start with how to produce compostable plastic. Compostable plastic can be made from 2 sources
Natural Sources, which can be further put in one of the 3 types
1.1 Polymers from plants or animals. Flour and cellulose are good examples. Oil from animals can be used to produce thermoset resin that can be crafted into a strong and light composite
1.2 Polyesters from microorganisms such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Microorganisms use PHAs as a reserved energy source when in a low carbon environment
1.3 Synthesized polyester from biological processes, such as Polylactic Acid (PLA) from corn and potatoes or sugar cane. This substance can be broken down into carbon dioxide and water by natural microorganisms
Petrol-chemical source, which can be further put in one of the 4 types
2.1 Aliphatic polyester such as polyglycolic acid (PGA), polybutylene succinate (PBS), and polycaprolactone (PCL). These are naturally compostable substances so they are classified as environmentally friendly and mainly used in medical, drugs, agriculture and packaging
2.2 Aromatic polyester, a compostable polyester as an aliphatic. This polyester requires a chemical restructure to become a co-polyester in order for it to be compostable
2.3 Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) is a compostable thermoplastic. It has a special feature that allows it to be set alight and dissolve in water. The substance is used as a thickening agent in a paper film. It has a high water absorption rate and it can be used in substitution to cotton. Clothes made from this is very strong and easy to wash and stay in shape (MTEC)
2.4 Modified polyolefin is polyolefin that is added with thermal and light-sensitive agents. Polyethene (PET) or Polypropylene (PP) is created this way
Compostable plastics are designed to fit in human living nature. If every person switches to this plastic, we would reduce the waste from the traditional plastics currently circulating.
One of the most important benefits of compostable plastic is that it has unique property that takes only months or years to decompose naturally, unlike traditional plastics that take over 500 years
In addition to helping with the waste, compostable plastics can be used for medical purposes as well, creating safer equipment for human use and creating tools to use in the human body such as absorbable sutures or nerve guides that would not require removal later.
Compostable plastics also provide other benefits, such as in agriculture, the plastic is used as a field film for farming, or food packaging. Many products are made with these plastics, for example, cups, lids, cutlery, boxes, and more.
Advance BIO offers a new and better way of living, with compostable products like cups, boxes, cutlery, straws, and more. Together, we can help reduce plastic waste, for our better world and future.