Saving the planet has been a tough topic of conversation for a long time now. With a growing number of people actively trying to make a difference, by cutting down on their plastic waste. As we move towards more sustainable ways to live, we’re increasingly looking for materials and products that are reusable, zero-waste, and eco-friendly.
Biodegradable materials are materials that can safely be disposed of in the natural environment, where they decompose and breakdown completely, in the presence of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi found in soil. Most biodegradable materials are untreated natural materials, like wood or bamboo.
However, in recent years the fight against plastic and the global move towards sustainability have highlighted the need for alternatives to plastic that can fulfill the same functions. Bio-plastics are one such alternative and are becoming more readily available for use in everything from product packaging to disposable cutlery. They’re made from plant-based raw materials and biodegradable.
In general, biodegradable plastics take between three and six months to decompose when left exposed to oxygen or light. Regular plastics can take up to 1,000 years to reach the same levels of decomposition.
Here we will introduce several common ways of environmental protection.
- 100% Degradable Plant-based Plastics — PLA
There are many types of degradation materials. At present, PBAT and PLA are widely used in the market. PLA comes from plant resources and has the characteristics of good hardness, mechanical performance, transparency, and biological safety performance. It is recognized as the most market prospects, the most competitive environmental protection, low -carbon, and safe degradation materials.
PLA takes annually renewable resources – corn, cassava and other plants as raw material. After fermentation by microorganisms, lactic acid will be extracted, then PLA will be produced through a process of refining, dehydration polymerization, high temperature pyrolysis and final polymerization. PLA has excellent biodegradable property. After disposal, within one year, it can be degraded into carbon dioxide and water by microorganisms in the soil, and do no harm to our environment.
PLA has good mechanical properties, low shrinkage, and is competent to the application of most synthetic plastics, also it’s widely used in the production of package materials, disposable tableware, household electrical appliance shell, fiber, 3D supplies etc.
Because PLA derives from renewable plant resources but not the petroleum-based traditional plastics, so it is energy-saving and enviromental protection, and PLA is considered to be the most promising new “ecological material”.
- 100% Degradable Petroleum-based Plastics — PBAT
PBAT (short for polybutylene adipate terephthalate) is a biodegradable random copolymer, specifically a copolyester of adipic acid, 1,4-butanediol and terephthalic acid (from dimethyl terephthalate).
PBAT combines some of the beneficial attributes of synthetic and biobased polymers. It is derived from common petrochemicals—purified terephthalic acid (PTA), butanediol, and adipic acid—and yet it is biodegradable. As a synthetic polymer, it can readily be produced at large scale, and it has the physical properties needed to make flexible films that rival those from conventional plastics.
- Use of Straw Raw Materials
Wheat straw plastic is a new green and environmentally friendly composite material composed of natural plant fibers such as straw, rice shells, and cellulose and polymer resin. It has similar properties to ordinary thermoplastic plastic.
It is widely used in tableware, hotel supplies and other fields. The finely processed straw after mixing the straw with PP plastic, pour it into a specific suppression machine for squeezing, etc., and the straw is made from the machine. Pour high temperature melting into the template to make toothbrushes, comb and other products.
- Degradable additive
Biodegradable additives are additives that enhance the biodegradation of polymers by allowing microorganisms to utilize the carbon within the polymer chain as a source of energy. Additives are generally in masterbatch formation that use carrier resins such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Most common synthetic plastics are not biodegradable, and both chemical and physical properties of plastics play important roles in the process of plastic degradation. Good biodegradable additives expedite the rate of degradation by reducing the strength of certain properties of the polymers and increasing their attractiveness to microorganisms. The degradation time of ordinary plastic may be as long as 500 years. With the degradable additive, it makes the degradation time 3 to 5 years.
ECOWAY has been committed to the development and innovation of environmentally friendly products since its establishment in 2012. And we always invest more time and money to develop more environmentally friendly products, which is also the value of our company’s existence. Our main products are hotel amenities. These products can be made of more eco-friendly materials.