A new plastic compound from Biologiq has been proven to be marine biodegradable: tests performed by Eden Research Laboratory show biodegradation of 97% in ocean water within a one-year period. The biopolymer is produced by blending the company’s NuPlastiQ GP with polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT).
The target applications for the new resin are drink cups, straws, lids, and grocery sacks, says Brad LaPray, president and founder of Biologiq.
When asked about certifying the new resin, LaPray said that “the ability for plastics to biodegrade in a marine environment is so new and unusual that acceptable certification standards do not exist. We plan to work with industry and governments to develop new standards.”
A proprietary process is used to create the company’s NuPlastiQ GP, a 100% natural, renewably sourced, plant-based biopolymer. When combined with PBAT, NuPlastiQ GP becomes biodegradable in marine environments.
The UN points out that the world generates 300 million metric tons of plastic waste per year – much of which ends up in the world’s oceans – and that half of all plastics produced are meant for single-use consumption before being thrown away. Earlier this summer, the Plastics Industry Association announced a commitment to preventing and mitigating this type of marine debris.
The association pinpointed a number of priorities to bolster its commitment and “meaningfully” address marine debris, including:
- educating manufacturers and the public to prevent litter;
- expanding collection opportunities;
- developing new end markets that increase demand for recycled plastics;
- promoting the design of plastic products in a way that facilitates recovery;
- promoting clean-ups;
- ensuring plastics are managed properly at manufacturing sites through programs like Operation Clean Sweep and Zero Net Waste
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