Dutch scientists say they have developed a process that uses nanotechnology to convert plant matter into the basic components of plastics, an innovation that could ultimately provide an alternative to oil-based plastics in the manufacture of thousands of everyday products.
Braskem is a Brazilian based petrochemical company with headquarters in Sao Paulo. Braksem is the largest petrochemical company in all the Americas based on production capacity and is ranked number give around the globe. Other countries that house commercial offices include the
Dow Chemical is planning construction of a bioplastics plant in Brazil that the company says will produce plastic from sugarcane in volumes competitive with plastics generated from petroleum.
Later this year Dow, in a partnership with the Japanese firm Mitsui & Co., will start building a plant
Cereplast, a company that makes starch-based renewable plastics, wants a new bioplastic symbol and has launched a competition that will give $25,000 to the winner. More details will be announced on January 3rd, 2011.
Applications will be judged by none other than Gary Anderson, the designer who in
In the 1960s movie classic, “The Graduate,” Dustin Hoffman, playing a recent college grad, is cornered by a middle-aged man who tells him the word for the future: plastics.
Today that word might well be bioplastics. As part of a growing global trend, plastics made from plant materials—biodegradable plastics, or bioplastics—are being used for
I was recently asked by a friend whether I was able to create an impact through my anti-plastic propaganda. I told him how easily I was able to reduce my plastic consumption in a couple days and how supportive the people that I spoke to are. He kept asking me whether my individual environmental care would result in a dramatic reduction of global plastic usage. Good question.
For one month, I have talked to managers of stores and restaurants who sell plastic forks, knives, bags and
Major business groups representing the food industry, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say they will not support long-awaited food safety legislation if it includes an amendment banning bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in thousands of everyday plastics.
The comprehensive bill, which easily passed the U.S House of Representatives with bipartisan support and is expected to come before the Senate in the next month, would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more authority over food production and place more responsibility on manufacturers and farmers to reduce contamination in their products.
An amendment by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would ban BPA, the primary component of hard and clear polycarbonate plastics — including water bottles, baby bottles, and the linings of canned foods.
“We will not support food safety legislation that bans or phases out BPA from any food and beverage container,” said Scott Faber, vice president for federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
According to the United Nations, an estimated 40 percent of the global population, or close to 2.6 billion million people do not have access to a toilet of any sort, even a pit latrine.
This has created a public health crisis in developing countries, both in terms of contaminated drinking water and poor sanitation techniques. More than one million children mostly under the age of five die each year from diarrhea resulting from this lack of sanitary conditions. While the technology exists to solve this problem, it is expensive and sometimes hard to install.
But Swedish architect and entrepreneur, Anders Wilhelmson is hoping to tackle the issue with his invention: a safe, affordable, biodegradable plastic bag called the Peepoo that can be used as a single-use toilet.
By now, many have heard algae being proclaimed as the fuel source that could potentially replace a large percentage of the petroleum we use.
However, non-fuel uses of algae that can further lessen our dependence on petroleum have not gotten the attention they deserve. One such usage, while far less visible and but whom some would argue is just as important, is creating plastics.
Cereplast , a renewable plastics company, is looking into using algae as a new and renewable source of this seemingly ubiquitous material. In October 2009, it announced that algae-based resins “could replace 50 percent or more of the petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins.”
In a recent interview, Cereplast CEO Frederic Scheer explained that there are several benefits to switching over to algae-based plastics over traditional petroleum based ones. One reason is that it has the potential to help cut down the United State’s reliance on foreign oil.
“Traditional plastics are made from oil and the entire plastic and chemical industry is using up to 8 percent of our fuel and energy resources,” Scheer said. “In diverting to new [plastic] feedstock we are reducing our dependency [on foreign oil] accordingly.”
BioSolar Inc., a publicly traded California company, says it’s come up with a way to build a better solar panel, with plastics made from plants.
I sat down recently with company CEO David Lee, both of us at keyboards, to discuss BioSolar’s plans for a plastic revolution in sun power manufacturing.
Lee’s protective backing is derived from cotton and castor beans, and costs 25 percent less than Tedlar, the petroleum-based film made by rival DuPont, company officials say. Lee, an electrical engineer, founded the company in 2006.
Q: What makes BioSolar different from other solar companies in the United States?
Lee: BioSolar is developing a technology to produce bio-based photovoltaic (PV) components from renewable plant sources that will reduce the cost per watt of PV modules. BioSolar will gradually replace the petroleum-based portions of the PV module and do so at a substantial cost savings.