Plantic PlasticsCase study curated by Alex Owen
Single use packaging is one of the greatest contributors to landfill and requires huge amounts of energy to produce, with the worlds disposable nature there is an ever growing need for a more environmentally friendly solution to the problem of housing foods and goods. Plantic Plastics is a compony designing plastics to provide the same function and level of demand but without the same environmental impact. The prod- uct’s material is derived from Corn Starch (a plant based material), this means that is made from unto 80% renewable content and uses up to 40% less energy to produce than existing packaging polymers.The innovation comes in a verity of forms that include varying levels of the starch to meet the needs of different applications, from dry goods such as electronics packaging to moist products such as meat packaging Plantic Plastics now has a more environmentally friendly solution to all aspects of single use polymers.
The PLANTIC™ material has the following key properties:
- The raw material source is renewable and sustainable
- Ingredients are not genetically modified
- It is certified Biobased to European Standards
- It is certified Home Compostable to European Standards
- It is certified Biodegradable to European Standards
- It is certified for disposal in waste water to European Standards
- It is suitable for food contact applications
- It is inherently anti-static and oil resistant
- It is sealable, printable and laser etchable
Why I Selected This Project
Plastic contributes to the majority of landfill and this problem is greatly accelerated by the fact that the majority of single used items are comprised of plastic. I selected this product/ material as a case study because it’s a refreshing change to the nature of the current native of disposable items.
The Product conforms to both the Functional and Economical needs of the design yet also provides a solution to the existing problems inherit with in the current materials and processes of creation and disposal. (Reduction and Reframing)
The design is not solely fixated on an economic and functional benchmark, along with meeting these needs the material also provides an empathetic approach to the environment, level of consumption and the associated organisms living in this environment. This empathetic approach is what a majority of products and associated materials and processes lack and thus far has lead to an unprecedented level of waste and harm to the environment. (Empathy)
Dunpont’s material science team are currently trying to produce a highly sustainable material that will mimic the proprieties of the synthetic polymers used in the current disposable food packaging market. A statement from their web-sight said “As the world’s population grows, the demand for more food that is safe, fresh, and tastes good intends to increase. The future company will provide complete and sustainable packaging solutions to keep food fresher longer from farm to table.”
NatureWorks are also using vegetable starches to produce bio degradable plastics.
“Nature looks at greenhouse gases, like atmospheric carbon, as a feedstock, a raw material. It’s what trees, plants, and coral reefs, are built from. At NatureWorks, we’re doing the same thing – using our best technologies to turn greenhouse gases into a portfolio of polylactic acid (PLA) performance materials called Ingeo.”