Plastic is used in a wide range of applications, however, its usage creates several environmental problems. Because it is non-biodegradable, tonnes end up in landfills, rivers, oceans and the natural habitat of wildlife. Environmental damage caused by plastic include hazards to marine life, affecting soil fertility, causing the death of many animals by suffocation and generally, it’s a major cause of environmental pollution.
Environmental issues relating to plastic have been a cause of concern for years and gradually there have been the introduction of several alternatives more eco-friendly products, however, two twin brothers, founder of the Full Circle Bioplastic company, have been able to create biodegradable plastic by using organic waste.
Dane and Jeff Anderson unlike many other researchers, seeking to provide a solution to plastic pollution, used cheap, available organic waste to create bio plastic. It includes food waste, cardboard, agricultural byproducts, paper, etc. Their research led to the creation of a bio plastic known as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)
The procedure consists of the natural breakdown of organic waste by bacteria, then converting the waste into PHA after which it is dried and processed into resin products. The advantage of such a product is that in the ocean or rivers, the bio plastic is nontoxic and actually becomes a source of nourishment for fish and bacteria and on land, it is completely biodegradable.
Bio plastic is not a new notion, there are many different types of bio plastic, however, Dane and Jeff’s innovation is the fact that they were able to create bio plastic at very low cost. Normally, it is very expensive to create bio plastic which is the reason why it has not yet replaced the large amount of plastic found in supermarkets and all over the place.
Jeff Anderson said, “ PHA is completely compostable and marine degradable”. He continues by saying “with bio plastic our wish is that once disposed of, it can be returned to the company and recycled accordingly, however, if that is not the case, there is no worry because it acts as fish food and is completely biodegradable”.
Hopefully, the new invention will be the first step to replacing all the harmful plastic found all over the place. Being able to produce it at relatively low cost compared with other methods opens the door for it to become a direct replacement of plastic and solve the long-lasting problem of pollution that has plagued humanity with the invention of plastic.
There is no denying that there is no end to the use of plastic. It can be found everywhere and made into any type of shape, hopefully, the new invention will be a step to solving plastic pollution problems.