Even fish can eat Nuatan, the bioplastic that could answer the plastic pollution crisis

October 1, 2018 by  
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A potential solution to the world’s plastic pollution crisis has recently been unveiled at the London Design Festival. Crafting Plastics Studio, established by design duo Vlasta Kubušová and Miroslav Král, created the all-natural alternative, which is made from corn starch, sugar and cooking oil. According to the team, who researches and constructs cutting-edge materials for their avant-garde designs, Nuatan has the possibility to “replace all the packaging we know,” because it is so safe that even fish can eat it. At a glance, Nuatan may seem elementary in its composition, however, Kubušová and Král spent six years conceiving the bioplastic with material scientists at the Slovak University of Technology. This is time well spent, considering that the composition is enduring, rapidly degradable and safe to ingest. More durable than previous bioplastic samples, the material can last up to 15 years and withstands temperatures over 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). Related: This edible, plastic-free packaging is grown from kombucha starter “For the first time, a fully bio-based, biodegradable material can be considered as a competitor in terms of properties and processability,” the designers explained. Nuatan’s applications are limitless, because the poly-blend is not restricted to blow-forming like traditional plastics are. Crafting Plastics Studio designed the material to succeed in any production chain. “We’re using it for 3D printing , injection molding and other plastic manufacturing technologies,” the team said. Approval of a food-safety certificate would mean that Nuatan could realistically replace all packaging , because the material is biodegradable. Industrial composters would have no trouble breaking down the substance. The possible solution to replacing single-use plastics such as plastic bags, plates, straws, water bottles, cutlery and others is found in the patented combination of naturally derived Polyacid Acid (PLA) from corn starch with Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), which is corn starch that has been processed by microorganisms. Because Nuatan’s composition is not formulated from carbon-based raw materials, “it degrades inside the human body or animals,” Kubušová explained. This biocompatible feature, along with Nuatan’s durability, means that it can be used in nearly everything except heavy-duty situations, such as vehicle construction. At a lower energy and resource consumption value than traditional petroleum-based plastics, Nuatan ticks all the boxes regarding environmental sustainability and climate change relief. Faced with a high cost of production, there is still some time before the new bioplastic will see widespread use. But increased demand could help drive the cost of materials down to affordable levels. “We are hoping to find collaborators who want to include it in the right products, and not combine it with other materials, so it’s a mono-material,” Kubušová said. Faithful to their ethical and capable inception, the team made a very valid point — “If we can find the right collaborators, it can change things a lot.” For a lot of people, a lot of animals and a lot of places on Earth… + Crafting Plastics Via Dezeen Images via Adam Šakový, Andrej Andrej and Lucia Scerankova / Crafting Plastics

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Even fish can eat Nuatan, the bioplastic that could answer the plastic pollution crisis

This scarf protects against air pollution, allergens and viral infections

October 1, 2018 by  
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Air pollution is a major problem around the world, but one company is helping people stay safe no matter where they live. Bioscarf has created a stylish accessory that doubles as a safety mask for people living in places with high concentrations of pollution. These handy scarves help fight against air pollutants, allergens and viral infections, like the cold and flu. Bioscarf offers its product in a handful of colors, including white, black, green and a camouflage print. Each scarf is made from high-quality polyester and carries the company’s logo. They are roughly 7 feet long and just under a foot wide, making them ideal for burying your face into when cold winds breeze by you. While these scarves are fashionable , they also protect against allergens and viral infections. This includes the cold and influenza, both of which are common infections that become a problem every year in larger urban areas. Related: Scientists find air pollution leads to significant decline in cognition The scarves work by filtering out more than 94 percent of contaminants in the air , keeping you just as healthy as a traditional safety mask. According to the company, testing showed that the Bioscarf filtered nearly 100 percent of airborne particulates with a size 0.1 or larger, including pneumonia, step throat, influenza, tuberculosis, animal dander, pollen and cigarette smoke. Co-founder Hazel Solle was inspired to create the scarf after a vacation to China with her family. Her husband, Carlton, got sick overseas, and a doctor told them it was likely because of the air pollution. The doctor recommended they wear masks, inspiring the couple to think of a better solution. Hazel also recalled growing up in Costa Rica and making tiny scarves out of leftover materials for her dolls. The idea hit her that scarves could double as fashion pieces and air pollution masks. In addition to its scarf lineup, the company also has a special program where it donates a scarf to charity for each one it sells — a great incentive for consumers who want to help those in need. “Experts say that over 2 billion kids around the world are breathing toxic air and nobody is talking about it,” Hazel said.“It’s time to not only raise awareness about this issue, but to more importantly give many of the people at risk who don’t have the means to protect themselves something to help them combat air pollution on a daily basis.” + Bioscarf

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This scarf protects against air pollution, allergens and viral infections

Biodegradable Water Filters: Eliminate Plastic Bottle Use With Compostable Faucet Filters

September 25, 2018 by  
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Sponsored Article: Brought to You by TAPP Water When it … The post Biodegradable Water Filters: Eliminate Plastic Bottle Use With Compostable Faucet Filters appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Biodegradable Water Filters: Eliminate Plastic Bottle Use With Compostable Faucet Filters

Amazing new biodegradable insulation only burns after one-hour of fire exposure

February 27, 2018 by  
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100 percent natural insulation from Chilean company Rootman is also resistant to flames, according to ArchDaily . Rootman’s product, Thermoroot, absorbs sound and provides optimal thermal performance — and, according to its designers, the sustainable insulation only starts burning 60 minutes of fire exposure. That’s in contrast to polystyrene , fiberglass, or polyurethane, which will start burning in three seconds, 15 seconds, or one minute, respectively. With the goal of insulating buildings more efficiently, Rootman created Thermoroot, which they say is biodegradable , comprised of 100 percent natural fiber, and won’t harm the environment . They basically grow what they call a Radicular Mattress; in isolated chambers, they hydroponically cultivate oat or barley grain seeds in trays that, according to ArchDaily, “define the required thickness of the roots ” to create the mattress. The process takes between 10 and 15 days, and Rootman doesn’t employ chemical additives or draw on genetic modifications. Related: Hemp-based insulation makes a comeback in Belgium The germination process can happen in any geographical location or climate, according to ArchDaily. It boasts a low water and carbon footprint, doesn’t pollute, and trees don’t need to be cut down for the process. And in case of a fire, the green insulation offers a one-hour window before it burns. Thermoroot can entirely replace conventional insulators like Mineral Wool, Expanded Polystyrene, or Polyurethane, according to ArchDaily, thermally and acoustically insulating floors, ceilings, or walls. The publication said Rootman is working to offer an effective alternative for expensive natural insulators and synthetic insulators that are harmful for health and the environment. If you’d like more information, Rootman includes links to a technical information PDF, certification of sound absorption, a thermal conductivity certification, and a firefighters’ technical report on their website; you can find those here . The company also says their technology could serve as “a soil improver for the garden and agriculture .” + Rootman Via ArchDaily Images via Rootman SpA/ArchDaily

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This company makes leggings with biodegradable, compostable fabric

February 16, 2018 by  
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Have you ever heard the words ‘ biodegradable ‘ and ‘ compostable ‘ associated with activewear? Philadelphia-based fitness company Aqua Vida offers leggings and shorts made with Amni Soul Eco fabric that is 100 percent recyclable and reusable – and in an anaerobic landfill or compost heap, will decompose in under three years. Aqua Vida offers biodegradable leggings – created with Amni Soul Eco intelligent yarn from chemistry company Solvay . The polyamide yarn provides antibacterial benefits and UV protection, according to the company . Some other benefits: the clothing is lightweight, will far outlive cheaper fabrics, and includes intelligent moisture absorption, per Aqua Vida. The apparel is intended for yoga , surfing, working out in the gym, or other exercise activities. Related: Satva’s organic yoga-inspired clothing supports education for young girls in India Don’t worry about sweat – these biodegradable leggings won’t decompose while you’re moving in them. Instead, the fabric only begins to break down when it’s surrounded by bacteria in an anaerobic landfill or compost bin. Otherwise, its shelf life is as lengthy as that of traditional polyamides, according to Aqua Vida. The process to create the yarn is also sustainable – per Aqua Vida, the fabric “is produced in a closed cycle manufacturing system, a production process which collects and recycles scrap, wastewater, raw materials found in the water, and heat that is generated in some of the production phases.” Aqua Vida, which sells clothes and offers standup paddleboard yoga classes, highlights sustainability as one of their values on their website; they host ocean cleanups with the goal of removing 10,000 pounds of trash from waterways by 2020. With 16 cleanups behind them, they’ve removed 3,341 pounds of garbage so far. The company says for every dollar customers spend, they allocate one percent to local water conservation efforts, which includes their cleanups. Their Biodegradable Flow Legging costs $68; the Biodegradable Flow Shorts are $48. + Aqua Vida + Aqua Vida Eco-Friendly Fabrics Via Philadelphia Magazine Images via Aqua Vida and Aqua Vida Facebook

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This company makes leggings with biodegradable, compostable fabric

100% biodegradable, edible packaging is so much better than plastic

November 29, 2017 by  
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The world is awash in pollution from plastic packaging – but fortunately, some people are working hard to develop viable eco-friendly alternatives. Indonesia -based Evoware makes food packaging out of an unexpected material: seaweed . Instead of clogging our oceans, the non-toxic seaweed-based packaging biodegrades – and it’s even edible. Evoware’s 100 percent biodegradable packaging lasts for two years on the shelf, and is printable and heat sealable. It’s also a natural plant fertilizer. You can eat the packaging, taking advantage of the high fiber, mineral, and vitamin content. It could serve as a hamburger wrapping, for example, and there’d be no need to remove the packaging before eating the burger. Or it could hold instant noodle seasoning, and when a consumer poured in warm water to make the noodles, the packaging would dissolve. Evoware on their website describes their product as “almost tasteless and odorless.” The seaweed packaging can also form sachets to hold non-food items such as soap or sanitary pads. Related: Egyptian scientists turn dried shrimp shells into eco-friendly plastic Environmental challenges motivate the company, as Indonesia is the second largest contributor of ocean plastic . But co-founder David Christian said in a video they also aim to help poor seaweed farmers in the country. Indonesia is the biggest seaweed-producing country, according to Christian – but many of the farmers, due to a long marketing chain, don’t make enough money or are in debt to loan sharks. Their children are malnourished and can’t attend school. And unfortunately, a lot of the seaweed is wasted right now, he added. Evoware aims to use it, and increase these farmers’ incomes by turning seaweed into zero waste packaging. The company said on their website, “Through Evoware’s products, people evolve to be closer to nature and live a more responsible and sustainable life.” You can find out more here . + Evoware Images via Evoware

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Twin brothers convert organic waste into truly biodegradable plastic

October 27, 2017 by  
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You know plastic waste is a problem. But Jeff and Dane Anderson, twin brothers in California , are trying to do something about it. They started a company, Full Cycle Bioplastics , to make a fully biodegradable plastic . They aren’t the first to do so, but they utilize cheap, readily available organic waste to make their bioplastic . Food waste, dirty paper or cardboard, or agricultural byproducts become compostable plastic in Full Cycle Bioplastics’ process. Jeff Anderson told UPROXX they’re able to utilize any organic waste to create a plastic known as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). “If it ever falls into the ocean , it actually acts as fish food, or bacteria food, and has no toxic effects,” Anderson said in an UPROXX video . Related: Egyptian scientists turn dried shrimp shells into eco-friendly plastic Full Cycle Bioplastics breaks organic waste down into feedstock, given to naturally occurring bacteria that consume the waste and convert it into PHA. The company then dries and processes the PHA into a resin product. Anderson said their bioplastic could be used for bags, to-go containers, utensils, water bottles, or shampoo bottles, to name a few. Dane Anderson said it’s great for the bioplastic to return to them after use, because they can turn it back into plastic again. But it will harmlessly break down in nature if it’s discarded. One reason bioplastics haven’t taken over the world yet is their expense, but the brothers bring down costs through their process. They don’t need land to cultivate crops, nor do they use genetically modified bacteria. We may not be able to totally get rid of plastic – just a glance around where you’re sitting right now will likely reveal several items manufactured with the stuff polluting our planet. But Jeff told UPROXX their bioplastic can serve as a direct replacement – one that’s far better for the earth. + Full Cycle Bioplastics Via UPROXX Images via Full Cycle Bioplastics and screenshot

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Twin brothers convert organic waste into truly biodegradable plastic

Aerospace-inspired wonder could be the UK’s first double-decker high-speed train

October 27, 2017 by  
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Lucky Brits could soon ride on high-speed trains with luxury jet-like interiors. Taking inspiration from aerospace design, Andreas Vogler Studio and the German Aerospace Center dLR designed and developed the AeroLiner 3000 train, the first double-deck high-speed train for the UK. Conceived with plans of implementation, this innovative and ultra-lightweight design would allow for an increase in capacity of 30% on the British railways’ existing infrastructure—no new railways needed. Winner of the Red Dot: Design Concept 2017 , the AeroLiner 3000 train adopts aerospace engineering and design to create an ultra-lightweight design that boasts a greater number of seats, increased efficiency, improved comfort, and even a projected reduction in CO2 emissions . “In aviation, lightweight is top priority,” said the Munich-based Swiss architect Andreas Vogler. “With the AeroLiner3000 we show that lightweight construction can trigger a change in the world of rail vehicles.” Related: France aims to roll out world’s first autonomous high-speed trains within 7 years The RedDot jury commended the AeroLiner 3000 for its elegant and luxurious design that makes use of durable train-graded materials and surfaces. Electronically dimmable windows and glare-free OLED illumination make use of new technologies aimed at passenger comfort. Last year, Andreas Vogler Studio created a nine-meter-long, full-scale demonstrator as a proof of concept and for ergonomic verification at Innotras 2016 in Berlin. + Andreas Vogler Studio Renderings: ©Andreas Vogler Studio

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Scientists create eco-friendly, biodegradable microbeads

June 9, 2017 by  
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Microbeads ‘ detriment to the environment is well-documented , yet many companies continue to put the tiny plastic spheres in their products. Scientists at the University of Bath came up with a solution. They created microbeads from cellulose instead, and their alternative is both biodegradable and renewable. One shower can pollute the ocean with 100,000 plastic particles, according to an estimate cited by the University of Bath. These plastic microbeads less than five millimeters in size are way too small to be filtered out by sewage filtration systems, and from sunscreens, toothpastes, or cosmetics end up in the ocean. Fish, birds, and other marine creatures then consume them. Researchers think from there, the microbeads may be entering our food supply . Related: Greenpeace identifies brands that are still polluting oceans with microbeads So a research team at the university developed a way to continuously make biodegradable microbeads. They dissolve cellulose and reform it into beads, by making droplets that are set. They say their process is scalable, and they can draw cellulose from waste products such as those from the paper-making industry. These waste products offer a renewable source of cellulose. Their biodegradable microbeads will stay stable in a body wash, but at sewage treatment facilities can be broken down by organisms. Or the beads will break down in a short period of time if they do make it into the wider environment. Scientist Janet Scott said they’ll biodegrade into harmless sugars. She said in a statement, “Microbeads used in the cosmetics industry are often made of polyethylene or polypropylene, which are cheap and easy to make. However these polymers are derived from oil and they take hundreds of years to break down in the environment…We hope in the future these [microbeads] could be used as a direct replacement for plastic microbeads.” The journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering published a study on the research online the end of May. A team led by Scott just received more than £1 million, around $1.2 million, in funding to develop porous beads, microsponges, and capsules from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council . Via the University of Bath Images via University of Bath

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Egyptian scientists turn dried shrimp shells into eco-friendly plastic

March 3, 2017 by  
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Plastic is a plague on this planet, but it doesn’t have to be. A group of Egyptian researchers is developing a kind of plastic won’t languish in landfills for hundreds of years – made with dried shrimp shells. Just six months into a two-year project, the team is already seeing some success. Scientists at Nile University clean and chemically treat shrimp shells, then ground them up and dissolve them in a solution that dries to form plastic. The researchers have utilized chitosan , a polymer made from the compound chitin commonly found in crustacean shells, to make their clear, thin plastic prototype. They’re able to obtain the shells inexpensively, sourcing them from local supermarkets, restaurants, and fishermen at low prices. Project researcher Hani Chbib told Reuters Egypt imports some 3,500 metric tons of shrimp, and is left with 1,000 metric tons of shrimp shell waste. So the project could help alleviate waste and reduce plastic pollution . Related: Harvard Scientists Create Super Strong Degradable Bioplastic from Shrimp Shells The Egyptian researchers are collaborating with a team from Britain’s University of Nottingham , where the professor overseeing the project, Irene Samy, conducted post-doctoral research and began exploring the idea of converting shells into plastic. Samy told Reuters, “If commercialized, this could really help us decrease our waste…and it could help us improve our food exports because the plastic has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.” The team envisions the biodegradable plastic might be used for packaging and plastic bags . They said their technique could potentially work for large-scale industrial production, and while so far they’ve only made small samples, are working to enhance properties like durability and thermal stability so the product could be widely used. The United Kingdom side of the team plans to approach packaging manufacturers in their country. Via Reuters Images via screenshot

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