Environmentally-friendly, Degradable 10 Plastic Alternatives

- Jun 28, 2018-

Environmentally-friendly, degradable 10 plastic alternatives


Plastic waste has always been a worldwide problem that has plagued humanity. In order to protect the ecological environment, countries have introduced policies to prohibit the use of plastic bags, but the actual effect is minimal. Thus, replacing plastic with another material has become the subject of scientific research in various countries.


Indonesia's social responsibility company evowa uses algae as raw material to develop a new product. While solving the problem of plastic waste in the region, it also increases the livelihoods of Indonesia's seaweed farmers.

This bioplastic is an edible, biodegradable food package. The product was created by local seaweed farmers with a shelf life of two years, contains no preservatives, contains high fiber, vitamins and minerals, can be customized for a specific taste, color and brand identity, and can be printed and heat sealed.

Milk protein:

French biodegradable thermoplastic manufacturer Lactips plans to produce biodegradable plastics from milk proteins. The project will also develop a new generation of water-soluble plastic filaments for 3D printing, and the European Union has supported the project with 1.5 million euros.

The company said in a press release that the €1.5 million grant will enable it to enter a new non-food market and formally commercialize its R&D results.

The material is a clean biomaterial that does not leave any residual material and is an environmentally friendly product. The company is currently in the final stages of the development of the granular laundry detergent market.


The German LeafRepublic team invented a 100% recyclable natural disposable tableware that uses leaves instead of plastic. Not only is it water and oil resistant, but it can also be fully degraded and can be turned into natural fertilizer. Its production process did not use any type of glue or paint and other chemical products, it can be said to be completely natural.

In the process of making tableware, in addition to not harming and contaminating the natural environment, its finished products are completely natural, and the entire process is without the use of glue, oil, glue or other chemical materials, and its raw materials are Only leaves. And the disposable plastic lunch box will be left in the nature after 7300000 days to be dissolved, but the disposable cutlery made of this leaf can only be 28 days to be completely natural decomposition, and then change back to natural nutrients.


Researchers tested three non-traditional bioplastic materials—proteins, whey, and soy protein—to replace conventional plastics to reduce the risk of contamination. For example, when the protein (protein in egg white) is mixed with a conventional plasticizer, it can exhibit a great antibacterial property. Experiments have found that there is no bacterial growth on this plastic because bacteria cannot survive on this plastic.

If you put it in a landfill, this pure protein will break down. If you bury it in the earth, these plastics will disappear within a month or two. The next step in this research will be an in-depth analysis of the potential of this protein-based bioplastic in biomedical and food packaging applications.

Discarded citrus peel:

A company that is independent from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently developed a new type of biomaterial called Citrene using citrus peel. Citrene resin is a powerful, resilient, and safe material that is biodegradable. According to Poly6, Citrene's performance is superior to other materials, and in addition to safety and environmental protection, it can provide higher efficiency and save costs for manufacturers. The unique chemicals in the citrus peel provide advanced functions, and its main ingredient is natural oil, suitable for human consumption.

Poly6 mainly applies Citrene to the 3D printing, jet additive, and flexible electronics industries. Other applications include medical products, home furnishings, textiles, orthopaedics, and even nail polish. Medical applications will be the focus of MIT, and MIT will use Aether's biometric printers to explore and develop Citrene's medical uses.


Chicken feathers consist almost entirely of keratin. A highly tough protein provides strength and durability to plastics. The protein was found in hair and wool, hoofs and horns. We can feel the strength of horseshoe without being kicked by horseshoe.

The researchers decided to explore the superb properties of keratin, treating chicken feathers with methyl acrylate and methyl acrylate for nail polish. Finally, keratin-based plastics have been shown to be stronger and more tear resistant than plastics made from other agricultural resources such as soybeans or starch. After all, cheap and rich chicken feathers are renewable resources. Although not formally tested, chicken hair plastics are expected to achieve full biodegradability.

Liquid wood:

The environmental protection of liquid wood is not only because it is a natural material, but more importantly it can be produced using the waste from the wood processing industry. The wood processing industry breaks down wood into three main components: lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose. The paper industry only needs cellulose and hemicellulose. Lignin has become a waste material in the paper industry, and liquid wood processing can be turned into waste. In addition to the lignin discarded in the wood processing industry, raw materials for liquid wood also come from waste agricultural products and forest products. The straw and branches of crops have always been considered as waste, and in recent years they have been used in part to make biofuels. It can also be used to make liquid wood.

In turn, researchers have demonstrated through theoretical studies and experiments that to overcome the foreign monopoly of raw materials and technology and to achieve large-scale domestic production of L-propylated lactone, it is necessary to solve the three major problems of increasing the yield, purification, and polymerization of L-propylated lipids. Technical key.

Focusing on these bottlenecks, they started with the study of reaction conditions, and explored the optimal reaction conditions for the preparation of L-propylidactone in nearly one year, and screened out the optimal reaction temperature and optimal reaction for the oligomerization and cleavage of lactic acid. Time, the best catalyst system. The self-developed tower polymerization reactor with self-stirring function solves the problems of mass transfer and heat transfer in bulk polymerization of high-viscosity polymers.

This means that scientists have successfully developed L-propylated lipid synthesis technology and polymerization technology with China's independent intellectual property rights, and the yield of L-lactide has reached more than 95%.

Technological innovation never ends. Afterwards, they obtained high-purity polymerization grade L-propylidactone by optimizing the process conditions and innovating the vacuum distillation method. At the same time, they successively broke through the influence of reaction conditions on the molecular weight of poly-L-propylidene liquefaction in the polymerization reaction, technological methods, and other technical keys. They successfully prepared localized products that meet the standards of foreign corn plastic products and promoted corn plastics. Industrialization lays an important foundation.