Bioplastics: Cleaner World or Bigger Mess - Design News / EETimes Article + Video
Posted by Machines Italia | 25 May 2012
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With energy resources dwindling and "sustainability" becoming a must-have word in the lexicon of almost every company in the developed world, the debate over the use of cleaner materials is intensifying, especially when it comes to plastic.
Some claim the "war on plastic" is unjustified, with people to blame for pollution rather than the material itself, while others argue that taking simple steps to replace traditional plastics with more natural biological substitutes would cut back on carbon emissions drastically.
One such company is the Italian firm Novamont, whose starch-based Mater-Bi bio-plastic is already widely used in supermarket shopping bags and even tire treads.
Novamont was originally established back in 1989 under the name Fertec, a research center with the aim of combining the study of chemistry and agriculture to produce fuel and materials more conducive to the principles of environmental sustainability.
Fertec’s basic philosophy was that the environment was something able to propel the development of a business that was economically sustainable and competitive on a large scale. As such, the firm plowed money, time and resources into looking for natural alternatives to various materials, bio-fuels, lubricants, detergents and even paper.
Despite the fact that bio-fuels could indeed be created from crops, however, scientists quickly discovered that the process was simply not sustainable.
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