Biodegradable packaging; novel plastic material

By 24 Jul 2021

WhatPackaging?’s weekly updates on the new developments in the field of sustainability.

DRDO launches biodegradable packaging products
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Acharya Nagarjuna University and Ecolastic, has launched environmentally safe packaging products made from natural and plant-based food-grade materials. The soluble and insoluble bags can be biologically degraded in three months and cause no harm to the environment whatsoever. Unlike the conventional polyethylene bags made from petrochemicals, which are highly unsafe to the environment and takes years to degrade, these bags are sustainable, cost-effective, and ocean-safe alternatives to single-use plastics. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has approved the distribution of these products, while DRDO will campaign for further distribution of such products.

Plastic that 100% breaks down in sunlight within a week
The novel plastic material has been developed by researchers from China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology. And it came into existence while working on an advanced type of chemical sensor. This happened due to the material’s unique molecular structure, and the chains of monomers offered the film a deep red colour and disappeared as soon as the bonds broke. When exposed to sunlight and oxygen, the plastic would completely decompose in a week, leaving behind no environmentally damaging traces of plastic. Researchers are working on ways to make this plastic usable along with other kinds of degradable plastics that can come into play. However, they state that commercial availability of this is still years away.

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