Research leads to new green biodegradable plastic

Louise Smyth

One major environmental problem is plastic pollution, which is getting severe with the microplastics in the marine environment becoming very serious. It is predicted that the amount of plastic garbage will surpass the number of fish by 2050. There are also some scientific reports that these microplastics are already entering the human body. Therefore, plastic recycling, reduction of plastic usage itself, and biodegradable plastic usage and development are crucial.

Dr Ryohei Mori at the Green Science Alliance has invented a nano cellulose & PBS (Poly Butylene Succinate) composite material which has obtained certification from the JBPA (Japan BioPlastic Association).

The Cellulose Nanofibre (CNF) is derived from natural biomass resources such as trees and plants so that it is recyclable and biodegradable. Because its raw material is an abundant natural resource, it is obtainable at low cost. Therefore, nano cellulose is an excellent green, next-generation biomaterial. 

Now Green Science Alliance can make PBS to be mechanically stronger while maintaining its biodegradability because nano cellulose is also biodegradable. One can also make PBS stronger with glass fibre or carbon fibre, although they are not biodegradable, therefore, only nano cellulose composite can be 100 per cent biodegradable. 

Green Science Alliance has started manufacturing and supplying this material in pellet form. The first items to be produced are cutlery, food trays and food boxes.


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