The Evolution of Bioplastics
As product designers, we know how important it is for people to choose the right materials. As well as choosing something appropriate, people often have other concerns – sourcing local materials from Melbourne or finding a sustainable option. Bioplastics are one option for people concerned about their environmental impact.
Bioplastics are plastics made from renewable resources or plastics that are fully biodegradable and compostable. More and more of these materials are being developed to help solve problems with landfill and plastic pollution in our water systems. There are many options for people interested in bioplastics, but we’ve had a look at a few that we found interesting.
Biofiba is a biodegradable simulated timber, made in Australia from industrial hemp. It has been designed to replace plastics, polystyrene, cardboard and timber in the export packaging industry.
It’s main use so far has been in producing Biopallets, a replacement for wooden pallets that decompose much faster, reducing the hard waste that is produced. As a timber replacement it will be interesting to see whether this technology takes off in different applications such as housing and furniture.
Polysole is a bioplastic produced by Solegear, produced without any hazardous chemicals it is made from Polylactic Acid (PLA), derived from plants. It comes in two varieties, each designed for specific uses.]
One variety is designed to replace PET in things like clamshell packaging, bottles, and blister packs, while the other is designed for injection molding. It can be both recycled or biodegraded.
Grabio is a resin made from starch, to reduce dependence on petroleum and trees. When the material is burned, it releases no toxic gases, and generates less CO2 than traditional plastics.
Polysole products include bottles and trays
Biodegradable bags from Grabio