Plastic substitutes are fast becoming the norm across many industries. Public pressure combined with an increased awareness of the effect of creating tonnes of non-biodegradable plastics have led to many thousands of companies seeking alternatives. Some of these are inevitably better, but many have a hidden environmental impact that can be worse than that of plastic in the longer term.
Businesses under pressure from consumers to switch to non-plastic packaging have reacted, but without the proper research, many of the solutions are no better than before. Duncan Clark, Teysha Technologies’ Head of Business Operations, is part of a team of experts working to develop a new generation of sustainable plastics that meet the needs of all stakeholders.
Polymer materials can be created from renewable sources synthetically, resulting in an environmentally friendly biopolymer alternative that could replace traditional polycarbonate, petroleum-based plastics in numerous sectors. More information about biopolymers can be found in the PDF attachment to this post.
Plastic Alternatives in Packaging
Packaging is one of the key areas in which consumers are increasingly placing pressure on manufacturers, designers and retailers to make rapid changes to reduce the amount of plastic. However, this pressure has resulted in many businesses making quick changes without taking the time to fully research alternatives.
For example, the global fast food franchise McDonald’s used to serve plastic straws which were fully recyclable. Consumer pressure led the corporation to switch to paper straws across all branches. However, the company later admitted that there were challenges in recycling the new paper straws.
Tetra Pak composite cartons are another example. Introduced in the UK as a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastics, these containers almost always featured polyethylene caps and aluminium foil liners, which meant they could not easily be recycled.
Modern drink manufacturers often turn to composite materials rather than plastic, but these must be lined, which makes them challenging to recycle.
One possible alternative that overcomes these common challenges is the introduction of biodegradable biopolymers as an alternative to plastic packaging. These types of polymers can be derived from natural feedstocks and will degrade naturally in a relatively short time.
Teysha Technologies has been researching these biodegradable polymers for years, creating versatile alternatives to non-biodegradable plastics that have multiple uses. The transition to biopolymer technology will necessarily take some time. However, one thing that has been learned from the rush to introduce plastic alternatives is that taking the time to do it right is essential for long-term sustainability.
For more than a decade to date, Teysha Technologies has been researching and developing a unique solution to the problems presented by overuse of plastic. Working in conjunction with commercialisation and elite process specialists, Teysha’s team of world-leading research scientists have delivered a viable alternative in the form of biopolymers created from renewable resources. There are numerous applications of the finished product, including single-use containers of all types. Many different kinds of additives can be combined to create hard or soft variations for different uses.
Biopolymers are revolutionary in that they offer the same list of benefits, with the added advantage of being kinder to the environment.
A clear definition of sustainability can be seen in the short video attachment to this post.