There is a change coming, which will finally see the production of plastics move to a far greener and environmentally beneficial method. Companies are beginning to “wake up” to the possibility that there is another way to creation of plastics, rather than relying on methods of old. Harmful petro chemicals etc could soon become a thing of the past.
How Things Have Changed:
In the traditional sense, plastics were made using items such as crude oil, coal and other harmful items. So in terms of both the manufacturing process, and the materials used, the environment was being harmed. Now, some of these items can be replaced with a bio-based plasticizer, meaning that the plastic created is now done so in a cleaner, greener manner.
A Bio What Now?
Bio based plasticizers are a blend of plant based fatty acids, together with a compound called isosorbide. This compound itself is made through a series of processes, mainly by dehydrating the starch, sorbitol. When mixed with these fatty acids, isosorbide allows for the creation of plastics such as polyesters, curable resins (think epoxy), reactive coatings and replacements for TPU. This new plastic is safe, and just as hard wearing as the plastics of old.
These new types of plastics can be used pretty much everywhere that the old types of plastic have been used. Taking a glance around you now, you’re sure to see that many of the things around you are either made from, coated in or at least have some components that are plastic based. Imagine the sheer scale of the crude oil used in the mass manufacture of these few items in front of you. Imagine that then on a worldwide scale, year after year. It’s easy to see why another solution, a better solution, is urgently required.
Products like POLYSORB ®ID by Roquette, a highly pure type of isosorbide allow for many different applications. Places such as special flooring for hospitals or nursing homes, where hygiene, non toxicity and reliability are key, are the perfect sources for these new types of plastics. And in products such as water bottles, which are an absolutely huge issue for governments around the world, in terms of their cleaning up. Imagine a plastic that dissolves away over time, instead of something that takes many thousands of years to dissolve. These bio plastics promise this, all the while being as robust, and importantly, as affordable to create, as they had been previously, when petrochemicals were used.
As already has been stated, something needs to change when it comes to he production of plastics. We need to move away from the archaic methods of the past and relegate them to history. We owe this to ourselves and to those who come after us. The methods are available to us – so why would we not use them? Especially now that the new and greener methods deliver comparable results, and the same price. It just makes complete sense to adopt these changes. Let’s hope this small sea change becomes a tidal wave.