Plastic consumption is one of the major environmental problems of the today’s society. Greenpeace researches ensure 500 millions tons of plastic will be produced worldwide by 2020.
Environmental organizations and associations strive to find solutions and for awareness society about the plastic consumption and they try to avoid the excessive use of this material. However, large companies continue to produce huge quantities of plastic packaging which could be replaced by other more sustainable materials.
Researchers, companies and governments are working on packaging innovations that replace plastics and promote sustainable consumption. Proposals ranging from bioplastics to water bubbles.
Ecoembes, through their research center TheCircularLab, have developed a material named Bio-Bio, a bioplastic made from organic substances from biodegradable and compostable plant waste. After the plant waste has been crushed, glucose is extracted and it becomes into food for a micro-organism which takes charge of producing the biopolymer that produce the Bio-Bio.
Three researchers from Skipping Rocks Lab are working to wipe out plastic bottles and they want to do it with water bubbles. This bubbles, made from chlorine, seaweeds and calcium, are created with a culinary technique of spherification: an ice ball is inmmersed in calcium chloride and brown seaweeds extract. Inside the balls fit 50ml. of water and when they run out, you can use the balls as composting or you can eat them.
Naturbeads, based at the University of Bath (England), is researching biodegradables microbeads that replace existenting microplastics in cosmetics and personal care products. These microplastics are impossibles to eliminate with the filtration systems because of their tiny size and they end up polluting seas, rivers and oceans. For this reason, University of Barth professors have developed cellulose microbeads which replace this materials. This sustainable innovation will be tested by companies of the cosmetic and personal care industry.
Students from the University School of Design and Engineering of Barcelona (ELISAVA) have produced a packaging with biodegradable substances that has a dual function: on the one hand, to wrap the lentils in an attractive way to motivate children to eat legumes. On the other hand, become a pot in which children can grow their own legumes.