by Green Plastics
Midcromidas, Inc. has turned its green eye on wastewater, and it is seeing gold. The company has developed a strain of microbes that can convert the carbon in wastewater into PHA (polyhydroxylalkanoate), a high performance plastic. PHA biodegrades quickly in compost piles and landfills, but otherwise it behaves the same or better than conventional petroleum-based plastic. It resists water and odor permeation, and it holds up under high temperature and exposure to sun. As a sustainable alternative to petroleum as a plastics feedstock, wastewater could be setting the gold standard.
Using municipal wastewater virtually guarantees a steady supply of feedstock rich in carbon from human waste. Aside from the potential for long term price stability and potential for managing global warming through carbon sequestration, the many advantages of wastewater-to-bioplastics over petroleum include easing pressure on landfills, converting a municipal waste disposal liability into a marketable asset, reducing the amount of petroleum-based plastic in the waste stream, and virtually eliminating environmental disasters related to oil spills and accidents. Add the logistical and job-creation advantages of siting bioplastic manufacturing facilities near the feedstock source, and it’s a no-brainer.
This is a biodegradable plastic that seems to have all of the upsides of well-known bioplastics, but is made from waste, instead of corn or potatoes.
Pay special attention to the list of benefits of this kind of plastic. A lot of people who argue against bioplastic want you to think that the only thing bioplastic has to offer is that it is biodegradable. This is far from the truth.