Search Term: bioplastic
Number of Results: 8
Would you like to make a bioplastic instructional video?
Can you create a fun and informative instructional video about bioplastic? We are looking for videos of all different types. You can demonstrate how to make a specific bioplastic product in your own home. You can test the biodegradability of various bioplastic products. You can compare and constrast the properties (strength, flexibility, etc) of bioplastic compared to regular plastic. Regardless of what you want to show, make it fun and informative and we will feature your video here!
Would you like to make bioplastic as part of a class or science fair project?
Put together a team with your college classmates, your high school AP Chemistry class, or your team for the science fair. Create a fun and informative video, and you can be featured on this site and possibly win a prize for your school.
(Contact us for detailed instructions and information about prizes.)
CONTACT US for more information on how to get featured!
Make Your Own Bioplastic (Brandon’s Remix)
This video shows you how to make starch-based plastic in your own kitchen, from household ingredients. Give it a try, and make eco-friendly plastic yourself!
What makes biodegradable plastic degrade?
There is one question that we hear over and over again from people who are interested in using home-made bioplastic in their products and designs. Whether they are students making a bowl or a decoration for a class project, or a young entrepreneur looking to invent a new type of jewelry or fishing lure, people always want to know:
What will actually make my biodegradable product degrade?
How can I make sure that it doesn’t degrade too soon?
Materials can be “degradable” but still last for a long time. Degradation has certain environmental requirements; a material may degrade readily in one environment and be long-lasting in another. Degradation requires, for example, some level of moisture (to allow the process of “hydrolytic” degradation). For example, old newspapers have been found in landfills where they had not come into contact with any water, and as a result they have not degraded. Temperature also plays a role. Animal remains have been found trapped in ice for hundreds of years.
Exposure to microorganisms is also necessary. Plants and animals, inherently biodegradable, will not biodegrade if they are kept in a sterile environment.
So what about your home-made bioplastics?
A gelatin or starch bioplastic product can last for years sitting on a shelf; however, when placed in soil, or a landfill, or an ocean, it can biodegrade in days. The applications you have to be careful about are those which put it in contact with heat and moisture. For example, jewelry that is worn close to the skin for long periods of time will show signs of wear much faster than an ornament that hangs on a wall. Alternatively, a bowl that you wipe clean by hand under warm water will show signs of wear much faster than a desk lamp that simply sits, dry, on the table.
There are many commercially-produced bioplastics that are specifically designed to be programmed-degradable. These materials have already been used commercially to produce bowls and trash bags that are stable through the periods of shelf-life and use and then biodegrade in several disposal environments. You can learn more about the idea of “programmed-degradable plastics”, plastics that are made to be stable for some period of time (depending on the application) and then degrade when placed in some defined disposal environment, in the Green Plastics book.
What can i mix with my bioplastic product?
Dina is a product design student who is working on using bioplastic to make new products. At one point she asks:
Is it possible to mix the plastic with additional material, crushed egg shell for instance or Carob tree fruit (we have this one widely available) to make an interesting texture?
There are a lot of things that you can add to your home-made bioplastic during the mixing process, to make it more interesting or more visually appealing. The thing people use most often is food coloring, to affect the color of the end result. One American designer even used food flavoring, in his BITE ME product: an edible bioplastic lamp!
But you can also add solids, like you were suggesting. If you added something like crushed egg shell, the end result would be called a “composite” – a solid consisting of a binding material (“matrix”) and a fibrous or particulate reinforcement.
One commercial biodegradable plastic that is actually out on the market right now consists of a polymer matrix mixed with calcium carbonate, from crushed limestone. Your crushed egg shell idea is very similar.
As I’m sure you can imagine, there are very many possible combinations, and they would all have to be tested separately (for example, your carob fruit idea). You would probably want to experiment with small batches at first, where you try out different materials, possibly also in different amounts or concentration, to make sure that you get both the texture and visual properties that you want, but that the end result is still strong and hard and will not come apart or crumble.
Please feel free to send us pictures of your final product, with composite egg shells or any other material, and we will add them here to this article as illustration!
Will my bioplastic be dishwasher safe?
Dina, a product design student, wants to use bioplastics for a school project that involves making two products a fruit bowl and a wastebasket. She asks:
How heat resistant is the bioplastic? If I use the gelatin recipe or the algae one, can I make the product dishwasher safe?
First of all, thank you very much for your question! I think home-made bioplastics are exactly the right kind of material for projects like this. However, I also think that you might have more success using bioplastics for a wastebasket than a fruit bowl. I will explain why.
Bioplastics cast from water solutions are not water resistant and if the water is hot, they are even more vulnerable. Heat resistance is limited. Products made with this method would not be dishwasher safe, both because of the temperature but also because of the water.
Water-proofing coatings have been used to improve water resistance. Shellac, for instance, has been used. But the coating would have to be tested for good bonding to the particular material.
Although a bowl made from home-made bioplastic would probably not be safe to put in a dishwasher, it might survive careful hand-washing in warm water, especially if it has a coating. You would have to test it out, depending on what you used for the base plastic and what kind of coating (e.g. shellac) you used.
Good luck, and happy experimenting!
Biodegradable products and conservation
There is a very good educational article about plastics and bioplastics called “The positive impact of biodegradable products on our ecosystem” over at the Savannah Nature House website.
The purpose of the article is to give information about plastics and bioplastics, as well as to alert people about environmental conservancy more generally. This would also give way to the reader an easy and instinctive way to understand the issues concerning biodegradable and compostable products.
Conservation yields the greatest sustainable benefit to current generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations. Conservation is thus positive, embracing preservation, maintenance, sustainable utilization, restoration, and enhancement of the natural environment
Making our world less prone to collapse and more stable on its natural processes, more productive of goods and services important to the lives of all species, forest that provides carbon storage, shelter to wildlife and promote the quality of air that we breathe in.
So check out the article! It has some very good detail, especially about PLA bioplastics!
Novatein: blood bioplastic
On this website, we have talked about innovations in using bioplastic from a wide variety of sources, ranging from corn to algae to crab shells and cow brains and beyond.
It looks like there is a new type of bioplastic you may want to keep an eye out for: blood-based bioplastic.
A recent invention from WaikatoLink, the “Novatein” bioplastic is made from “low value animal protein sources”, like the blood that is drained and discarded from slaughtered animals. Sure, it might not make the vegetarians happy; however, currently the protein in this material is usually wasted: discarded as a by-product of the red meat industry. Instead of letting this resource go to waste… why not make it into plastic?
Prepare for a Bioplastic Boom
The European Bioplastics industry association has released results of a market forecast published yearly in cooperation with the University of Hanover Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites that predicts that the production values within the industry are set to increase by a factor of five by 2016.
The study shows that around 1.2 million tons of bioplastic production capacity was online last year and that this figure is likely to swell to 5.8 million tons within the next four years. With global awareness of other environmental issues, such as reducing carbon footprints and the need for more sustainable energy, growing rapidly, it is little wonder that more and more companies are turning to bioplastics as a greener alternative to conventional plastics.
Non-Biodegradable Bioplastics Predicted for Largest Increase
According to European Bioplastics, the largest growth is likely to be in the production of non-biodegradable bioplastics, most significantly biobased polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). These are plastics that are made from renewable resources, such as crops or algae, but that are processed in a way that renders them non-biodegradable.
Global plastics industry newspaper Plastics News states that partially biobased PET currently accounts for an estimated two fifths of global bioplastics production capacity. European Bioplastics’ forecast predicts that the production capacity for biobased PET will continue to grow through 2016, reaching just over four and a half million tons, or four-fifths of total bioplastic production capacity. Managing director of European Bioplastics Hasso von Pogrell states that the production capacity of biodegradable bioplastics will also carry on increasing. He says that their production capacity will increase by forty percent by 2016, with biobased polylactic acid and polyhydroxyalkanoate leading this increase.
The report carried out by Hasso von Pogrell’s organisation shows that bioplastic production has increased significantly over the course of the past couple of years, growing from just under 250,000 tons in 2009 to 1.6 million tons in 2011. In 2011, non-biodegradable bioplastics comprised around fifty-eight percent of production capacity, with biobased PET comprising just under two fifths of that capacity. Biodegradable bioplastic production was responsible for just under forty-two percent of production capacity, with biobased polyactic acid comprising the biggest proportion of that capacity at just over sixteen percent. By 2016, non-biodegradable bioplastics are predicted to account for just over eighty-six percent of production capacity, with biobased PET increasing to more than four fifths of that total. Biodegradable bioplastics are predicted to comprise thirteen percent of bioplastic production capacity, with biobased polyactic acid making up just over five percent of that capacity.
High Bioplastic Production Capacity in Asia
The report also demonstrates that Asia had the highest bioplastic production capacity online last year, with just under thirty four and a half percent. The relative totals for Europe, South America, Australia and North America were 18.5 percent, 32.8 percent, 0.4 percent and 13.7 percent. In 2016, Asia is predicted to be home to 46.3 percent of the global bioplastic production capacity. South America is projected to have nearly as much capacity in place, with just over forty-five percent. Australia, North America and Europe are predicted to represent a relative 0.2 percent, 3.5 percent and 4.9 percent of global production capacity. Chairman of European Bioplastics Andy Sweetman has expressed his disappointment that Europe is lagging behind Asia and South America to such a great degree when it comes to bioplastic production capacities. He says that, whilst many statements are made by those in the EU with regards to bioplastics, there is a lack of implementation of concrete measures. Sweetman says that it is time the ‘corresponding decisions are made’ if Europe wishes to profit from the growth in the bioplastics industry.
European Bioplastics have expressed the viewpoint that they find the geographic distribution of production capacities towards South America and Asia and away from Europe to be a cause for concern, describing it as a ‘disturbing trend.’ Overall the association remains extremely pleased with the growth in the bioplastics industry though, with Hasso von Pogrell expressing his pleasure that bioplastics have been so successful that they have achieved established positions in a wide variety of different application areas, ranging from the automotive industry and the electronics sector to the packaging market.
This is good news for the bioplastics industry and also good news for everybody who is concerned about the environment and supports the popularization of materials that are more ecologically sound than conventional plastics.
BITE ME : a bioplastic LED desk lamp
Reduce, reuse, recycle…. digest!
Introducing a new product that has taken the interior design scene by storm: a fully biodegradable, compostable, and edible bioplastic desk lamp.
Created by American designer Victor Vetterlein, the BITE ME Desk Lamp is an algae-based plastic, made using the same basic recipe and method that we have described on this website, in the article HOW TO: make algae bioplastic.
The core ingredients are agar (the polymer substance found in seaweed and algae), vegetable glycerin, purified water, food coloring, and flavoring.
The desk lamp comes in orange, cherry, blueberry, and apple. Yes, that’s the flavor of the lamp, not just the color.
The ingredients of the bioplastic are all natural, non-toxic, and edible. In fact, all of the ingredients can usually be bought in a regular corner grocery store. As a result, when you are done with the lamp, you can compost it… or you can eat it.
Of course, you can’t eat the entire thing. It comes with a LED lighting adhesive strip, an LED circuit board, and an electrical cord.
But the plastic part is not only edible, it’s good for you. Agar is low in sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat. It is a good source of vitamins E and K and other trace minerals. It will not be out of bounds for any healthy diet.
How did Victor Vetterlein come up with this genius idea for a biodegradable, edible desk lamp?
You guessed it: he read the Green Plastics Book, the same place where most of the recipes that we talk about on this website come from. Here is a photo of all of the ingredients used to create the BITE ME desk lamp, along with the book that inspired the idea:
What new product can you invent, by experimenting with home-made bioplastics?
Lili Design Jewelry – a bioplastic success story
For the holiday season, we would like to share with you a home-made bioplastics success story: bioplastic jewelry by Lili Design, Ltd.
Lili Design, Ltd., has created a line of bioplastic jewelry that is entirely adapted to skin, completely natural and biodegradable. The bioplastic jewelry came out of long research into sustainable solutions to replace fuel based plastic. After months in the kitchen, mixing each ingredient to understand the chemical reaction of natural elements, Lili has developed an innovative bioplastic, based on corn, potato or even tapioca, which is unique.
Lili wrote to us with this wonderful testimonial about her project:
“Bioplastic is fascinating but required a bit of time. As every piece need at least one week to set, it’s a long process, to know what works and what doesn’t. But if you are interested to learn how to cook it from scratch and see a range of completely innovative material,I organize workshop in Surbiton ( Greater London).
And I sincerely recommend the video of Brandon on youtube, which was one of my starting point, more than a year ago. And a great guy, by the way, who took time to answer to my questions and help me really nicely.”
Bioplastics News in August 2011
Cereplast, one of the key manufacturers of biodegradable plastics made from renewable resources, has continued to expand, signing a new agreement with a distributor in Scandinavia. Cereplast is one of the leading providers of truly “green” bioplastic resins that appears in products ranging from car parts to compostable plastic utensils that you can buy at the store. The expansion of Cereplast into the Scandinavian market is a reflection of the broader world-wide expansion, especially in Europe and Asia, of the bioplastic industry.
This world-wide shift is good news, because the global economy is based on positive feedback. As distribution goes up to meet demand, production and manufacturing will also rise, and this will drive costs down: the more you can mass-produce any product, the cheaper it is.
What’s the evidence for this? Also in August, Dow Chemical announced plans to set up operations for mass-producing sugarcane-derived polyethylene in Brazil. With the opening of the new production plant, Dow Chemical will control the entire chain of production of their bioplastic resin, from the sugarcane field to the processing plant, allowing them to mass-produce the bioplastic more efficiently and at a lower cost. Cardia Bioplastics has also announced growth, and Genomatica, an industrial biotechnology startup based in San Diego, has agreed to establish a joint venture with Novamont, a leading bio-plastic producer, to produce butanediol (BDO) from renewable feedstocks in Europe.
But the excitement isn’t just going on overseas. Trellis Earth Products Inc., a company that specializes in consumer products (bags, boxes, cutlery) made from plants, announced that it will spend $7 million to move part of its overseas manufacturing to its Wilsonville, Oregon. The company has been seeing consistent growth, expecting $4 million in sales this year, which is a 30% growth over last year. Although they have outsourced manufacturing to China in the past, they said that high tariffs and shipping costs have made it more cost effective to move much of their operations home. They also said they plan on opening another manufacturing facility in Chicago in the near future. We know the company must be doing well, because it also filed for two new patents this month, as well.
Petoskey Plastics is adding 12 million pounds of capacity to its plant in Hartford City, Indiana. BioAmber Inc., a Minneapolis-based company, is building a new 35 million-pound-capacity plantin Sarnia, Ontario, to make succinic acid. This is a bio-based chemical that can be converted into the types of bioplastics that are used in plastic cutlery and auto parts. And Taiwan just signed a deal with Cargill to buy $55 million worth of corn-based plastics made in Blair, Nebraska.
All in all, it looks like investing in “green technology” is already beginning to happen in the United States, regardless of the posturing and politics going on in this election season.
What new bioplastic source materials were all the buzz this past month? Bioplastics from cheeseand bioplastics from cows seem to top the list of interesting and buzz-worthy announcements.
Did we miss something from this past month? Do you have an announcement you want included in next month’s round-up? Email Us and let us know!
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You may provide us with a counter notification by providing our copyright agent the following information in writing:
(1) your physical or electronic signature;
(2) identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled, and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled, including the full URL;
(3) a statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;
(4) your name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which your address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which Green Plastics may be found and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided the initial notification of infringement.
13. Jurisdiction and Legality of Content
Publication of information found on the Site may be in violation of the laws of the country or jurisdiction from where you are viewing this information. The Site’s database is stored on a server in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States of America, and the Green Plastics company, a subsidiary of Greg Stevens Holdings, LLC, operates out of the state of Texas, in the United States of America. All services of Green-Plastics.net shall be deemed to have been requested and provided in Dallas County, Texas.
Laws in your country or jurisdiction may not protect or allow the same kinds of speech or distribution. Green Plastics and Greg Stevens Holdings, LLC do not encourage the violation of any laws, and cannot be held responsible for any violations of such laws, should you link to this domain or use, reproduce, or republish the information contained herein.
This Agreement contains the complete and final statement of understanding between you and Green Plastics with respect to Green-Plastics.net, and supercedes any and all prior or contemporaneous negotiations, agreements or communications, whether written or oral, between you and Green Plastics or Greg Stevens Holdings, LLC, or any of its members, concerning its use. If any provision of this Agreement is rendered by a court or governmental agency of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability shall not affect the remainder of this Agreement, which shall remain in full force and effect and be enforced in accordance with its remaining terms. Any waver of any breach of the provisions of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any succeeding breaches of the same or of other provisions; nor shall any delay or omission on the part of Green Plastics or Greg Stevens Holdings, LLC to exercise or enforce any right, power or privilege be construed as a waiver of any breach of provisions, nor shall it be construed as a waiver of the right to enforce or exercise that power or privilege in the future. Any claimed infringement related to the use of Green-Plastics.net or to any aspect of this Agreement must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred.
Thank you for spending the time to read this page, and please enjoy your experience at Green-Plastics.net.
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Learn About Bioplastics
The Green-Plastics.net website located at green-plastics.net provides news, discussion, videos, and other resources for people interested in biodegradable and environmentally-friendly plastics (also called “bioplastics” or “green plastics”). This site is owned and operated by Green Plastics, a subsidiary of Greg Stevens Holdings, LLC.
It all started in 2001, when Eugene S. Stevens, Professor of Chemistry at the State University of New York at Binghamton, published the book Green Plastics: An Introduction to the New Science of Biodegradable Plastics as an introduction for students and entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the science and application of biodegradable plastics made from renewable resources. This book came onto the market as a popular press (non-academic) book just as the “buzz” over environmentalism and “going green” was beginning the wave of popularity that it is currently riding.
In 2004, he worked with his son, Greg Stevens, to create the website greenplastics.com as a complement to the book: an online introductory resource for students and interested laymen who wanted to find out more about this exciting new science.
The interest generated created by these simple resources revealed a new need: a place where regular people-students, consumers and entrepreneurs, rather than scientists and big business manufacturers-could go to ask questions, find out the latest news, and (most importantly) figure out where to get the products they want and need.
Thus began green-plastics.net in 2008. Our goal is to provide an online meeting place for people who share an interest in plastic, sustainability and the environment. We provide a user-contributed news section so you can keep on top of what is happening in the world of plastics and the environment. We provide a discussion section where you can share your experiences (whether as a student trying to learn about bioplastics, or a business owner trying to buy, sell, or use them), and ask questions of other people. We also are soliciting people—especially students—who are interested in making educational videos about how to make green plastics yourself. Eventually, we would like you to share your projects, failures, frustrations and successes in making your business, school, or town more environmentally friendly with green plastics!
Please contact us and let us know your suggestions, comments and concerns.