Bodysurfing Engineers Tackle the Problem of Plastic

Twin Brothers Are Turning Organic Waste into the Next Big Thing

Twin brothers (and bodysurfing engineers) Dane and Jeff Anderson were tired of getting smacked by plastic debris every time they hit the waves. So they decided to do something about it.

Meet the Anderson brothers, co-founders of Full Cycle Bioplastics, a company whose technology can turn any type of organic waste into PHA. PHA stands for polyhydroxyalkanoates, a compostable and marine degradable bioplastic produced through bacterial fermentation.

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According to the brothers, the difference between their bioplastic and other PHA on the market is its source. Instead of expensive feedstock, their PHA is sourced from cheap, plentiful organic waste.

What Kinds of Waste Can Be Turned into Bioplastic?

According to the company’s website, any kind of organic waste—anything that could normally go into a compost row or an anaerobic digester—can be converted to PHA, including:

  • Unrecyclable food waste
  • Agricultural residues
  • Green waste
  • Even dirty, unrecyclable cellulosic material like unrecyclable paper or cardboard can be converted

Vial of PHA
Vial of PHA, courtesy of Full Cycle Bioplastics

The site goes on to say that petroleum-based plastics are excluded, since they’re not organically based.

Once created, PHA plastic can be used to make a variety of products. The brothers say that in a clean, stable environment this type of plastic can last for years. When it’s time to discard, it can be recycled and turned back into virgin bioplastic, or left to biodegrade (in the presence of bacteria). And should it ever find its way into a stream, river, lake or ocean, it basically turns into fish food, with no toxic effects.

comment_2Would you be likely to purchase items made of bioplastic or packaged in bioplastic? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


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