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Bodysurfing Engineers Tackle the Problem of Plastic


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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.

Is this the solution to plastic waste pollution?

Is this the solution to plastic waste pollution? UPROXX Earth Guardians

Posted by Earth Guardians on Monday, October 30, 2017

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.

Resources:

Would you purchase items made of bioplastic?

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Yes:
 
99%
No:
 
1%
Total Votes:
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April Pearson
April Pearson
3 years ago

Fantastic! This is exciting. I pray it becomes mainstream soon!

Claire Cole
Claire Cole
3 years ago

Way to think out of the box. Love it !

Amy Taivalkoski
Amy Taivalkoski
3 years ago

I have been around long enough to not to take stories at face value. I work every day against the waste of single use plastic, both at work and in my community. I would love to see this are technology work. I am discouraged by how we are trashing our planet everyday. However, I would like to see some real references for this blog post, not just references written by the company itself. Perhaps a chemical engineering peer reviewed journal article? Thanks for all you do Amy.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
3 years ago

Thank you, Amy, for your feedback and suggestions, and thank you for your work in this important area. We were happy to discover a recent reference to the work this company is doing in RecyclingProductNews.com. According to a January 23, 2018, article titled “$1 million awarded to support packaging solutions to tackle causes of ocean plastic pollution,” Full Cycle Bioplastics was awarded a share of the prize for its work in making “a compostable high-performance material from renewable materials, agricultural by-products and food waste to pack a broad range of products from granola bars and crisps to laundry detergent.” It’s so gratifying to see technology like this, which could potentially make such an incredibly positive impact.

Leigh-Ann Ross
Leigh-Ann Ross
3 years ago

it’s heartbreaking to see all the pollution- but their project is totally cool! I love reading about people making these amazing changes!

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
3 years ago

How neat! Something to keep an eye out for on the market!

Andrea Wetzel
Andrea Wetzel
3 years ago

They say it only takes one person to make a change. These brothers are outstanding for making a difference!

Don Johnston
Don Johnston
3 years ago

After reading the other comments, I agree, applaud these two for the work they are doing. I also agree with Amy Taivalkoski that references from just the company itself are not enough. My thoughts are that their products will great but they will need the help of all of us who are concerned at all that plastics are destroying the environment. Big Oil will fight this because of the potential loss of revenue when alternate products try to enter the market. We need to be kept informed of their progress and of their obstacles so we can help when needed. Amy Cadora, can you help keep us informed? Is there a news feed we can subscribe to that will automatically keep us informed? Thank you for your post!

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi
3 years ago

This is a wonderful next step in reducing our plastic waste. I would love to see it become affordable and mainstream!