It is a very common human nature to simplify something or the other in our day to day lives. The innovation and manufacturing of plastic were also one of them. When it was first introduced to the world it became such an easy way to go about our lives and not care about the slightest thing such as dropping the glass milk bottle on the way to school.
While we were welcoming this new product that made our lives so much easier, it was only a matter of time for the darker days of its production waiting to cloud on humanity and its ecosystems.
Today we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year. It takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic water bottles we use each year. The oil used in this production is a fossil fuel, which releases harmful pollutants like nickel, benzene, and ethylene oxide in the atmosphere.
One must wonder where do all this plastic waste goes? Yes, the landfills.
The landfills are dumped layers upon layers with plastic waste. And if we continue in this nature, to see an empty landfill is nowhere near the future. The fact is that the mere plastics we used in our daily lives take 10-20 years to decompose and the plastic bottles take 450 years. So, at this rate that we are going, it is highly unlikely to see a world free of plastic literally.
But among all these ugly outcomes of an innovation that was once very thoughtful, there are also many companies trying to solve the plastic problem.
A Dutch company known as the Avantium founded in the year 2000 has been fighting against odds, teaming up with experts across the world in creating something to substitute plastic. According to its official website, “Avantium develops innovative chemistry technologies across industry value chains in order to produce chemicals and materials based on renewable feedstock instead of fossil resources. Avantium also provides advanced catalysis products and services to organizations who desire to gain efficiency in their processes.”
Their motto, “We believe in a fossil free world.”
Yes, of-course our current world is dependent on the fossil fuel we have discovered throughout the centuries. We also know that we are running out of them and our future is at risk unless we don’t come up with a solution. This being the main motive and also saving the earth from dangerous pollutants, Avantium has successfully come up with a substitute that might be the next-gen alternative to plastic use.
In collaboration with big companies like Coca-Cola, Carlsberg, and Danone a plant-based plastic is being developed to hit the markets by 2023.
The project is called the “Paper Bottle Project”. These bottles are the new plastic bottles that are recyclable and biodegradable. No fossil fuels are used in their manufacturing process. In fact, this plant-based plastic is made using natural sugar from corn, wheat, and beets. The most important factor is that it can completely be decomposed within a year in a composter.
This is the construction of the Future Paper Bottle.
It perfectly shows us the interior structure of the bottle and how its gonna work. Keeping the carbonated drink fresh and perfect at the same time being totally environmentally friendly through and through.
CEO of Avantium Tom Van Aken shares insights to The Guardian.
“This plastic has very attractive sustainability credentials because it uses no fossil fuels and can be recycled—but would also degrade in nature much faster than normal plastics do.”
Carlsberg’s Product Development VP Myriam Shingleton also shared.
“We are pleased with the progress we’ve made on the Green Fiber Bottle so far. While we are not completely there yet, the two prototypes are an important step towards realizing our ultimate ambition of bringing this breakthrough to market. Innovation takes time and we will continue to collaborate with leading experts in order to overcome remaining technical challenges, just as we did with our plastic-reducing Snap Pack.”
The project’s first batch will have a total of 5,000 tons of plant-based plastic bottles for a year.
It is very evident that the plastic packaging of goods and products has taken a toll on us and our planet heavily, endangering marine life the most. Wherever we go we see plastic being used in some way or the other. But though its an ugly reality of our livelihood, it feels so fresh and inspiring to see big companies join hands together to come up with an environmental-friendly solution. It is indeed a high time and all hope is not lost just yet.
You can check out more about Avantium here.