How many times have you seen the packaging material running with the wind on streets? The package peanuts, as they call them, are made from non-biodegradable material. The plastics made from polyester, cellulose and starch are fast losing their appeal to many companies as they become more environmentally “Green”. The newer packaging of bioplastic is more environmentally friendly. It also makes use of material that would normally fill up the landfills.
There are many Fortune 500 companies that are turning to bioplastic packaging! A bold statement to be sure; however, the numbers are in to prove this true. The forecast is those using the traditional technologies for bioplastic is on the decline. While eco-friendly plastic material holds about 25% of the market and the top five suppliers companies hold 50% of the market share.
Proctor & Gamble and Tetra Pak are the leading users of bioplastic packaging. They are testing more environmental friendly bioplastics such as sugar cane, wood pulp, vegetable waste, and hemp. Even Solvay, Dow Chemicals and Braskem are testing and developing new packaging based on renewable and sustainable materials such as mushrooms, cashew nut shells, milk protein and ordinary clay, and agave waste from the distilling process of tequila.
The companies using friendlier bio packaging range from Dell Computers who uses mushroom waste to package their products for shipping. It molds to the equipment, so there is less damage through transit. Other companies using bioplastics from waste are PepsiCo and Coca-Cola who has just recently introduced their plant based bottles made from vegetable waste. They are biodegradable in compost heaps and better for landfills. However, they still take time to biodegrade. There are a number of Chinese companies looking into the potential of bioplastic packaging.
Companies such as Dell, Coke Cola, PepsiCo, and Boulder Canyon Natural Foods already use bio packaging for their products. It won’t be long until other companies join in the “Green” revolution since it does cost less and it more renewable than fossil fuel based plastics.
Bioplastics are material that are renewable but are also biodegradable and compostable. They can be derived from waste of renewable products such as the bones of slaughter cows, chicken feathers, and corn starch and potato peelings. Already hundreds of companies such as Amazon use the biopackaging “peanuts” for breakables. They are easily disposed of by running water on them or leaving them out for the rain to melt into the ground. Since they are made from waste product from potatoes and corn, they won’t hurt the environment. Regular polystyrene peanuts are only soluble in acetone and damage the soil when released.
As more companies convert to bioplastics, which are environmentally friendly, the need for fossil fuel will be reduced. Bioplastic packaging is on the rise to shake up the global market for packaging material. It’s estimated grow is running about 8 to 10% per year. With that type of growth, leading companies such as the automotive and electronics industries stand to make more profits using environmentally friendly packaging. As of now, there are more than 500 bioprocessing plant available with more companies looking into this viable market.