Wooden Shopping Bags – A Sustainable Substitute for Plastic Ones

Wooden Shopping Bags - A Sustainable Substitute for Plastic Ones
Wooden Shopping Bags – A Sustainable Substitute for Plastic Ones

Bio-based materials are versatile and have the same colour and scent as wood, providing a sustainable substitute for the fossil-based products that now rule the plastics sector.

A Swedish business has developed a method for turning a byproduct of the forestry sector into a bioplastic that can be utilised to create everything from cellphones to shopping bags.

The main component of wood, lignin, is used by the bio-based substance. Normally, paper and pulp factories discard and burn this wood. Using a process invented by the company named Lignin Industries, this waste lignin powder may be converted into a biobased substance known as Renol.

Renol is a sustainable substitute for the fossil fuel-based polymers that now rule the plastics industry. It smells and looks like wood but has the adaptability of plastic.

Dr. Christopher Carrick, who established Lignin Industries in 2018 and currently holds the position of chief technical officer at the firm, stated to “The Independent” that “we are replacing oil as a raw material.”

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“What really sets our content apart is its diversity. Our bio-based material can be utilised in various kinds of plastics, from shopping bags to auto parts, unlike other bio-based materials that are designed for a single use.

Fredrik Malmfors, CEO of Lignin Industries, continued, “We’re seeing a lot of people migrating to paper bags.” And while paper is nice and we enjoy using it, we are not quite the same as plastic. Thus, although the bag offers the environmental benefits of paper, the plastics provide productivity.

Getting rid of the rotten egg odour left behind from the chemical process that turned lignin powder into the thermoplastic Renol was one of the largest obstacles to developing a product that could be sold commercially.

Lignin Industries has successfully preserved the natural lignin scent after five years of development; the substance now smells like “wood from a forest.” Now that it has landed a big contract with a UK business that makes plastics for hoover cleaners, heat pumps and EV chargers, the company is starting to sell its bioplastic.

The development of bioplastics coincides with increased scrutiny of companies making extremely polluting plastics.

Microplastics are microscopic plastic particles that have been detected in every human testicle examined in a recent US study. Separate studies from China also revealed microplastics in blood clots in the legs, brain, and heart.

The University of Leicester conducted a study earlier this month that found vividly colourful plastics break down more quickly than basic hues.

Colourful plastics, like red and green, break down and turn into microplastics rather fast, according to the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Sarah Key of the University of Leicester’s School of Chemistry.

“In order to extend the lifespan of objects that are used outside or receive a lot of sunshine, manufacturers should think about eliminating bright colors.”

With its carbon-negative Renol substance, Lignin Industries asserts that its brown bioplastic can fulfil over 50% of the demand for plastic globally while also accelerating the green transition and reducing microplastics.

According to Fredrik Malmfors, CEO of Lignin Industries, “there is a significant need to both enhance recycling and increase the usage of bio-based products.”

“Lignin is so readily available. Every year, at least 100 million tonnes of lignin are accessible, and biomass has the added benefit of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows. This indicates that our material is carbon negative as well as carbon neutral, meaning we must overcome the fossil control of the plastics sector.

Source:
https://www.independent.co.uk/tech/bioplastic-lignin-plastic-bag-wood-b2552796.html


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