• Talking trash

    Talking trash

    Technology developed in South Africa to produce fully biodegradable and compostable plastic is being prepared for licensing and commercialisation.

    According to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), single-use plastic products created using the technology will biodegrade within 180 days when dumped in landfills. When combined with organic waste, the bioplastic products can convert to organic compost within 90 days without creating any toxic residue.

    ‘Our bioplastic technology is based on the use of biopolymers and agricultural waste by-products such as starch, cellulose and glycerol,’ says Sudhakar Muniyasamy, senior researcher at the CSIR. ‘Through smart use of additives, we have created unique formulations to modify the properties through a melt-processing technique. This has resulted in pellets, which can be blown into films for carrier bags, kitchen waste bags, mulch films and packaging films, as well as rigid cutlery products.’

    Muniyasamy adds that a pilot project to test the production of the pellets and the industrial-scale conversion process has been completed for a specific product line. It has also been validated at an industrial manufacturing facility.

    31 August 2021
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