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  • 04 April, 2023

  • 3 Min Read

Biotransformation Technology

Biotransformation Technology

  • A UK-based business has made the claim that it has created a biotransformation technology that might change the nature of plastics and facilitate biodegradation.
  • They claim that the method uses bacteria to organically degrade used plastic packaging and break it down into biodegradable components without accumulating microplastics.

About Biotransformation Technology

  • A UK-based firm called Polymateria has been working with Imperial College in London to develop a technology called biotransformation.
  • Plastics can be modified through technology to change their nature and become biodegradable.
  • Biotransformation technology is a revolutionary strategy to guarantee that plastics that escape trash streams are digested and broken down effectively.
  • Using this technology, plastics are produced for a predetermined period of time during which they appear and feel like ordinary plastics without sacrificing quality.
  • When a product step to its expiration date and is exposed to the outside environment, it is self-destructs and turns into bioavailable wax.
  • Microorganisms then eat this wax, transforming the waste into biomass, CO2, and water.
  • With the help of biotransformation technology, polyolefins completely biodegrade in the open without producing microplastics.

Time Taken

  • The manufacturer asserts that once a product has expired, the biotransformation of plastic in nature begins quite swiftly. Within two to four months, it will begin to change plastic into wax. Depending on the weather, this period could change.

Need for this technology

  • Recent years have seen a significant increase in the amount of plastic garbage produced by human activity. A staggering 3.5 billion kg of plastic garbage are produced annually in India alone, with packaging waste making about a third of this total.
  • Over the past five years, the amount of plastic garbage produced per person has doubled, underscoring the need for quick solutions to this issue.In 2018, the Indian government had imposed restrictions on the export of biofuels soon after imposing similar conditions on its imports.
  • According to Statista, the global amount of plastic packaging trash generated by e-commerce companies in 2019 was anticipated to be over a billion kilogrammes.
  • Given the massive amount of plastic trash that exists and poses a threat to biodiversity, technologies must be developed to stop the Plastic Menace.
  • The two main industries that may employ this technology to cut waste are those that package food and those that provide medical care.
  • Compared to typical plastic that does not include, the cost increase is rather minimal.

Alternative to plastic

  • The use of jute or paper-based packaging is one substitute that is gaining popularity. With this substitute, the paper industry might increase sustainability while potentially reducing plastic waste by a large amount. Moreover, the cost of importing ethylene solutions could be reduced by using packaging made of jute or paper.
  • Moreover, hardwood packaging could be an option, although it would increase the cost and size of the package. Finding strategies to lower the price and weight of hardwood packing will help to solve these problems.
  • To increase awareness of alternatives to single-use plastics, the Tamil Nadu government held a National Exhibition and Conference of Startups in Chennai.
  • Coir, bagasse, rice and wheat bran, plant and agricultural waste, banana and areca leaves, jute, and cloth were used to make the alternatives on display.
  • Waste materials from the manufacture of rice and wheat, such as bran, can be used to create biodegradable packaging.

Government initiative

  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): A policy on EPR has been published by the government. The Guidelines specify requirements for EPR, recycling waste plastic packaging, reusing rigid plastic packaging, and using recycled plastic. The suggestions include transitioning to more environmentally responsible plastic packaging and reducing its plastic impact.
  • Plastic Waste Management Rules: India led the way with a resolution at the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly in 2019 to combat pollution from single-use plastic products, recognising the urgent need for the international community to concentrate on this crucial issue.

Way ahead

  • A revolutionary method for ensuring that plastics are efficiently digested and broken down without producing any microplastics is biotransformation technology.

  • Jute or paper-based packaging can potentially reduce plastic waste as well. To combat the ever-growing issue of plastic pollution, however, sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics must be promoted and adopted.

Read Also: Sustainable Agriculture In Detail

Source: The Hindu

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