Biodegradable plastic packaging developed for use in pharma

A new ‘green plastic’ alternative that degrades in 10 years has been created, which can be used in the pharmaceutical packaging industry.

A novel completely recyclable and fully biodegradable plastic packaging solution which could be used in the pharmaceutical industry has been developed.

After initial testing to create environmentally friendly packaging, researchers used a biodegradable plastic additive which they combined with sugarcane to make a ‘green plastic’.

When processed correctly, sugarcane can be converted into a commercially material which is both CO2 neutral and recyclable. The material is also as equally robust as traditional petroleum plastic.    

The additive used to make the packaging enhances its biodegradability without making changes to the physical properties of the material, without changes to the final product’s shelf life and without an increase of resin used.

It works by enabling microbes to secrete acids and consume the plastic. This converts the materials into Ch4, CO2, biomass and water in less than 10 years, much faster than regular plastic which can takes hundreds of years to degrade.

According to Natupharma, the company that produces the packaging, the technology’s patent is currently pending.

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