(1) Sustainability Problem: Waste Per the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 32% of plastics escape the collection system to urban infrastructure and waterways. 8M tons of plastic are diverted to the oceans annually while after-use externalities and the costs associated with GHGe from plastic packaging production are estimated to be 40B annually (conservative, by UNEP)**. This cost is only expected to increase as volume grows with consumption patterns (business as usual).
(2) Plastics are bad and biodegradable plastics are not necessarily better!!!
More sustainable alternatives to plastic, such as biodegradable plastics, are controversial as the ocean environment is not conducive to promote the break down of the materials
Snact and Tipa have created packaging that can be composted in a garden in 6 months
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are experimenting with the creation of an edible plastic made from casein (milk protein), which looks promising as it is 60% more effective in reducing foods exposure to oxygen; there is potential to add flavors and/or nutrients to these edible films
Packaging materials and waste is part of the problem however the broader waste management system is important to promoting/enabling recycling and composting
(3) Stakeholders: Food & Agriculture companies (Business-to-Business) will remain the main stakeholders with implementing this technology however consumer demand (Business-to-Consumer) will be a key component to driving this adoption as these sustainable packing alternatives are more expensive than traditional plastic. Other stakeholders include policymakers to overcome the challenges to remove traditional plastics from the waste stream (and drive adoption of alternatives) and industry associations/NGOs to foster relationships and the implementation of pilot programs.
(4) Deployment/Adoption/Implementation: Given that the focus of this is to drive end-user (customer) adoption/deploy this technology, the below does not contain steps to fix the broader re-processing infrastructure
Support research that attempts to investigate the economic, environmental and social benefits of sustainable packaging materials to identify adjacent sector synergies; use these insights to build an evidence-based business case for the technologies
Use the business case to steer investment towards funding R&D of plastic material alternatives (see video below) to expedite a vetted packaging product that is less destructive and more effective than plastics
Collaborate with Industry Associations/NGOs to pilot products B2B and B2C, to test user adoption, so that the pilots can be scaled and further investment reduces the cost gap between the manufacturing of traditional plastic packaging and the edible, biodegradable food packaging alternatives
Single use plastic bags are among the greatest contributors to land and water pollution. They are normally used for just minutes, but take can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, polluting land, air and water, and killing wildlife in the process.
Avani Eco, an Indonesia based company, has created a 100% plant based, non-toxic and biodegradable material that can replace plastic bags.
The material is made primarily from the cassava root, a very common and inexpensive vegetable in Indonesia.
The material is harmless to animals and humans if ingested, and breaks down in months.
The bio-based plastic bags still cost about twice as much as conventional plastic bags.
Stakeholders for this technology include municipal governments/sanitation departments, large retail stores and supermarkets (who are increasingly facing plastic bag bans), as well as environmental advocacy groups and non-profit organizations dedicated to waste and pollution reduction.
The first steps for deploying this technology on a large scale:
Invest in R&D to help reduce the cost of the bio-based plastic bags, making them more competitive with traditional plastic bags.
Ban the use of single use plastic bags in local municipalities
Partner with a large national retailer (such as Walmart, Target, or Wholefoods to gain widespread recognition and prove market viability.
Comment on post “Smart Transportation & Smart Waste Management” by sn2754:
While I think technology is a great idea for optimizing waste management, there would be a huge hurdle to implement this in NYC, as commercial waste (from stores, offices, restaurants, etc.) is not managed by the city. Each business has a contract with a private waste hauling company, which causes garbage routes to be extremely inefficient and redundant. In order to implement a “smarter” waste management system as described in the post, legislation would first have to change the status quo in commercial waste contracts.
Comments to Off grid solar powered water device – Zero Mass Water by JV2610
A unit with one solar panel, the company says, can produce two to five liters of liquid a day, which is stored in a 30-liter reservoir that adds calcium and magnesium for health and taste. This seems very energy efficient and seems to be able to store a pretty good amount. The addition of electrolytes is even more interesting and beneficial for health.
1 in 5 tents used at music festivals are used once and abandoned, creating landfill waste
Materials in these tents are often toxic
Comp-A-Tent tents are made of bio-based materials that can be composted with food waste
Fully biodegradable after 120 days with no net CO2 increase
Closed loop process as waste product can be re-used
BusinessGreen Tech Award Winner 2015 for Bio-Technology of the Year
City officials / community leaders of festival locations
Residents of communities where festivals are held
Prototypes are currently in use at 7 UK music festivals
Plans are to crowdsource funding in 2017 with a full launch in 2018 with select festival partners
Tents would be available for sale along with festival ticket and available for pick up on site and disposal
Challenges are that the disposable but un-sustainable tents currently on the marketplace are cheap and readily available making it easy for festival goers to just leave behind. The Comp-A-Tent will cost around £50 which is more than double the average cost of a normal tent. KarTent, another eco-tent that is made of cardboard uses advertisers to help subsidize the cost for festival goers. Partnering with cities and the festivals (who have to clean up and deal with the environmental impact of the tents left behind) and with sponsors who could perhaps help subsidize the cost or offer some other incentive to encourage the use of the Comp-A-Tent rather than traditional tents.
Most toys are made from fossil-fuel based plastics. There is uncertainty whether such products can have negative health effects on babies and children. Styrenes, phthalate, BPA and PVC are well known health offenders. Some of these substances can become hormone disruptors that are linked too reproductive and birth problems as well as carcinogens. Toys that are advertised as “BPA-Free”, “PVC-Free” etc, can still contain petrochemicals harmful to health. Additionally, there is an increasing interest and demand for lower carbon footprint products.
Bioserie toys provide an innovative answer for those who search for aesthetically pleasing products while maintaining their children and the environment’s health.
Bioserie is the world’s first to produce its toys from purely plant based plastics and materials. It uses a blend of polylactic acids without petrochemical additives. Their product is certified by the Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred program to be 100% bio-based.
Modifiers are used to ensure the product to be non brittle and heat resistant. The company has focused its R&D on improved resistance and durability.
The coloring material are also based on sustainable raw materials specially developed for biopolymers. It Meets global industry and composting standards.
Costumers (Most likely parents)
Toy stores/ distributors
Environmental & health NGOs
Bioserie and NGOs should market to parents the dangers of oil based toys and promote the comparative benefits of plant based plastic toys.
NGOs should pressure toy stores and toy distributors to supply more products made out of safer materials such as Bioserie’s plant-based plastic.
Bioserie should manage their relation networks of potential investors in order to gain more capital to further enhance the quality, design and marketing of their product.