Edible Packaging??

Snact’s 6-month-garden-compostable packaging*

Peter Schott // pcs2144

(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

    Article: Compostable and edible packaging: the companies waging war on plastic, The Guardian.com

(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
Cool video

Sources (in addition to article linked above):

*https://tipa-corp.com/blog/snact-found-way-disposable-without-causing-environmental-damage/


**https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/EllenMacArthurFoundation_TheNewPlasticsEconomy_15-3-16.pdf

Turn Recycled Plastic into 3D Printing Filament

Sustainable Problem: Waste

As we’ve established, humans produce a lot of trash – apparently of the more than 300m tons of plastic produced globally every year, one refuse truck’s worth ends up in our waters, landfills and streets every minute.

Technology:

  • Reflow converts recyclable plastic into 3D printing filament using open source technology.
  • Reflow filament is made from recycled PET bottles collected in developing regions, and revenues from the filament go back to the waste collectors who gather these bottles, which the company claims can increase their income by up to 20 times.
  • The market for 3D printing filament – the majority of which is made from virgin plastic – is growing rapidly. A recent report predicted the 3D printing materials market will grow by nearly 266% in the next five years.
  • 3D printing seems to be offering the developing world is employment – there are an estimated 15 million people globally who currently make their living from waste picking

Stakeholders:

  • Reflow
  • Waste Collection Companies
  • Artists
  • Designers
  • Various Printing Companies

Deployment/Implementation:

  • set up a production facility at a local rubbish dump, where waste pickers convert high-density polyethylene (HPDE) – mostly used for plastic bottles – into 3D printing filament to eventually be sold to 3D printing companies.
  • Marketing campaign
  • Introduce into different societies at different levels due to so many variations

Different uses of recycled plastics in 3D Printing!

3D Plastics 3

Joshua Harker is an American artist and pioneer in 3D printed art and sculpture whose work has appeared in countless galleries, collections, publications and platforms worldwide, making him perhaps the most acclaimed 3D artist alive today. His work pushes the limits of form and dimensions to share his unique vision. He incorporates digital tools, software, technology as well as traditional mediums into his work to create art that is fresh, cutting edge and timeless.

3D Plastics 4

 

Deze Straver is an Amsterdam based graphic designer who does not enjoy writing about himself but does love to work with digital imagery, visual language, shapes and movement. His recent works explores the human form in eerie shape shifting fashion.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jan/01/sustainable-technology-2016-climate-change-environment

https://www.ptonline.com/blog/post/startup-turns-recycled-plastic-into-3d-printing-filament-

http://reflowfilament.com/gallery.html

Comments to greentechsmartcities: It is fascinating what some people can do with garbage and plastic waste. The art collective Luzinterruptus has a history of tackling political and social issues in Europe. The “Labyrinth of Plastic Waste” is but one example. “We were looking to demonstrate, in a poetic manner, the amount of plastic waste that is consumed daily,” Luzinterruptus explained in a statement. “In addition to focusing attention on the big business of bottling water, which leads to very serious problems in developing countries, whose citizens have watched as their aquifers have been privatized with impunity for the exclusive enrichment of large business owners and ruling classes without scruples.”

https://vimeo.com/100256751

UNI:  AV2698

 

Replacing the conventional small-format plastic packaging with edible and biodegradable material (seaweed)

  1. Sustainability Problem: Reducing plastic waste is a dilemma. It is something that most consumers want to do but find it hard to do so. That is because plastic is readily available, cheap, convenient and durable. Now, an Indonesian-based startup has come up with a delicious and nutritious solution to help reduce our dependence on this environmental hazard.
  2. Using seaweed as raw material, Evoware was able to come up with an eco-solution for problems concerning plastic waste. Evoware’s bioplastic products are eco-friendly, biodegradable and even edible and healthy for human beings. This will not just impact the environment but also for the livelihood of Indonesia’s seaweed farmers. Some benefits of bioplastics:
    • Food that works as flexible packaging
    • Has the same function as plastic packaging, plus it dissolves in warm water & is biodegradable
    • Shelf life: 2 years, without preservatives
    • Contains high fiber, vitamins and minerals
    • Maintains shore cleanliness
    • Improve seaweed farmer’s wellbeing and income

Sources:

Indonesian company Evoware makes edible seaweed packaging | Daily Mail Online

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4969030/Indonesian-company-Evoware-makes-edible-seaweed-packaging.html

Evoware Hopes to Reduce Plastic Waste With Edible Seaweed Wrappers and Ello Jello Cups | Dogo News

https://www.dogonews.com/2017/10/8/evoware-hopes-to-reduce-plastic-waste-with-edible-seaweed-wrappers-and-ello-jello-cups

Ecolution for your future | Evoware

http://www.evoware.id/

  1. Stakeholders:
    • Retailers
    • Fast food chains
    • Hospitality industries
    • Food & Beverage industries
    • Consumers all over the world
    • Waste Management Facilities
  2. Next steps:
    • Invest more on advertising and outreach
    • Engage with multiple stakeholders to start a movement
    • Innovate further by introducing new products/alternatives and concepts

 

By: Timothy Wiranata

UNI: tw2618

Comment on World’s first “negative emissions” plant :

“A very innovative technology indeed. Again, such ideas will always stumble upon large cost and scalability. And the fact that it needs a carbon-neutral plant to build upon means that it still needs further research since many power plants around the world are still not carbon-neutral.”

 

Not a Plastic Bag

170116100658-iamnotplastic-bag-exlarge-169

  1. Sustainability Problem: Waste

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.

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/16/world/cassava-plastic/index.html
  • 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.

Biodegradable Eco-bags

  1. Sustainability Problem: Waste is a recurring problem that has persisted through decades of innovation towards unnatural manufacturing and processes. Delving deeper, plastic waste is a big issue because they do not degrade easily. It can take hundreds of years for plastic to break down. With an estimated worldwide consumption of 1 trillion plastic bags every year, a better solution is needed.
  2. AVANI Bio-Cassava Bag could be the solution:
    • 100% biodegradable, compostable and disposable – degrades within 90 days
    • Made from cassava starch and all-natural resins, 100% renewable – contains no conventional plastic
    • Safe for consumption – dissolves in lukewarm water
    • Can be recycled along with paper
    • Durable – look, feel and perform like plastic

Sources:

BIO-CASSAVA BAG | Avani Eco

http://www.avanieco.com/product/eco-bags

Plastic you can drink: A solution for pollution? | CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/16/world/cassava-plastic/index.html

Cassava carrier bags: Indonesian entrepreneur tackles plastic scourge

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-cassava-carrier-bags-indonesian-entrepreneur.html

#IAMNOTPLASTIC

  1. Stakeholders:
    • Supermarkets, grocery shops
    • Retailers
    • Hospitality industries
    • Food & Beverage industries
    • Consumers all over the world
    • Waste Management Facilities
  2. Next steps:
    • Invest more on advertising and outreach
    • Mass production could be a significant progress
    • Innovate further by introducing new products/alternatives and concepts

 

By: Timothy Wiranata

Columbia UNI: tw2618

100% Leaf Plates

Sustainability Problem:

Plastic waste is a problem, because it takes hundred of thousands of years to degrade.

Technology:

Bowl is made out of a layer of leaves, a layer of water-proof leaf-made paper, and another layer of leaves. These layers are compressed with a machine press and the leaves are stitched together with palm fibers

Stakeholders:

  • Citizens of the world
  • Waste Management Facilities
  • Governments

Steps to Deployment:

  • Continue gathering support on Kickstarter
  • Advertise on Social Media

 

 

Anti-waste lining for plastic packaging

det_polycarb_treated-400x225

 

Sustainability Problem

A lot of product waste is caused by inefficient packaging that track the product in the container. Not only is this a waste for the user because they don’t get to use every ounce of product they paid for, it is also causing complications for recycling. Plastic containers need to be cleaned and rinsed before they can be recycled. For many, cleaning the container is an inconvenience that needs to be done. But unfortunately others find it a hassle and it deters them from recycling.

Technology Solution

Researchers at Ohio State University created a special lining texture for the inside of plastic bottles that ensure soapy liquids do not cling to the surface. While this technology already exists to effectively make food and drinks not stick, no one has developed a surface that works for soapy liquids.

How the technology works:

This anti-waste texture is the result of a technique that includes lining a plastic bottle with microscopic y-shaped structures that cradle the droplets of soap aloft above tiny air pockets, so that the soap never actually touches the inside of the bottle.

The “y” structures are built up using tiny silica nanoparticles, or quartz, which, when treated further, won’t stick to soap.

This is all to do with what is known as ‘surface tension’, which is the tendency of the molecules of a substance to stick to each other. Ketchup and other sauces are made mostly of water, and water molecules tend to stick to each other more than they stick to plastic. Conversely, soap needs organic molecules called surfactants and which do the opposite of water molecules, that is, they have a very low surface tension and stick to plastic easily.

Instead of spreading out on the surface of the plastic and sticking to it, the soap forms beads and rolls off the bottle.

Stakeholders

  • Soap and similar product manufacturers
  • Plastic bottle suppliers
  • Recycling companies
  • Consumers

Steps to Implementation

  • Pilot test the technology with a handful of soap manufacturers
  • Market research to study consumer feedback about the new plastic containers
  • Make product adjustments as needed
  • Scale up use to as many soap and similar product manufacturers
  • Conduct awareness campaigns to encourage smart product use (down to the last drop) and boost plastic recycling

Source:

http://www.justmeans.com/blogs/new-anti-waste-lining-prevents-soapy-liquids-from-sticking-to-plastic-packaging

 

 

 

Conceptos Plasticos (Plastic Concepts)

Sustainability Problem:

This technology is addressing plastic waste pollution, by transforming used plastic into bricks. Plastic can take up to 500 years to biodegrade and 75% of plastic produced globally is in a landfill or not formally disposed of.

Technology:

  • The industrial process is called extrusion
  • Uses a multilayered plastics, mixtures of different plastics and rubber to make a quality construction material
  • The bricks are shaped into pieces that interlock with each other making the pieces connect like a puzzle.

Stakeholders:

  • Government
  • Waste Management Facilities
  • People without homes

How to deploy this technology:

  • Estimate cost of extrusion process
  • Estimate amount of plastic needed
  • Involve Waste Management Facilities

References:

Oscar Mendes The man who  provides decent housing for the homeless while reducing waste plastic.