Science 2 min read

New Green Plastics can Help Fight Plastic Pollution

chaiyapruek youprasert /

chaiyapruek youprasert /

Plastics have become an essential part of our modern society. From grocery bags to soda bottles, we rely on these organic polymers for manufacturing and packaging everyday items.

Unfortunately, the convenience and durability of plastics are at the environment’s detriment.

According to reports, it takes as much as 450 years for plastic bottles to decompose in landfills. Likewise, the plastic bags we use in our daily lives could take between 10 years to 1,000 years to decompose.

As a result, the damaging effects of plastic pollution has been growing, harming millions of marine life, including oxygen-producing bacteria.

Over the years, several research breakthroughs have promised more eco-friendly alternatives.

Earlier this year, some scientists successfully created a new type of marine plastic that degrades under UV light. Others devised a way to repurpose plastic as the building blocks for fuel.

Now, NEC Corp has announced that it’s mass-producing a form of green plastics called NeCycle.

In a statement to the press, the company wrote:

“NEC Corporation announced today that NEC Platforms had begun global sales of “NeCycle,” a cellulosic, highly functional bioplastic that contains approximately 50% non-edible plant ingredients and biodegrades in natural environments in approximately four years.”

There’s more.

Creating Green Plastics From Non-Edible Plants

According to NEC, the bioplastic offers the same durability as the traditional material. However, it’s friendlier for the environment.

NeCycle consists of roughly 50 percent cellulose from non-edible plants such as wood, rice, and straw. Like the regular plastics from petroleum, green plastic can be used for injection molding.

However, it doesn’t rely on fossil resources. Also, NeCycle biodegrades in natural environments such as soil and ocean within four years, unlike regular plastics.

In its press release, NEC Corp suggested that it has devised a way to mass-produce the bioplastic. What’s more, the method doesn’t require a coating process, giving the plastic flexibility to take on many shapes.

The company says that it’ll offer the material in pellet form or as molded components. Thanks to this versatility, manufacturers can use the green plastics for all kinds of products, including automotive and office automation.

NEC says it’ll focus on uses with high environmental impact. The company hopes to sell around about $46 million worth in the 2025 financial year.

Read More: China Introduces Measure to Cut Single-Use Plastics

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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