How to effectively deal with the challenge of reducing plastic consumption while maintaining quality of life, is a golden question of the times. Certainly there is no silver bullet solution and society will evolve within the technological developments and array of options that best achieve our ever ambitious goals, while balancing the human condition. Biotechnology and biomass resources are the focus point of some solutions in solving this problem. One of those technological developments, the altPlus team has been pursuing, has recently been set for market adoption. BaMatrix™ drives benefit by maintaining or increasing product quality, reducing the reliance on carbon emissions, accelerating the use of globally available, rapidly renewable materials (bamboo) and altPlus driven mission of recycle-ability and compost-ability, when appropriate.
The BaMatrix™ BioPolymer, is made from mechanically separated bamboo materials - using market leading extraction and mixing technology, no harsh chemicals, compounded with polymer composites, to achieve the performance requirements for the application. The application range is expansive, ranging from daily consumer products, industrial packaging, homewares, autoparts and onwards with imagination.
The technological advancements leading to the quality of life the world now enjoys is in large part due to the petrochemical plastics industry and its incredible achievements. It is appropriate to understand that a “transition from plastics” is a relative term and not one that means society should depart from the achievements previously made. One of the major criticism to Bioplastics is that they often are advertised as recycleable, however, much like most plastics, they are not recycled even if they are recycleable. Also, when they are labelled biodegradable, the are not, and if they are, they degrade at the cost of quality in the product.
The focus of altPlus BaMatrix™ is to address each of these with through focused solutions. BaMatrix™ durable product line qualify for recycling in typical recycle streams such as PP for example, depending on market conditions. Additionally, in the case of large volume applications, such as industrial pallets and packaging, the products can be collected in close-loop systems and recycled.
altPlus is also working on a completely degradable BaMatrix™ line that would allow products to be disposed of through conventional landfill programs, and would degrade at an exponential rate leaving no trace of plastic remaining and no harsh chemicals.
From hospitality, travel, and transport, BioPloymer has the potential to impact every aspect of people's daily lives. In European and North American markets, developing consumer trends in highly visual products like cosmetics, and electronics, are taking focus on the potential to drive change and raise brand awareness.
The potential for biodegradable BioPolymers has also excited the environmental potential. They can realize the use of renewable raw materials and reduce reliance on petrochemicals, decreasing CO₂ emissions and returning back to the environment through bio-degradation. Its a fairy tale consumer story, which will not be easily, practically achieved, but is within our capacity to do so.
The consumer market will drive the appreciation and appeal of BaMatrix™ products, which may shape consumer tastes and trends over time. However, the industrial applications have the ability to adopt large volume of materials and shift the balance of impact in sustainability metrics. The altPlus team intends to advance its position as a leader in solving complex applications of BaMatrix™ material solutions, while supporting the market to accelerate the adoption of daily items. The future will always be shaped by a balance of the best material for the job and altPlus expects BioPolymers like BaMatrix™, to play an important role in the industrial development of these current times.