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Million upon millions of plastic items are choking our oceans, seas, rivers and landfills.  The main problem with plastic is its resistance to outdoor conditions. We can affirm it hasn’t been created to biodegrade easily. On average, items take between 600-1000 years to naturally disintegrate. But even if the material decomposes, harmful chemicals seep into ground water and make it less safe to drink. Our common plastics bags are very light, which means they are easily blown away by wind. Nearly 9 million tons of plastic end up in oceans annually, at a rate of 150 plastic bags a year for every human on earth, are you contributing your fair share and being conscious about it?

数百万的塑胶制品正使我们的海洋、河流和垃圾掩埋场窒息。塑料的主要问题是对外在环境的抵抗性,而我们可以肯定的是:它还未能被轻易地生物降解。一般而言,物品需要6001000年才能自然分解。但即使材料分解,有害化学物质也会渗入地下水,降低饮用的安全性。我们使用的普通塑料袋非常轻,这意味着它们很容易被吹走。每年有近九百万吨的塑料最终流入海洋,以地球上每人每年平均使用150个塑料袋的速度,而你是否也贡献了你那一份额,并对此有所了解?

 

Researchers all around the globe are creating technologies that decompose plastic safely. Lately we have heard a lot about edible plastic that dissolve into water. Such plastics are invented to decompose completely in three to four months, when left outside. One of the pioneer companies named Solubag created in Chile has also come up with its own biodegradable and water-soluble plastic bags. Their formula, utilizing a derivative of limestone instead of benzene (oil) by-products, change the behavior of plastic from indestructible to soluble, reducing its degradation time from 150 years to a few minutes.

全球的研究员正在开发将塑料安全分解的科技。最近我们得知很多可溶于水的食用塑料,这种塑料被发明是为了使其在外时,能够在三到四个月内分解。在智利成立,一家名为Solubag的先驱公司之一,也推出了自有的可生物降解和水溶性塑料袋。他们的配方是使用石灰石的衍生物代替苯(油)副产物,使原本不可分解的塑料转为可溶性,并将其降解时间由150年减少至数分钟。

 

With Proudly, China is presenting its own version of biodegradable plastic, as well. They provide water-soluble laundry bags, fishing bags, PVA bags for chemical packaging and artificial wigs etc. They manufacture fully biodegradable packaging materials and all types of water-soluble products. Thanks to them, conscious fishermen don’t pollute anymore when loosing a net in the ocean, and you can even stop transposing dirty clothes in the machine by just leaving the bag in there!

中国也推出自有的生物降解塑料-Proudly。他们提供水溶性洗衣袋、渔网、化学包装用的PVA袋和人工假发等等。他们制造完全可生物降解的包装材料以及所有水溶性类型的产品。因为他们,有意识的渔民再也不会因为在海洋丢失渔网而污染,而你甚至可以直接将袋子放到洗衣机里,不用将脏衣服拿出来!

 

In Spain, Plasticos Hidrosolubles has created biodegradable film along with other innovations. They have made biodegradable plastic bags, bottles, golf balls, pellets and filaments etc. All of their products are biodegradable and eco-friendly.

在西班牙,Plasticos Hidrosolubles 创造了可生物降解的薄膜与其他创新产品。他们制造了可生物降解塑料袋、瓶罐、高尔夫球、圆球和丝线等等。他们所有的产品皆为可生物降解且环保。

 

There are several ways through which edible and water soluble bags are made. Some are made from Cassava root, a common regional plant in Indonesia. A new form of edible/biodegradable packaging is made by using milk proteins and are utilized as a casein around food products. These casein films are about 450 times better than plastic at keeping the food fresh and less exposed to oxygen. They do not contain starch so it is less porous and more effective in oxygen blocking from food containers.

有许多方法可以制作食用和水溶性塑料,有些是由木薯根所制成,这是印度尼西亚的一种常见区域植物。新一型的可食用/生物降解包装是利用乳蛋白制成,并作为食品周围的酪蛋白。这些酪蛋白片在保存食物鲜度和减少暴露于氧气中的效用比起塑料好450倍。它们不含淀粉,因此它有更少的毛孔,并更有效的使食品容器隔绝氧气。

 

 

Advantages of Water-Soluble Plastics

 

These new kind of bioplastics will reduce carbon emission during the process of its manufacture and decomposition. They also require less energy and do not require fossil fuel for recycling. These are 100% recyclable and are non-toxic to environment.

水溶性塑料的优势

这些新型的生物塑料在制造和分解过程中会减少碳排放。它们只需要少许的能量,且不需要化石燃料来回收利用。这些是100%可回收并且对环境无毒。

 

 

Why haven’t water-soluble plastics reached the mass market yet?

 

In spite of having more benefits over traditional plastics, bioplastics still have some shortcomings. They are at least 6 times more expensive as compared to traditional plastics. Also, it isn’t easy to find industrial composters and the availability of the machinery and skilled labor in some countries can be a problem.

Moreover, these plastics are plant based which means that they are coming from natural sources, these are not even available in most of the countries. These plants are sprayed with fertilizers and pesticides that can contaminate the crops and be transferred to humans.

为什么水溶性塑料还没进入大众市场呢?

尽管比起传统塑料有更多的好处,生物塑料仍有许多缺点。比起传统塑料,它们至少贵6倍。另外,在许多国家寻找工业堆肥、机械和技术劳工会是个问题。

而且这些塑料是以植物为主,代表它们是源自天然,而这甚至在大多数国家都没有。这些植物被喷洒了会污染农作并转移到人体的肥料和农药。

 

 

Commercial Prospects 

 

Expensive and time-consuming research and testing of new bio-based plastics and biodegradable plastics have pushed bioplastics at a commercial disadvantage as compared to petrochemical-based plastics. Bioplastics are less than one percent of all plastics produced worldwide. However, the industry in bio plastics has not grown as rapidly as was predicted by some.

There are predictions that when bioplastics will reach 5% of the plastics market in 2020, the market for bio plastics will be worth about 5.8 billion dollars, almost three times the value of the bioplastics market in 2014. It’s expected that global plastic production over the next 20 years could come from plants. However, there is still a long way to go and with more new inventions coming in as alternatives, we are each time one step closer to commercialize and replace petrochemical-based plastics.

商业前景

与石油化学基塑料相比,昂贵耗时的新型生物基塑料和可生物降解塑料的研究已使生物塑料处于商业劣势。生物基塑料占不到全球生产塑料的百分之一,而且比起制造石油化学基塑料,价格平均高出2-4倍。而且,生物塑料产业的发展速度并非如许多人所预测的一样快。

有预测说,当生物基塑料在2020年达到5%的塑料市场时,生物基塑料的价值将会是大约58亿美元,几乎是2014年生物基塑料市场价值的三倍。期望接下来的20年里,全球塑料生产可以来自植物。然而,还有很长的路要走,以及更多作为替代方案的新发明。我们每一次都是离商业化更近一步,并取代石油化学基塑料。

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