Biotransformation Technology and Plastic Waste

Recently, a UK-based startup claims to have developed biotransformation technology that could make plastics biodegradable.

  • Plastic Waste Transformed: Plastics made using this technology are given a pre-programmed time during which the manufactured material looks and feels like conventional plastics without compromising on quality.
  • Once the product expires and is exposed to the external environment, it self-destructs and biotransforms into bioavailable wax. This wax is then consumed by microorganisms, converting waste into water, CO2, and biomass.
  • Industry Applications: The technology reduces waste in food packaging and healthcare industries at a relatively low cost compared to conventional plastic.
  • Plastic Waste in India: Packaging waste accounts for a third of India's annual 3.5 billion kg plastic waste generation.
  • Amazon's Plastic Waste: E-commerce giant generated an estimated 321 million kg of plastic from packaging waste in 2021 globally.
  • Elimination of Single-use Plastics: Amazon India and Flipkart have eliminated single-use plastics across their supply chains.
  • Indian Government’s Initiatives: Ban on single-use plastics and an Extended Producer Responsibility portal improve accountability, traceability, and compliance reporting to move towards sustainability.
  • Potential Solutions: Switching to jute or paper-based packaging could reduce plastic waste and build sustainability within the paper industry.