As it turns out – it can. New paper and plastics technology is geared towards lower cost and greener alternatives and this blog is particularly interested in materials which are related to cardboard boxes and packaging supplies in general. Plastic polymers and derivatives such as polystyrene are examples.
New research points to a special blend of mushrooms and crop waste material which could be a full-merit substitute for certain plastic polymers. While no technical data is provided yet, the new plastic packaging is allegedly of equal performance and reliability as its petroleum counterparts. Raw materials for the plastic surrogate are waste materials such as corn husks and leftovers from papermaking crops such as jute and cotton. Key here is leftovers and not plants and crops specifically grown to match paper packaging demand. In other words, no valuable trees will have to be taken down for more agricultural land to become available. What is more, this style of new manufacturing can be customized relevant to geographical peculiarities – areas abundant in cotton can get the production leftovers from cotton. States wealthy in corn fields are welcome to use the husk for the same purpose.
Natural skepticism to this new eco packaging would bring up research and development cost and ability to sustain production in large quantities. In addition, other factors such as ability to withstand temperatures or simply temperature changes could be relevant – as in, will it crack and expose its content if taken out of a freezer too fast? Or can it handle the rise in pressure due to a delivery truck going over a mountain pass? How about when solvents or oil become in contact with it? One good aspect of it is that natural ingredients such as jute, other crops or plant leftovers should not contribute to any carcinogenic processes and human health implications.
The overall tendency of many businesses and quite prominent beverage shops and store chains towards green packaging and shipping efficiency is commendable. It is almost reasonable to believe that some of these efforts are driven by desire to control expenses and out of honest environmental care as opposed to simply marketing and media hype. More and more similar technology becomes popular such as the silver nano particles covered antibacterial paper. Some of these technologies will survive and are well worth looking into.
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