Packing materials are responsible for a large portion of the world’s plastic waste, since so many of these materials are largely useless immediately after shipping (unless reused by the recipient in some way). A UK company is aiming to help reduce the amount of polythene waste generated from shipping supplies, and claims to have produced a type of packaging that is not only 100% recyclable, but is also helps to remove CO2 from the atmosphere in the process.
Developed by Polythene UK, the Polyair material is made from sugar cane, which of course uses photosynthesis to capture CO2 and release oxygen. According to the company’s calculations, 2.5 tons of CO2 are removed from the atmosphere for every one ton of manufactured end-product.
The material could be used in stretch film, wraps, covers, bags, and tubes, since many of these products are made of plastic materials.
“Using a bio-based material, such as Polyair, at a percentage of 60% in film reduces the CO2 emissions to zero even when you take into consideration the energy used for manufacturing and shipping,” said managing director James Woollard in a statement. “Put simply, Polyair is truly the greenest material we know of.”
The company’s target market is FTSE500 companies looking to reduce emissions and save money on packing materials. It would be great to see something like this become widely available, because selling breakable vintage on eBay and Etsy often requires finding some clever ways to pack things without using wasteful plastic materials.