Did you know that virtually all the plastic ever produced in the world is still on the planet? About 60% of plastic production, in all its formats, has been discarded since 1950, 30% is still in use and approximately 10% has been incinerated, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 9% of all discarded plastic was actually recycled for reuse.
Although very versatile and useful for everyday life, plastic is a material of fossil origin, which takes hundreds to thousands of years to degrade, remaining in the environment for a long time as foreign bodies, threatening vegetation, oceans, and human and animal health.
To get an idea of the longevity of plastic, we can say that, if it had already been invented when the Portuguese landed in Brazil for the first time, a PET bottle of water that Pedro Álvares Cabral would have drunk in Porto Seguro might still be with us, because its degradation time can take up to 600 years, according to Ibama. Or it would have ended up in the ocean, broken down by sunlight and dissolved into microplastics and nanoplastics, which can be ingested by marine animals. Recently, researchers found plastic particles in 98% of fish analyzed in the Amazon. 2
In summary: the entire life cycle of plastic is harming life on the planet and, although its complete replacement is not a viable reality in the short term, it is essential to provide alternatives to the widespread and inconsequential use of this material.
In search of innovative solutions that have a positive socio-environmental impact, making the best use of the native raw material that nature itself provides, EKOSFERA is developing studies and applications of biodegradable and compostable polymeric blends as an alternative to traditional plastic.
Bioplástico is EKOSFERA's project to make a totally biodegradable, compostable, water-soluble plastic available on the market, made from organic, natural materials and without any component of fossil origin.
At the moment, rigid bioplastics are being researched and developed from residues of pits and seeds from the Amazon. They can be used in food and beauty industry products, among others.
Products: pots, lids, various wrappers.
They are produced from agar-agar, a gelatine rich in fibers and minerals that comes from the cultivation of macroalgae on the Brazilian coast.
Products: bags that replace the traditional plastic bag and other types of packaging.
1 Science, 2017. “Production, use and destination of all plastics ever produced.” https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.1700782
2 G1, 2020. “Researchers find plastic inside 98% of fish analyzed in a study in the Amazon.” https://g1.globo.com/natureza/noticia/2020/08/19/pesquisadores-acham-plastico-dentro-de-98-dos- peixes-analisados-em-estudo-na-amazonia.ghtml
3 Público, 2020. “Have you eaten plastic today? We can get to ingest 20 kilos, throughout life.” https://www.publico.pt/2020/12/09/p3/noticia/ja-comeste-plastico-hoje-podemos-chegar-ingerir-20- quilos-longo-vida-1942268
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