The title’s question is a provocation, because plastic has become fundamental for today’s life and it is impossible to live without it.
Even if plastic is necessary, we have to think about the damages made by its excessive use and we must find a solution.
The problem of plastic islands and microplastic particles of wastes dismissed in the sea is now reality: there are microplastics in the fish we eat, in the water we use to irrigate the fields and also in drinking water, with unknown implications on human’s health.
Once dismissed in the environment, plastic remains for hundreds of years, until it biodegrades spontaneously. A dismissed plastic bottle needs 1000 years to biodegrade in the ground, 450 in the water. If we think about the tonnes of plastic objects which are invading the environment and the oceans, the new environmentally friendly materials are like fresh air for the planet.
Today we can count on performing alternatives with the same characteristics of traditional plastic. But it is not easy to divulgate the message, because of companies’ strategies, which generally opt for scale economies and costs reduction on the production chain instead of choosing eco-sustainable alternatives.
What could we do to change the plastic wastes impact?
It is fundamental that everyone, including governments, companies and consumers, become aware of our impact on the environment, which is no longer sustainable. Everyone should apply their ethic responsibility and act according to their possibilities to get through the problem: promoting research on biodegradable plastic, developing new sustainable materials, preferring brands and packaging which show their sustainable choices.
Then, it is fundamental to speak about the problem, to show the environmental damages vs. the good practices, as well as rewarding the worthy projects.
And what is Isonova doing?
Being producers of plastic materials means to have the responsibility of finding new innovations, in order to decrease the plastic waste in the environment. We have started the research, that in 2018 led to the launch of BioLaminil, our range of bio sandwich panels. BioLaminil has the same qualities as Laminil®, but it is biodegradable. In fact, when disposed with the general waste or accidentally dispersed in the environment, BioLaminil biodegrades naturally within 5 years, depending on atmospheric conditions. A particular mix of bacteria, inserted in the foam during the plastic extrusion, wakes up when the finished product ends up in a bacterial environment, such as a landfill or in sea environment, and starts devouring the material leaving nothing behind.
We are updating our BIO range with new products for different uses, in order to replace completely our best-known material, Laminil®, with its biodegradable sibling.
It will be a great breakthrough for shop fitting and visual merchandising, which are still in their early days of environment sustainability. There will be also other good uses in printing and converting, like off-set or digital printing, lamination, thermal and luxury packaging.
In developing BioLaminil we cared about the performance. We believe that, we have to guarantee a high functionality level, in order to convince companies, agencies and converters in replacing the traditional materials with sustainable materials. And also provide a full range to satisfy every need.
Alongside the materials development, we are actively involved in promoting the existence of BioLaminil and the environmental benefits it will bring.
We go to fairs, we meet and talk with agencies, companies, designers and converters to create communication projects for displays and packaging, we organize speeches in universities for the future sector’s operators. In our newsletters, social networks and websites, we give visibility to other associations and companies projects and we show how these have been produced with our biodegradable panels.
What kind of initiatives would you like to view or hear about to solve the plastic problem?