New PHA plastic developed in Italy

Numerous multinational corporations have spent years researching and developing prototype plastics at a huge cost that could one day replace conventional plastic made from petroleum. In Italy there have been some smaller companies that have made giant steps towards creating a plastic that is biodegradable. This new type of plastics are naturally produced and named PHA after Polyhydroxyalkanoate.

A normal plastic bag can take up to 1000 years to biodegrade and there is an increasingly higher price being paid for this. A future without petroleum is not too far away and companies such as these small Italian plastic developers will have a chance to change the way we use and make plastic. A new type of plastic has been created that doesn’t need a single drop of petroleum to be produced can also disappear from the face of this planet in just 40 days with the use of water. The amazing capabilities of this has to be recognised as it has the opportunity to become very competitive as man foreign governments in the western world are increasing their environment protection laws making plastic more and more costly to create.

Ever since Henry Ford had the idea to produce a plastic using corn-starch scientists have been trying to develop a method that is cost efficient and sustainable. Many foreign competitors created biodegradable plastics but they came at a high cost. In Italy this new type of plastic is ready to be exported worldwide in 2012 that boasts an ability to biodegrade in fresh and salted water in under a month. The plastic is constructed from sugar waste material and sugar co-products. Another impressive feature is that it leaves no residue and therefore can become a fundamental material for various sectors where waste reduction is essential. Not only exotic industries such as space travel will benefit but also a more ‘natural’ PHA plastic could theoretically replace everyday plastics. Currently only a limited amount of this plastic is capable of being produced in Italy and a smaller amount can therefore be exported. As manufacturing becomes more efficient investment in PHA will grow and export opportunities will increase.

PHA can be used in conventional production techniques and will one day replace materials such as PET and LDPE plastics. PHA will also be able to used in products requiring injection and extrusion production so a huge array of products will be able to be produced. Italy is really on the forefront in new innovative plastics and in late 2012 and early 2013 the world will begin to benefit from the latest in PHA plastic.

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