A team of scientists from Rutgers University and Harvard University recently developed a biodegradable sprayable food wrapper. Researchers believe this wrapper can preserve food shelf life, reduce food and plastic waste, and increase food safety.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States produced 35.7 million tons of plastic in 2018. This equates to about 6.1 million male elephants weighing 6 tons (13,000 pounds) he. As of 2018, more than 75% of his US-produced plastic ended up in landfills. And according to a study published in Our World in Data, plastic packaging is the world’s leading source of plastic waste.
“Food waste and food safety is one of the major concerns in our society, especially in the age of COVID-19,” said a Harvard University bioengineering researcher who helped develop the wrapper. Huibin Chang told Food Tank. Chang explains that most food wrappers today are not biodegradable, leading to environmental pollution.
The wrapper’s main ingredient, the spray, is pullulan, a dietary fiber generally recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[s] as safe” (GRAS). A mixture of biodegradable polymers and non-toxic solvents can be washed away with water.
“The goal of [the spray-on wrapper] The project is to improve the shelf life of food in smaller quantities [of] It’s an antimicrobial coating that uses an eco-friendly process,” Chang told Food Tank.
But Nishad Jayasundara, an environmental toxicologist at Duke University who wasn’t involved in the study, wants to learn more about how these substances break down and their impact on the environment. According to Jayasundra, additional research is needed to determine whether the “rinse” treatment method of spray wrappers breaks down the initial non-toxic substances in potentially harmful ways.
Spray-on wrappers are still in the early stages of technological development, but Rutgers’ research team plans to scale up the process. They want to make sure the wrapper is cost effective and meets current industry equipment standards. Researchers then start marketing the wrapper to companies and customers willing to accept the relatively high cost of innovation.
Ritva Krist, marketing manager at German startup traceless, told Food Tank: Traceless can create sustainable packaging that replaces conventional plastics and bioplastics and integrates into nature’s material cycle. The company’s goal is to replace plastic in as many products as possible to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in nature, Krist tells her Food Tank.
But minimizing the consumption of plastic packaging requires multiple solutions, she stresses. “New Spray She On Seeing her rapper-like development gives us motivation and the belief that together we can create a world free of pollution and waste.”
Krist tells Food Tank that not all alternatives to plastic packaging are as sustainable as many companies claim. The result is confusion among consumers, “and skepticism and poor acceptance, especially when it comes to bioplastic solutions.”
A recent study conducted in the UK evaluated the impact and effectiveness of biodegradable and compostable plastics in UK household composting and found that 60% of ‘compostable packages’ I found that it was not completely decomposed. Furthermore, labeling plastic alternatives as “sustainable” does not take into account the resources and energy required to manufacture these forms of packaging.
Beyond Plastics, a nationwide project based at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, says that while many compostable bioplastics emit more greenhouse gases than plastic, they are considered “forever chemicals.” often rely on toxic perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as ‘On the other hand, only 9% of the world’s plastic is recycled. scientific progressThe challenges of dealing with different standards for plastics, the costs associated with recycling, and the loss of quality each time plastic melts during the recycling process all contribute to this low rate.
To help consumers navigate the multitude of plastic food packaging alternatives, labels and certifications, Krist asked Food Tank to communicate and market new sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging. He says it needs to be made clearer. This includes increasing the multipurpose use of products, increasing recycling, and improving waste collection and treatment systems, she says. Krist also says it’s important to adopt more compostable and totally sustainable alternatives that don’t emit more carbon dioxide when incinerated.—Especially for non-recyclable packaging.
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