A new additive is being introduced to the plastic packaging industry which could aid the breakdown of plastic waste at landfill.
NEO Plastics, a US-based firm, is bringing NEO Plastics to the market at a time when concerns over landfill and plastic degrading is an important talking point.
The additive is an all-organic compound that gets added to a batch of plastic resin so that packaging made from that resin will break down in anaerobic conditions within landfills within years rather than the centuries that traditional plastics take.
“We focus on the outcome rather than the process,” said Marty Tierney, Director of Business Development at NEO Plastics.
“The outcome with a package made from NEO Plastics is that it goes through a multi-stage process where microbes digest the material and give off the biogas known as methane.”
“So plastics that can create methane in a reasonable timeframe are actually a good thing,” he added. “That’s where NEO Plastics fits into the overall picture.
“We focus attention on unlocking an available resource in discarded plastics and taking advantage of emerging Waste to Energy options.”
One of the first to take up the NEO Plastics additive is Vermont-based Maplebrook Farms which uses it as part of its injection moulded polypropylene containers.
Alex Englert, Head of Operations at Maplebrook, commented: “Anything we can do in terms of sustainable packaging just makes good sense.
“When we first heard of the NEO Plastics additive, we said send us some cups and we’ll give it a try.
“So far it’s mostly our mozzarella products, eight ounces of cheese in brine, that we’re packaging in these cups, and it’s all pretty much done by hand, just as our cheese making is.”