One of the problems with recycling products is that they are not products made from a so-called mono material, but are almost always combinations of several layers of different types of materials. For example, the quintessential milk carton is made up of various layers of different plastic films and paper, and a coffee capsule comprises five layers. It makes recycling difficult and usually leads to downcycling to lower grade applications.
Pure material and recycling streams are rare.
Of all the waste around the world, over 35% is litter; we are all too familiar with the images of plastic soup and polluted beaches.
The combination of materials makes it difficult to process and so usually ends up in incinerators. But the combination also causes complex biodegradability whereby parts break down unevenly or fall apart under different conditions.
This is already a serious problem, but it is accelerated when biobased materials are mixed with fossil plastics to overcome processing problems or logistical shelf-life challenges.
HemCell is a mono-material because it is constructed from a new biopolymer matrix made up of a variety of components. During the decomposition process it is completely converted back into biobased components with an added beneficial effect on the composting environment where it takes place, without leaving any micro or nano plastic compounds behind.
HemCell in a compost or manure environment ensures an accelerated breakdown and build-up of a desirable micro-organism balance, which in turn has positive effects on the preservation of nutrients and reduction of odour and greenhouse gases.
The energy consumption savings that converters can achieve, together with the low specific weight which product designers can use to their advantage, makes the integral environmental burden considerably lower than the familiar regular bioplastics currently on the market.