New carbon-positive plastic could reduce packaging emissions

New carbon-positive plastic could reduce packaging emissions

Sugarcane image CC-licensed by raichovak/Flickr

A U.K. company claims to have produced a new type of packaging that not only is 100 percent recyclable, but also actively removes CO2 from the atmosphere.

The new Polyair material developed by Polythene U.K. is made from sugar cane and uses photosynthesis to capture CO2 and release oxygen. The company claims that for every ton of the product manufactured, 2.5 tons of CO2 will be removed.

James Woollard, managing director at Polythene U.K., said Polyair could be used in a range of products, including bags, covers, tubes, films, wraps and stretch film, and would reduce the amount of polythene waste these products generate.

"Using a bio-based material, such as Polyair, at a percentage of 60 percent in film reduces the CO2 emissions to zero even when you take into consideration the energy used for manufacturing and shipping," he added in a statement. "Put simply, Polyair is truly the greenest material we know of."

Woollard added that the company initially designed the Polyair material as a degradable polythene, but changed tack in 2011 after deciding the benefits of such a material were limited.

He said that having found an alternative, the company has relaunched the product aiming specifically at FTSE500 companies looking to reduce their emissions.

This article is reprinted with permission from BusinessGreen.

Photo of sugar cane field provided by margouillat photo via Shutterstock.