Natural polymers or its composites are known to be used in everyday products to make such items friendlier to the environment. Products with natural polymer composites are water based, thereby making it easier for microorganisms to them break down. While it is a known fact that natural polymers are used in some products, do you know that natural polymer is also good, not only for the environment, but your body as well? Chemical engineers are now coming up with various products, including its packaging material, using natural polymers. This is to ensure that in the years to come, the world will minimize the hazards to the environment and your health which is being caused by leftover products and packaging today. How will natural polymers help out?
It Is Sustainable
Natural polymers can be found almost everywhere, on trees, in plants, your body, and many more. You can even find it in some ocean creatures like squid. Chemical engineers have found a way to extract these natural polymers and use it as composite in various products like packaging and wrapping materials. Products with natural polymers have lower greenhouse gas emissions during production as compared to the non-sustainable counterparts. Their carbon footprint is also smaller and feature a facile end life.
Natural Polymers Emit Lesser Greenhouse Gases During Production
Polymerisation or polycondensation is often the process used to produce plastic materials or packaging. In the case of polymerization, small molecules that are called monomers are chemically combined to create a huge network or chainlike molecule called polymer. On the other hand, polycondensation is the process of creating polymers through a blend of different monomers. When traditional materials are used in both processes, the resulting greenhouse gases emitted during production is very high, impacting the already deteriorating ozone layer. When natural polymers are used, however, the greenhouse gas emission is drastically reduced. Because of this amazing property, natural polymers are now the main choice of hundreds of plastics manufacturers around the world.
It Has A Facile End Life
Most of the finished products made with natural polymer composites are biodegradable hence no other procedure is necessary for it to be disposed completely. In fact, many of these products become food for microorganisms living in the surroundings, particularly the sea, helping them thrive and transformed into food for ocean creatures like fish.
Best of all, natural polymers are present almost everywhere and can be extracted. Examples of natural polymers are wool, DNA, proteins, silk and cellulose. The secret, obviously, lies in the harvesting process, something that not everyone can do. There are some startups, however, who were able to perfect their own harvesting process, allowing them to gather naturally occurring polymers in great quantities that can be used to manufacture various types of products. With the advances that these startups are making, pretty soon major plastic and packaging manufacturers will have adequate supply for their production of plastic and other packaging materials. When that happens, the environment and ultimately, your health, will benefit greatly from the use of natural polymers as the main ingredient in the making of various plastics and other similar types of materials.