Simply put, a bio-resin is made from organic and renewable materials instead of petroleum products, allowing more effective recycling and biodegradable post-use disposable.
Through innovations in plastics, our lives become safer and healthier every day.
Plastics are one of the most versatile manufacturing materials available and we all use products employing them in our daily lives. We rely on plastics used in cell phones, televisions, computers and other electronic devices and equipment. Medical devices incorporating plastics are ever-present in the healthcare industry, and plastics have replaced many different materials in the automotive sector improving safety and reducing fuel consumption.
However, we have all become more eco-conscious regarding the disposing of plastics and the damage to the environment caused by plastics waste. Therefore, the Circular Economy was launched to develop recyclable and sustainable resources intended to reduce plastic waste by developing recyclable and sustainable resources. It has three principles.
- design out waste and pollution
- keep products and materials in use
- regenerate natural systems
Bioresins have emerged as a new alternative to traditional polyurethane-based plastics. Although there are no set standards for what it means for a product to be “green,” there are agreed-upon desirable results: safer disposal, energy-efficient manufacturing, and decreased toxic emissions are just a few of the categories that manufacturers now target when thinking about “green” products.
What Are They?
Bio-resin is a resin that derives some or all its constituent monomers from biological sources, making them sustainable and renewable. These are emerging to replace the starting materials of petroleum-derived plastics. They offer easy processing, fulfill technological, functional and durability requirements while ensuring increased biocompatibility, recycling, and eventually lower cost.
The most common sources are plant-based, ranging from corn or soybean to agave waste or avocado seeds.
As used in the plastics compounding industry, different additives and modifiers are generally blended with the virgin bio-resin to obtain beneficial performance properties like conventional polymers. Some of the other benefits of using additives are to enhance melt strength, thermal stability and melt lubricity of a biopolymer during processing. Other additives improve the performance of the biopolymers, significantly impact strength, heat resistance, flame resistance, gas barrier properties, and antifogging properties. In addition, additives can modify the appearance or reduce the cost of the final product.
What Applications Do BioResins Have?
There has been much research and many studies done. One of the challenges in the injection molding process is that these materials are sensitive to shear, moisture, and degradation caused by excessive temperature. The packaging industry is more regularly using bio-resins in various applications, including dishes, office trays, toys, rulers, pencil sharpeners, cartridges, furniture, disposable razor, plant pots and single-use products.
Impact in Plastics
These materials will undoubtedly disrupt segments of the plastics industry. Even though there is still plenty of R&D around them, aiming to design Bio-resins that help improve processing conditions, many can already run on injection molding machines, blow molders and extrusion machines. It is ultimately lowering raw materials costs, avoiding volatility or scarcity from petrol-based material, increasing recycling of resources, biodegradability and, above all, shifting plastics to a greener industry.
There are many new players in this space. In the coming months we will share more information on topic of bio-resins, in the meantime check out these links:
Biodegradable Resins – Green Dot Bioplastics
Coconut based material from BioResin USA – Creating sustainable, biodegradable plastics solution.
PolyEarthylene material from Verde Bioresins Inc.
<>Circular Economy – UK, USA, Europe, Asia &amp; South America – The Ellen MacArthur Foundation