Sierra Resins has a fairly descriptive snippet of how bioplastic works. Normally Plastic is virtually indestructible. It sits in nature for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Bacteria has a difficult time under normal conditions ‘eating’ such material. Photos like the one below should literally not exist, however they do and they do in very large scales.
Bacteria behave differently in a broth than when attached on a host. To penetrate different polymers and to survive bacteria become skilled subversives, hijacking cells and cellular communication systems. Microbes inject proteins that reprogram the cellular machinery to do the bugs bidding. A key cytoskeleton building block, actin, interacts with the bacterial protein and begin forming polymers that push on the cell membrane until it forms a pedestal. Bacteria customizes its environment to promote its own survival. Ruffle structures reach up and around a bacteria attached to a polymer molecule [carbon] literally dragging the microbe inside. Phagocytes engulf the bacteria, destroying and converting the host to carbon. Once inside, the bacteria deploy a second release of effectors protein SPI-2. The trait of the bacteria to live long term within a host cell is common to many types of bacteria. Sierra Resins SR Series bioplastics were formulated with this biological activity in mind.
The end goal of this is to avoid this result. The below image was from the cartoon ‘happy feet’ notice how the poor penguin has an unwanted necklace. This was because the plastic never degraded, and floated from some populated area all the way to Antarctica. We know it’s just a fictional cartoon, but it’s not far from the truth.
Sierra Resins has a solution that firms should start paying attention to. It’s an environmental win, a marketing win, and overall it’s the right thing to do. Contact them today to include their bioplastic in your packaging. It will save generations of wildlife, and humans in the future.