Bioeconomy arrives in horticulture. Green Dot Bioplastics, a bioscience social enterprise headquartered in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas (USA), has developed a new biodegradable biocomposite for horticultural applications made from reclaimed biobased feedstocks.
Greenhouses and gardeners can now lessen the environmental impact of plastic pots with a new high-performing biodegradable plastic made from 80 percent reclaimed and 80 percent biobased material. Terratek BD2114, this is its commercial name, is a renewable and biodegradable alternative to traditional plastic pots. Reclaimed plant fibers serve as a visual reminder that this planter will safely return to nature once its useful life has ended. Biodegradation rates will vary according to environment and part size.
“Using biodegradable plantable pots made with Terratek BD2114 – the US company claims – can reduce greenhouse water consumption by as much as 600%. Current compostable planters are most often made from paper, peat or cardboard. These absorbent materials allow water to quickly evaporate from potting soil, requiring growers to water plants more often”.
Terratek BD2114 does not absorb water, retaining moisture in the potting soil. Plantable pots made with the new bioplastic also provide advantages for retailers. The biocomposite plastic is more durable and has a longer shelf life compared to traditional biodegradable pots. The plastic can be easily colored to enhance product differentiation.
“Our new Terratek biodegradable biocomposite – Green Dot Bioplastics CEO, Mark Remmert explained – offers unique functional and aesthetic attributes with a lighter environmental footprint compared to horticulture containers currently in use.”
Organic materials like starch and other natural fibers act as substitutes for petroleum-based feedstock and reduce the amount greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic production. Biobased plastic resins can be made to behave similarly to traditional plastics in the manufacturing phase and to preserve much of the look and feel of purely petroleum-based plastics.
by Cloe Ferrari