In order for the circular economy to work, products need to be designed with end of use in mind, ensuring that the materials used are good for all life.
This concept has informed the development of our revolutionary technology. Following the Biotransformation process, packaging material is no longer a plastic anymore; but rather biocompatible residues whose very low molecular size and hydrophilic nature makes it possible for full assimilation – a practical example of Good Cycling in action.
Bill McDonough – Author of Cradle to Cradle
I hope we designers and scientists will, someday, stop telling children that we are designing for end of life… especially of already inanimate objects like common plastics. With Cradle to Cradle, we design for next use. It has been delightful learning about Polymateria’s beautiful science bringing plastics back to life. For me, a long-stated dream coming true and with my thanks I offer a short poem: Oil to Soil”.
This is often missed in designing products for circularity. So any plastics that fail ecotoxicology testing, necessary to safely return to soil is just Bad Cycling.
What’s really needed for the circular economy to work is Good Cycling, which ensures the materials used are able to return to nature when the technical cycle fails.
In Good Cycling, the biological and technical cycles align and are in sync at all stages:
- Materials can return to soil without any impact on the ecosystem at any stage.
- Ecotoxicology testing to prove no acute or chronic effects on signal creatures such as Daphnia, Earthworms etc.1
- Onset of biodegradation is time controlled to give recycling (the technical cycle) every chance to happen, uniquely set by Polymateria’s Biotransformation technology.
- Compatible with a wide range of materials:
- Food contact approved polyolefins such as polypropylene and polyethylene.
- Non-toxic colourants.
- Adhesives and other additives.
1 OECD: 202, 207, 208.
In Bad Cycling, the biological and technical cycles conflict and are at odds with one another:
- Materials are toxic and will damage the ecosystem as and when the system leaks.
- Products leaking into the environment through degradation cause either acute or chronic problems.
- Materials such as: polystyrene, bisphenol BPA etc.