Mirel Biodegradable Plastic

(From NPE2009)

Telles is maker of Mirel, a bioplastic (polyhydroxyalkanoate or PHA) made through the fermentation of sugar. It can be biodegraded by the microbes present in natural soil or water environments. Check out the spec sheet on this stuff. It’s a lot stiffer that I was expecting.

These little cone-shaped things are used to hold planted seedlings in wetland restoration projects. These eventually disintegrate under water.

These little cone-shaped things are used to hold planted seedlings in wetland restoration projects. These eventually disintegrate under water.

I was talking to Debra Darby, Director of Marketing, about this material’s different applications and she mentioned that while it’s biodegradable, it’s heat and moisture resistant. It can be autoclaved, which got me thinking about medical waste and those single-use disposable products that go into landfills every year… It’s a pretty touchy subject for a lot of those medical products manufacturers who don’t like to talk about all that plastic that gets chucked in the trash – just because of a little blood (snark)…

But what if you took all those disposibles and steam sterilized it all (not for reuse, although I have heard of that happening in third world countries where single-use products do get re-used after being dunked in bleach – scary). Then all the used (but sterilized) medical waste could be composted… What do you think?

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