Environmental problems such as global warming, extreme weather, natural resource depletion, water shortage, and plastic pollution problem are getting more severe in the world. The microplastic problem in the marine environment is especially becoming a devastating issue. It is predicted that the amount of plastic garbage will be more than the amount of fish in the world by 2050. There are also some reports that microplastics are already in our human body, which have come from the surrounding environment and atmosphere.
Over 400 million tons of plastic are produced every year. Most of them are made with various types of chemical reactions from petroleum and the emission of huge quantities of CO2. The large energy consumption during the manufacturing process is a big problem. Also, these types of petroleum origin plastics are the main cause of severe plastic pollution. To solve this matter, various types of bioplastics are under development or are already in use in the consumer and industry world. As biomass-based bioplastics, PLA : Poly Lactic Acid, PHA : Poly Hydroxy Alkanoate, starch-based resin are generally applied. In general, they can be made from food biomass such as grains, potatoes, sugar canes, etc. However, when one considers the food shortage problem in the near future, non-edible biomass raw material is more ideal. Cellulose is the ideal material in this regard because it is the most abundant organic natural resource on this planet, and they are non-edible. Some reports explain that over 70 billion tons of natural resources can be obtained if cellulose can be efficiently utilized. It is not necessary to cut down the forest and living trees; waste wood such as thinned wood as cellulose resource could be utilized, which should be enough quantity. Furthermore, it can be suggested that the price of cellulose-based resin can be economically friendly.
Recently, researchers have been trying to make cellulose-based resin by saccharification of cellulose with acid or enzymes. However, the decomposition process and pre-treatment process are troublesome processes, therefore that cost will be too expensive for real application.
In this regard, Dr. Ryohei Mori at Green Science Alliance Co., Ltd. made 100% Biomass nature-derived (No Petroleum) cellulose-based biodegradable resin materials. He believes making biodegradable material with 100% nature biomass-based materials as harmless as possible to the environment with no petroleum origin materials. This is the thermoplastic cellulose which is a very environmentally friendly material. It also has the possibility to be economically friendly.
Additionally, Green Science Alliance already has nano cellulose composite technology with various types of resins, and they already had confirmed the mechanical strength improvement with this cellulose-based resin while keeping 100% nature biomass composition because nano cellulose is also the natural material.
Green Science Alliance initially supplied this cellulose-based material in the form of resin pellet. They will also apply this innovative material to their molding products including cutleries, cups, dishes, film, bags, bottles, etc. with their company registered trademark “Nano Sakura.”