Plastic is a cheap, versatile and useful material that has become an indispensable part of our lives. But awareness of its problems is growing, and with it the demand for alternative solutions.
The German bioeconomy startup "traceless materials" has set itself the task of developing an innovative sustainable solution for producing biodegradable plastic alternatives from agricultural waste products. These materials can be used to produce packaging that decomposes under natural composting conditions without leaving residues and can thus circulate continuously in the biological cycle. In this way, supposed waste becomes nutrient again and again.
One of the goals of the cooperation between traceless and the Lufthansa Group is to make food packaging on board more environmentally friendly.
Making an impact...
Impact on greenhouse gas emissions
traceless materials can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 60% compared to conventional plastic production because their material is bio-based and not fossil-based.
Impact on agricultural land demand
Every ton of traceless material that is produced instead of conventional plastics can reduce land demand by an area of 1.060 m²a. So, by producing only seven tons of traceless materials, they can already save an area of one football field for a year!
Impact on water demand
Every ton of traceless materials produced instead of a ton of virgin plastics saves, on average, 100.000 litres of water.
Impact on plastic waste generation
Each ton of traceless they produce can replace one ton of conventional virgin plastics - and thereby prevent one ton of plastic waste which needs to be treated, and could potentially end up in the environment.
Composting test of traceless plast (left, thickness 0,2 and 1,6mm), compared to a film cutout of a commercially available organic waste bag (right, thickness 0,03mm, certified DIN 13432 compostable).
Depending on the conditions and the thickness of the material, composting takes only 2-9 weeks.
The key for traceless' excellent compostability lies in its natural ingredients: Unlike many bioplastics, the materials are based on natural biopolymers - those polymers that nature has produced itself. That's why microorganisms out there already know how to handle them, and can easily digest them.