Investors are putting a lot of money into bioplastic ventures. But the jury is still out on their environmental benefit They were panned in a recent study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Now comes an announcement from Unilever that bioplastics won’t be part of an aggressive sustainability program in packagingUnilever makes this comment:
“Bioplastics are derived from renewable resources. But this does not mean that they are sustainable when all the environmental impacts and issues around their growth, production and subsequent disposal are taken into consideration.”
That’s a pretty broad-brush statement considering all of the technologies being investigated for renewably sourced packaging materials Unilever’s overall dismissal of this technology may be unwarranted But who really knows for sure? The companies with a stake in the plants-to-plastics projects need to make more convincing cases of their environmental benefits
These new 3D-printing technologies and printers include some that are truly boundary-breaking: a sophisticated new sub-$10,000, 10-plus materials bioprinter, the first industrial-strength silicone 3D-printing service, and a clever twist on 3D printing and thermoforming for making high-quality realistic models.
Using simulation to guide the drafting process can speed up the design and production of 3D-printed nanostructures, reduce errors, and even make it possible to scale up the structures. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a model that does this.
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