My perspective is a little skewed. In Northern California, we banned styrofoam years ago. Very few businesses use plastic bags. It's very common to get a biodegradable bag for your groceries. Mandatory composting in the city may have facilitated that.
The article gives me hope that other plastics, such as plastic wrap on meats and vegetables in the market can be replaced soon.
I wonder if more post-consumer products like Saran Wrap or Tupperware containers can benefit from this project and change for the better.
Biodegradable and compostable packaging is really new, so I doubt if it's in use enough yet to even add up to 1%, at least not in the US. But it's emerging. There are a couple of examples from BASF in this slideshow, one for food packaging and one for agriculture: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=242634 After all, we have to start somewhere and the sooner we start the sooner Beth (and a few million other people) can stop having nightmares.
Beth, a biodegradable packaging would be a good thing. We compost, and if the packaging could be added to the mix, that would cut down on landfill mass and help the garden. I wonder, though, what percentage of the market these packaging materials make up.
Helping reduce waste and preventing food spoilage are admirable and necessary goals for food packaging going forward. Given the amount of trash still littering our streets and sidewalks, I'm hoping this same sustainable packaging effort will address biodegradable packaging so I won't be haunted by the mountains of trash piling up all over our planet.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.