Today’s Solutions: January 19, 2022

From the highest peaks to the ocean’s deepest points, microplastics are virtually everywhere. These pernicious plastics usually originate from unexpected sources such as laundry detergents, which are typically made with plastic microcapsules in order to retain fragrance for longer. Making those microcapsules biodegradable, however, could go a long way towards solving the problem.

This concept is what Paris-based startup Calyxia has developed in an effort to make microplastics a thing of the past. The company, which has recently secured $17.5 million in a Series A round of funding, is also developing coatings that can be added to plastic products — such as electronics and sporting goods — to help prevent the material from shedding off microplastics as it wears down.

To create the novel technology, company CEO Jamie Walters partnered with scientists from Harvard and Cambridge University, reports Fast Company. The team built a variety of potential biodegradable materials to use for the capsules and then tested their biodegradability and performance.

One area where their technology could prove useful is agriculture, where farmers use microcapsules to slowly release active compounds like pesticides, helping improve crop yield while reducing the amount of the needed active ingredient. However, most of the current products are made of plastic, which means that they end up harming the health of the soil.

By contrast, the new microcapsules fully biodegraded in tests, leaving only oxygen and CO2 behind. Additionally, the capsules enhanced performance, further decreasing the quantity of pesticide needed, saving costs as a result.

Calyxia’s biodegradable products also proved as a viable, sustainable alternative to conventional plastic microcapsules used in laundry detergent, which typically end up down the drain, harming aquatic ecosystems.

The company’s new production facility has the capacity to manufacture hundreds of tons of products, and Calyxia plans to scale it up to thousands of tons, as it begins to partner up with FMCG brands before the EU’s microplastic ban goes into effect in 2022.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The Philippines bans child marriage to help stop child abuse

According to a report issued last year by the United Nations Children’s Fund, more than half a billion girls and women across the globe were married as children, meaning under the age of majority (18). ... Read More

This circular leather alternative is made from algae and peels

As people are increasingly becoming reluctant to use clothes and fashion accessories made out of animal-sourced leather, more and more designers are turning their eyes towards more sustainable and ethical alternatives. One of the latest ... Read More

Rapidly retrofitting old buildings is key for climate goals – Here̵...

Buildings account for about 40 percent of annual global carbon emissions. In order to meet our climate goals, every building on the planet will have to be net-zero by 2050. But since most of the ... Read More

IKEA buys land ravaged by hurricane to transform into forests

The Optimist Daily has shared several stories about the popular Swedish furniture company IKEA and its environmentally friendly initiatives such as its buyback and resell program, its pledge to stop using plastic packaging, its zero-waste ... Read More

This market is tossing “use-by” dates to help curb food waste

The British supermarket Morrisons has decided to remove “use-by” dates on milk packaging by the end of the month in an effort to save millions of pints of milk from being needlessly thrown away each ... Read More

The population of Ugandan tree-climbing lions is growing

One of the only populations of Ishasha tree-climbing lions in the world resides in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). Unfortunately, the population faces numerous threats such as loss of habitat, climate change, and illegal ... Read More