A species of seagrass, named Posidonia oceanica, has the ability to catch and remove plastics from the ocean, according to researchers at the University of Barcelona.
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, describes the role of the Posidonia as a filter and trap for plastics in coastal areas.
Because of this, it’s seen as a pioneering natural mechanism to take and remove these materials from the sea.
As part of the study, the team analysed the trapping and extraction of plastic in great seagrasses of the Posidonia on the coasts of Majorca.
Anna Sànchez-Vidal, a researcher at the Department of Ocean and Earth Dynamics at the University of Barcelona, said: “Everything suggests that plastics are trapped in the Posidonia seagrass. In the grasslands, the plastics are incorporated to agglomerates of natural fibre with a ball shape – aegagropila or Posidonia Neptune balls – which are expulsed from the marine environment during storms.
“According to the analyses, the trapped microplastics in the prairies of the Posidonia oceanica are mainly filaments, fibres and fragments of polymers which are denser than the seawater such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET).”
An estimated 1,470 plastics are taken per kilogramme of Posidonia oceanica seagrass, says study
Typically Posidonia aegagropila – which is a type of algae – are expelled from the prairies – a type of grassland – during periods of strong waves and a part ends up piled in the beaches.
And, although there are no studies that quantify the amount of aegagropilae expelled from the marine environment, it’s estimated that about 1,470 plastics are taken per kilogramme of plant fibre.
These amounts are significantly higher than those captured through leaves or sand.
Sànchez-Vidal added: “we cannot completely know the magnitude of this plastic export to the land.
However, first estimations reveal that Posidonia balls could catch up to 867 million plastics per year.”
Mondi set to revolutionise European paper-based shopping bag market with start-up of new speciality kraft paper machine
Mondi’s new paper machine at its Czech mill in Štětí is dedicated to producing 100% recyclable speciality kraft paper for shopping bags using a combination of fresh and recycled fibres to prioritise sustainability without compromising on strength
The €67 million investment responds to growing consumer preference and legislative change to reduce plastic waste and demonstrates the company's commitment to supporting the circular economy
‘Goood’ results for Interquell with Mondi’s paper-based FlexiBags: packaging made from renewable materials, reducing plastic and CO2 footprint
Mondi creates sustainable paper-based packaging for Goood, Interquell’s sustainable alternative to organic pet food brands
By using packaging made from renewable resources, Mondi reduces plastic usage and CO2 footprint with innovative paper-based FlexiBags
Collaborative approach means Mondi supports Interquell in meeting their sustainability commitments
15 January 2021 – Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, is launching two new paper-based bags for German pet food producer Interquell, delivering both consumer convenience and sustainability benefits.
100% recyclable corrugate
Sustainable alternative to single-use plastic
Complete solution for bottle multi-packs
Blue Box Partners, the pan-European Alliance of suppliers for corrugated board packaging solutions, has launched ECOGRIP, a corrugated alternative to shrink wrap for the multi-packing of a wide range of bottles that builds on the growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging.
12 January 2021 – Mondi, a global leader in sustainable packaging and paper, received eight awards in three categories at this year's WorldStar Packaging awards. In this annual competition of the World Packaging Organisation, judges from 55 countries recognised achievements in packaging innovation and technologies worldwide, with a focus on sustainability, product protection and end-user convenience.
Paper or film bands hold matchboxes and other small boxes securely together and help to reduce packaging material. In an automated packaging line, a banding system certainly also takes over automatic size recognition via sensors, stacking as well as feeding and forwarding, if required
Do you know the tapes printed with "Action" that bundle several products into multipacks in the supermarket? Or the transparent bands that hold together the different sized goods ordered online in the shipping carton? Do you take all the information about zucchinis, bananas or apples in cardboard trays that you buy in the vegetable section at retail from printed bands? Are you familiar with the bands that hold together stacked printed items, cardboard or corrugated cardboard in such a way that the edges of the fragile products are not damaged? Or have you ever bought convenience food or other products where a double-side printed band up to 100 mm wide, for example, holds a tray packaging securely together and at the same time takes care of all the communication around the product? That - and much more - is banding.
How banding works
In banding, a band of paper or film up to 100 mm wide is placed around one or more products by a banding machine and welded with the use of a sonotrode with ultra-sonic technology or, in fewer cases, with a hot wedge. Glue or other adhesives are not used. The continuously adjustable tension of the band varies depending on the properties of the product or application. It reacts to the resistance of the product to be banded. For soft and fragile products, the band tension is alternatively controlled by a fixed length or soft length. Also possible: Sensors measure the product to be banded and automatically adjust the band length. This variant is used, for example, when banding mail packages of different sizes that are fed to the banding machine by a conveyor belt (end-of-line automation).
Printed and unprinted bands
Depending on the application, bands are used unprinted, printed on one or both sides in advance using the flexographic printing process, and additionally or exclusively printed with a thermal transfer printer during banding. While the flexographic printing process focuses on the branding of the product, thermal transfer printing is used to print variable information such as the producer, the best-before date, the batch number, the weight or a bar code. Printed bands therefore also replace labels. Unprinted bands are often used in intralogistics when logistical units have to be formed to simplify processes.
Different banding machines for different applications
Depending on the production volume and requirements, different banding machines are used: mobile stand-alone models or fully automatic banding machines integrated into the production line.
In the simpler standalone models, the banding process is usually triggered manually (e.g. via a foot pedal).
In automated applications, sensors and I/O or bus-based interfaces come into play. Example: A robot holds the product to be banded in the banding machine, the sensor confirms the presence of the product and the banding process is triggered via the interface.
In fully automatic applications, the banding process is triggered by a PLC (programmable logic controller). Depending on the application, the process is optimized by different signals and factors. Depending on the machine design and the system concept, a performance of up to 300 products per minute or 100 banding processes per minute can be achieved.
Banding is environmentally friendly
Banding stands for "only as much packaging as necessary". Bands often replace shrink films or sleeves, thereby significantly reducing plastic and material consumption. Ultrasonic banding machines are also extremely energy-efficient and thus help to reduce CO2 emissions. Because a banding machine with integrated thermal transfer printer also replaces the labeling machine, additional material and energy can be saved depending on the application. In most countries, bands made of coated paper are recycled via the paper cycle. If the band has to be made of paper, but the proportion of foreign material must not exceed 5%, our partially coated paper is used. Bands made of film are made of pure and high-quality PP, HDPE or PLA. The amount of recycled material is at least 20% for all foils. The thinnest film (FTU) has a thickness of 50 my. All banding films are considered mono-material and are 100% recyclable.
Banding stands for frustration-free packaging
Banding not only reduces plastic and packaging material, but also stands for frustration-free packaging. Bands can be opened by hand without any problems: Either at the weld seam in the case of bands made of film or at any position in the case of bands made of paper. Amazon shows what constitutes frustration-free packaging and how important it is in the video Frustration Free Packaging.
The initiative, Waste Free World, is the first of its type and could accelerate the process of returning high grade plastic back into a closed-loop recycling system.
There are currently 20 of the recycling machines installed in offices and community spaces in Shanghai and Hangzhou.
During the course of 2021, 500 of the deposit machines will be put into market, mainly in the Shanghai and Hangzhou area, collecting up to 500 tonnes of plastic.
The project will also contribute to changing consumer behaviour through the incentive of Unilever coupons and AliPay rewards.
The system works by:
- Customers scan the QR code on the bottle they want to recycle before placing it into the machine.
- The AI technology identifies the type of plastic and sorts it accordingly.
- The bottle’s recycled plastic granules will then be applied to the packaging of future Unilever products, before going back on shelf.
Rohit Jawa, executive vice president of North Asia, Unilever, said plastic has its place, but should not cause environmental pollution.
“By 2025, we will make an absolute reduction of 100,000 tons in plastic use and promote the use of recyclable plastic, so that we can halve the amount of virgin plastic we use in packaging and help collect and process more plastic packaging than we sell. We believe WASTE FREE WORLD jointly launched with Alibaba Group will become the ‘green engine’ of the circular economy for plastic packaging in China.”
Glass Replacement Syringes:
With recent advancements in pharmaceuticals, the syringe market has experienced significant changes. Traditional glass syringes have limitations that make them incapable of serving the entire market, allowing Plas-Tech engineers to develop plastic syringes as an alternative. Our COP & COC glass replacement plastic syringes are the answer, with improved accuracy and performance advantages over traditional glass syringes.
Benefits of COP & COC plastic syringes over glass syringes: Available in 100% Silicone Free!; DMSO Compatible; Lower cost options; Shatter resistance; Weight: 50% less than glass, thus reducing shipping costs; Very low protein and water absorption; Ability to design in ways impossible with glass; Chemical resistance is very good when compared to glass; NEW! DMSO and Organic Solvent capability for Pre-Filled syringe applications; Solvent bonded and ultrasonically welded; Options for EO, Gamma and Steam Autoclave sterilization; and Tub Fill or ISO Luer Lock Configurations.
COP Plastic Syringes: COP (cyclic olefin polymer) plastic syringes have similar properties to COC syringes, but are even less brittle and can be made into more varied size and complex shaped containers. COP syringes are increasingly popular in applications where high viscosity products require high strength and high transparency to ensure the product is thoroughly injected.
COC Plastic Syringes: Plas-Tech Engineering invested nearly five years in research and development of COC (cyclic olefin copolymer) plastic syringes for the pharmaceutical and medical industry. The unique processing methods we developed allowed us to produce a high quality product that exceeds the accuracy and performance standards set by glass syringes. The superior moisture barrier we deliver with our COC medical syringes extends the shelf life of some pharmaceutical solutions by 3 years, a standard that can't be met by other thermoplastics used in less challenging applications. With COC syringes, the drug remains pure because COC is biologically inert, with very low extractables.
Silicone-Free Syringes: Many syringes in the marketplace use a silicone plunger tip for their seal on the pushrod that goes inside the syringe. Due to potential leaching of silicone, there has been a big push for syringes to be made silicone-free. Plas-Tech Engineering offers silicone-free syringes made from COC and COP, which are then coated with a Fluoropolymers. This creates a zero break force, controlled friction, and is also 100% silicone-free.
Other Plastic Syringes: Plastech Engineering is a leader in pre-filled plastic syringes that may be used in a variety of applications for safe, efficient delivery of pharmaceutical compounds.
More than 1,900 exhibitors present their international range at the world's leading specialist event for industrial plastics processing. The next Fakuma will take place from October 12 to 16, 2021 in the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Center.
The Fakuma offers a comprehensive overview of all plastics technologies: Whether injection molding - here the Fakuma occupies a leading position worldwide - extrusion technology, thermoforming or 3D printing: At the Fakuma the user can find out about all processes and technologies relevant to plastics processing and tools to provide targeted information.
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