News in brief – January 2019

Nestlé and Danimer Scientific partner to develop a biodegradable water bottle: Nestlé and Danimer Scientific, a leading developer and manufacturer of biodegradable plastic products, have announced a global partnership to develop biodegradable bottles. Nestlé and Danimer Scientific will collaborate to design and manufacture bio-based resins for Nestlé’s water business using Danimer Scientific’s PHA polymer Nodax™. In 2018, the University of Georgia (U.S.A.) confirmed in a study that Nodax™ is an effective biodegradable alternative to petrochemical plastics.

The Guardian becomes the first national newspaper to use biodegradable wrapping: The Guardian’s print edition will no longer be sold in plastic packaging, becoming the first national newspaper to switch to biodegradable wrapping. The change aims to reduce plastic waste, following readers’ feedback. The Weekend magazine, the Guide, Feast, and Review will be wrapped in a material based on potato starch, which readers can compost or put in their food waste recycling bin. The packaging does not contain any genetically modified material. Readers within Greater London who use the Guardian’s home delivery service will also find the weekday edition of the newspaper is now wrapped in potato starch packaging.

A new Tel Aviv University study describes a process to make bioplastic polymers that require neither land nor fresh water: A new Tel Aviv University (TAU) study describes a process to produce polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) derived from microorganisms (Haloferax mediterranei) that feed on seaweed. The bioplastic polymers require neither land nor fresh water and are biodegradable, produce zero toxic waste and recycle into organic waste. The invention is the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between Dr. Alexander Golberg of TAU’s Porter School of Environmental and Earth Sciences and Prof. Michael Gozin of TAU’s School of Chemistry. The research was partially funded by the TAU-Triangle Regional R&D Center in Kfar Kara under the academic auspices of Tel Aviv University, and by the Israeli Ministry of Energy and Infrastructures.