09. Feb 2022
Bioplastics International Launches Water Soluble PVA Replacement for Plastics. In an attempt to curb the overwhelming plastic pollution of our oceans, Bioplastics International has launched a water soluble replacement for petroleum based plastics.
In an attempt to curb the overwhelming plastic pollution of our oceans, Bioplastics International, an Arizona-based producer of water soluble PVA and bio resins from plant starches, has launched a water soluble replacement for petroleum based plastics.
Garrett Valentino, CEO of Bioplastics International, said that conveying knowledge about PVA is difficult amid a climate of greenwashing by industry marketers. Even so, the market must be constantly informed about the advantages of PVA from the standpoints of the environment and customers.
“Right now, we’re involved in the huge effort of informing the rest of the world about our water soluble PVA bags and packaging films. This is not a simple task, especially when the majority of people believe we’re just using a catchphrase to promote bioplastic. People are unable to grasp the existence of a bag or film that are both safe and will dissolve in water in minutes. Because the majority of people have never heard of PVA, we have our job cut out for us! We’re getting a lot of positive feedback, and every plastic bag we can replace with PVA is a win win situation,” Valentino said.
Describing PVA, he added that the hydrophilic synthetic polymer is manufactured by the hydrolysis of polyvinyl acetate, which is formed by the polymerization of vinyl acetate. Valentino stated, "Through crystallization, we can control the temperature when our PVA will dissolve in water, minutes, to months."
“Our PVA is made from refined biogas, renewable natural gas and minerals, contains no plastic, no toxins, no heavy metals, and no bioplastic. It dissolves in water in minutes, leaving behind carbon dioxide and water. It does not leave behind any microplastics or any residues,” he affirmed.
He stressed that PVA is safe for human consumption, having been approved by the US FDA, and is currently used as a food additive and in the medical industry, in “advanced biomedical applications such as wound dressing, wound management, drug delivery systems, artificial organs, and contact lenses.” All this is due to its ability to retain water almost as well as natural cells, as well as its biocompatible, biodegradable, and non-toxic behavior, elaborated Valentino.
Furthermore, PVA is non-toxic to animals, he says, adding that it can be eaten by fish, birds, marine and land animals, and it will safely pass through their digestive systems.
The water-soluble polymer can be mass produced in vast quantities and can be used for blown films, extrusion, or injection molding processes, virtually any product can be made from PVA, Valentino added.
In his opinion, PVA is neither a fad nor a bioplastic.
Valentino stated that his company, which also produces polylactic acid (PLA)-based products, has focused on manufacturing PVA items in order to help mitigate the problem of marine litter.
“We continue to make compostable PLA and PBAT items, but our new focus is on saving our oceans from the plague of plastic waste,” he said.
The company decided to develop PVA bags, films, and products, which are “stronger, and more durable, than petroleum based plastics.” Furthermore, PVA bags and products do not need to be recycled. They can be washed down the sink drain. If they enter the petroleum based recycling stream, they will not contaminate it. PVA waste in landfills will completely disintegrate into carbon dioxide and water as soon as rain or moisture penetrates the soil, he said.
“People cannot comprehend that there is a bag or product available that will only last minutes in the ocean and hours in a landfill,” he explained.
Light at the end of the tunnel with PVA
“Our pricing is a little more than petroleum plastic, but in my opinion, are we allowed to attach a cost to the preservation of our seas, the lives of marine animals, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions?” he ponders.
Furthermore, Bioplastics International also intends to push PVA in the medical, pharmaceutical, and cruise line industry sectors.
“This is a good start,” he noted, concluding that PVA products are not the full solution to saving the planet from complete plastic destruction, however, water soluble is the way of the future, said Valentino. MT