A bioplastic technology developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has received top honours at the Eco-Logic Awards 2018 for making a positive contribution in the reduction of environmental pollution.

The technology took the silver award in the Eco-Innovation Award category for a new, innovative product that can potentially change the lives of South Africans whilst solving the earth’s plastic pollution challenge.

The Eco-Innovation award category recognises a new product or service that is financially viable and sustainable, and that serves the needs of humans while being equally beneficial to the earth and eco-systems.

100% biodegradable and compostable

One of the key features that made this technology a winner is that the bioplastic products are 100% biodegradable and compostable when they end up in natural environments such as landfill, compost and marine water, without any toxic residues.

A further attribute of the bioplastic is that it is made from 100% renewable resources, which consists of agro waste by-products and a biopolymer.

Additionally the CSIR bioplastic technology displays good mechanical properties that are similar to those of the conventional non-biodegradable polyethylene films and it can be processed using existing industrial equipment.

Boosting job creation

CSIR senior researcher in polymers and composites and lead developer of the technology, Dr Sudhakar Muniyasamy says the technology will contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution and boost local job creation in manufacturing.

“As a team we are very glad that the CSIR research and development work has been recognised in this way. This is an indication that the work will have an impact on society and reduce plastic pollution. We hope to get the necessary support to take it to the market,” says Dr Muniyasamy.