The Desintegra.me project intends to replace single-use plastics with a new material extracted from algae. Desintegra.me translates to the material which "disintegrates" when used.
The material only includes natural matter, including the dyes used to colour it, which are extracted from the skins of fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, purple cabbage, beetroot and carrot. The basic mixture is made up of a polymer, a plasticiser and an additive, with the amount of each ingredient varying, depending on the desired consistency of the final product. The polymer and main ingredient, in this case, is agar, which is extracted from red algae.
The bioplastic packaging is especially suited to dry food products, it is best sealed with heat rather than glue. The versatility of the algae-derived material means that it has the potential to generate many different types of bioplastics, some more rigid and others more flexible, just by altering the proportions of polymer, plasticiser and additive in the mixture.
Algae packaging is designed to biodegrade approximately two to three months after use, depending on the thickness of the material and the temperature of the soil.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Algae, excipients, natural pigments