By: Rubina Obaid
A plastic that easily gets decomposed into the landfills and an eco-friendly option for our environment. A recent startup by Neptune team, who took the initiative of working over this project, considering it the need of time.
Increasing consumption of plastic along with negligent attitude towards proper disposal, is posing serious environmental hazards globally. Thus, Neptune Plastic came to the solution with a better alternative that is biodegradable plastic and works as a fertilizer. A plastic that easily gets decomposed into the landfills and an eco-friendly option for our environment. A recent startup by Neptune team, who took the initiative of working over this project, considering it need of the time. Lead member of the Neptune team, Marx Acosta-Rubio decided to venture on this project after getting struck by the volume of plastic trash piled everywhere on the streets of Florida. Acosta Rubio joined an incubation center to proceed with his idea. After some working he started a unique plastic business with the help of his friend.
The ideology behind the concept was to develop a type of plastic that would be able to completely decompose itself without causing any harm to the environment. As conventional plastic lives for around 1000 years and it turns into micro pieces because of the solar energy. Eventually, these small particles make their way to watersheds, rivers, and ocean to cause further contamination for the water sources and aquatic species. Hence, Neptune’s innovative approach and efforts towards developing biodegradable plastic did not go unnoticed. His unique innovation won a prize from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to introduce single-use marine-degradable, wildlife digestible, and backyard compostable plastic. Their introductory product is a polybag and in its initial stages, the group is targeting the shipping and packaging industry in its first phase.
Neptune folks are hopeful that, in your upcoming shipping soon you will start receiving biodegradable poly bags, and they further asked to observe carefully in your future shipping that a lot of your airbags would go into your compost bin instead of garbage bin. To support the team of Acosta Rubio, Birmingham Young University in Utah, have granted $10,000 as part of the 20202 Lemelson-MIT student Prize. The co-founders of Neptune plastic have planned to utilize the funding in further products and process development with the hope to bring plastic into the market in the next two to three months or as early as possible.
The group initiated with the development of single-use biodegradable plastic, while Acosta Rubio proclaimed that their plastic gets dissolved in water in a few days in a much better way. They are made up of organic material, those components which can be found in food. He further added that “When it encounters a situation like a landfill or body of water, that is when it begins to degrade, leaving no microplastics. Other uses depend on the direction of development. We have optimized the material for a specific use case (polybags) up to this point. There are a few directions that seem readily available to us, mainly things that are similar to polybags, but this really is only the beginning. “