The sea has sustained the iwi of New Zealand for generations, providing abundant sources of food and connection. EPL is proud to be part of a mahi tahi (collaboration) that is working on a range of specific products for our fishing and aquaculture industries, developing real solutions to reduce the amount of ADLFG (abandoned lost fishing gear) and supporting the important work of the kaitiakitanga o te moano (guardians of the ocean).
PolyNatural® Aqua is a new, bio-based material that is designed to fully biodegrade in both soil and compost environments, as well as marine and freshwater environments, making it ideal for use in fishing and aquaculture industries as well as horticulture or viticulture located near waterways.
Currently under development, PolyNatural® Aqua will open the door for a wide range of useful products across industries, all while creating a positive impact on our environment.
Is PolyNatural® Aqua bio-based or biodegradable?
It’s both! As a bio-based material, PolyNatural® Aqua is made from biological materials that either occur naturally or are synthesized organic compounds that exist in nature. Often these biological materials come from waste streams of other manufacturing processes or are synthesized organic compounds. All these are renewable resources, unlike those of fossil origin, which are not renewable.
And as a biodegradable material as well, PolyNatural® Aqua is designed to fully biodegrade in marine and freshwater environments, as well as in the right soil and compost. Being both biodegradable and bio-based means PolyNatural® Aqua offers a closed loop process, with the C02, H2O and the biomass used are returned to the soil to feed the growth of plants that could then also be transformed into biomaterial.
Every stage of our process is designed to generate a positive impact on the environment. We use untapped resources and non-toxic ingredients.
What testing has been done?
The raw material that is used to make PolyNatural® Aqua has been tested to OK Biobased and OK Compost standards. We also do our own in-house testing to continue to develop PolyNatural® Aqua. To learn more about the chemistry see “What is the science around PolyNatural® Aqua?” below.
How long will PolyNatural® Aqua last?
As a bio-based product that is designed to break down over time, how long it lasts will depend on many environmental factors, including temperature, levels of moisture, other microflora present, pH value, etc.
Should it be stored anywhere special to stop it accidently biodegrading?
As soon as PolyNatural® Aqua comes into contact with microbes, it will start to biodegrade. So, when not in use, store in a cool dry environment.
Is PolyNatural® Aqua available to purchase?
PolyNatural® Aqua is currently under development, in collaboration with several partners. If you’d like to be part of our mahi tahi and contribute to the development of specific products using PolyNatural® Aqua, please get in touch.
What is the science around PolyNatural®?
The main raw material for PolyNatural® Aqua is made from a family of naturally occurring polymers that are synthesized by 40% of the world’s microorganisms, meaning microbes will consume PolyNatural® as an energy and carbon source.
PolyNatural® exerts no negative effect on the biosphere surrounding them (e.g., on living organisms, cell lines, living tissue, ecosystems). In fact, it acts as an energy source for microorganisms, for a net positive effect on the environment.
Factors that influence the rate of PolyNatural® biodegradability are the shape and thickness of the product as well as environmental factors including humidity, pH value, temperature, UV radiation, and surrounding microflora.
PolyNatural® Aqua is a truly circular material, from manufacturing to breakdown.
If you’d like to be part of protecting the taonga tuku iho o te moano, please get in touch and join us in caring for the future generations of our country.