Drawing on our long history in traditional polymer production, EPL is working towards being a leader of bioplastic technology and delivering real change like our sustainable PolyNatural® plant protectors. Our scientists continue to develop new ways of reusing materials and creating more robust materials with longer useable (and reusable) lifespans. And we design with complete product lifecycle in mind, including reusability, recyclability and degradability.
PolyNatural® Terrain is bio-based polymer technology (also known as a ‘bioplastic’) that has been carefully developed to go the distance on the shelf and tested to biodegrade over time in the right soil conditions. Plant protectors made from PolyNatural® Terrain are an environmentally sound way to optimise planting projects. Not only do they protect your investment and encourage growth, they can then buried back into the soil or put in with compost.
Plant protectors made from PolyNatural® Aqua are an environmentally sound way to optimise planting projects near water. Protect your investment and encourage growth then bury them in soil or put in with compost. If some accidentally make their way into water, PolyNatural® Aqua will biodegrade (in marine and freshwater environments).
This product is still in development, however please get in touch to register your interest.Find out more about PolyNatural® Aqua
Every year the New Zealand wine industry uses millions of plastic clips to hold protective nets over the grapes. After being used for only weeks, the clips fall to the ground, contributing to a building microplastic pollution problem. PolyNatural® Terrain vine clips hold strong and are tested to biodegrade in the right soil conditions.
Are PolyNatural® Terrain plant protectors biodegradable?
PolyNatural® Terrain the material has been tested to biodegrade. Over time and in the right conditions, micro-organisms transform it into nothing more than CO2, water and biomass. It has no adverse effects on the environment and is naturally compostable without requiring a specialised composting facility.
What about PolyNatural® Aqua plant protectors – are they also biodegradable?
Similar to PolyNatural® Terrain, PolyNatural® Aqua will also biodegrade in the right soil conditions as well as certain water environments too, so you don’t need to worry too much if a plant protector accidentally made its way into a stream or the sea, for example.
Are PolyNatural® materials bio-based?
Yes. Both PolyNatural® Terrain and PolyNatural® Aqua are bio-based polymers. ‘Bio-based’ means it 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 from fossil origin, which is not renewable.
Every stage of our process is designed to generate a positive impact on the environment. We use untapped resources, non-toxic ingredients.
As the PolyNatural® materials are both biodegradable and manufactured from biomass they have the great advantage of presenting a closed loop. C02 and H2O + the biomass from biodegradation feed the growth of plants that themselves could be transformed into bio material.
What testing has been done?
For PolyNatural® Terrain, the material (before it has been processed into a plant protector) has been tested as OK Compost, OK Compost Home and OK Biodegradable for soil at 502µm The material complies to food contact applications EU10/2011.
How long will the plant protector last?
Whether it’s made from PolyNatural® Terrain or PolyNatural® Aqua, because it’s manufactured out of biomass and designed to break down over time, it really does depend on the environment it’s in. We are always looking for feedback as to how your plant protectors are going in which environment.
What do you do at the end of the life of the plant protector?
PolyNatural® Terrain is certified to biodegrade and transform into CO2, water and biomass within a defined period of time under certain temperature and environmental conditions (compost/soil/water), you can either put it in general waste or bury it in soil where it will break down and become part of the bio cycle for plant growth over and over again.
PolyNatural® Aqua can biodegrade in any of the following environments: marine, freshwater, soil, home or industrial compost, or general waste. The process in which PolyNatural™ Aqua breaks down is similar to cellulose or wood. When kept in an environment with limited bacterial and fungi activity, the material will last for a long time. If that material is discarded into the environment or compost bin, it will be consumed by microorganisms that feed off the material as a carbon food source.
Should it be stored anywhere special to stop it accidently biodegrading?
For both PolyNatural® Terrain and PolyNatural® Aqua, as soon as it 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?
Currently we are running test quantities. We are working with our partners in the collaboration to scale up production in the near future.