Textile additive allows the degradation of plastic products into benign constituents 

It is true that 60% of the textiles we use today are synthetic, polyester being the most common of all. This raw material is also used for the production of plastic bottles. One of the biggest problems it presents, however, is that it remains in the environment for centuries and while degrading it produces microplastic fibers that wreak havoc on organisms and ecosystems that encounter them. Particles can be found in the air, rainwater, soil, ocean and even in the human bloodstream. These particles are unfortunately too large and rigid for microorganisms to process and break down. There are currently no options to clean them up, reaching accumulations of alarming proportions.

Recently, Intrinsic Advanced materials (IAC), a company dedicated to the generation of alternative materials, has produced CiCLO®, an additive that allows these fibers to biodegrade in 3-4 months compared to their normal degradation. The product is added during the melt extrusion process in which fibers are formed, allowing the creation of a nutrient source for microbes, and increasing the attraction for water to assist in biodegradation. In the same way, the strength of the crystalline structure of synthetic fibers decreases, giving small organisms a greater chance to infiltrate, proliferate and completely decompose the material. In several ways, the additive along with the fibers become the conscious emulation of living structures such as tree trunks or animal tissues, which decompose at comparatively much higher rates than synthetic fibers. Likewise, it complies with life principles such as the decomposition of products into benign constituents.

Another of the best aspects of this solution stems from the company's own policy. Although CiCLO can be used in other applications such as plastic packaging, their guidelines are protective on who can use their technology, as they do not want plastic consumption to increase with biodegradability as a justification.

Source: Sustainable Brands

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