News from Smart Plastic

With new technology and developments around every corner, things move fast at Smart Plastic HQ. Keep up with everything right here.

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49% of women's clothing by major brands are made from virgin plastics

Nearly half of of women's clothes for sale on some of the leading online websites are made entirely from new plastics, according to a study.

The BBC writes on June 11, 2021, Half of fast fashion made of new plastics, finds report.

Research completed by Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) found on average 49% of clothing made by Boohoo, Prettylittlething, Missguided and Asos were made of polyester, acrylic, nylon and elastane, with only 3% of those clothes containing recycled plastics.

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Scientists recreate "spider silk" as a scalable plastic alternative

Researchers have created a plant-based, sustainable, scalable material that could replace single-use plastics in many consumer products.

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News writes: Plant-Based, Sustainable, Scalable “Spider Silk” Provides Plastic Alternative.

The strongest material on the planet, spider silk, is the inspiration behind a new plant-based plastic alternative, removing the challenges that come with the micro and nano structures of traditional plant-based plastic. This new, energy efficient method mimics spider silk on a molecular level and will result in a plastic-like free-standing film that can be composted at home.

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Companies enabling supply chains with sustainable pallets

The companies that make, sell or rent pallets are working harder than ever to help customers achieve their supply chain sustainability goals.

Bridget McCrea writes for Modern Materials Handling in Supporting the world’s sustainability goals, one pallet at a time:

Pallets are often shared among companies, given a “second life” as retail store fixtures, and often pilfered, only to be yet again reused by the thieves that lifted them. Pallets are also active participants in the circular economy, a system aimed at eliminating waste and continually reusing resources.

End consumers are demanding more transparency when it comes to sustainability measures taken by large-scale organizations. To keep up with this demand and to support sustainable change in supply chains, companies like ORBIS, Litco International and PECO Pallets are implementing circular economy tactics when it comes to creating and recycling pallets.

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Dave Ford, Executive Director of Ocean Plastics Leadership Network, writes:

Solving the plastic crisis is urgent. An estimated 11 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans each year. That’s a garbage truck and a half of plastic every minute of every day. If we delay dramatic action by just five years, an additional 80 million metric tons of plastic will end up in the ocean by 2040 (250 Empire State Buildings worth of trash). Without action, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight.

Led by the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network in partnership with WWF and Greenpeace, this two day event garnered support for a global treaty that would be ambitious enough to match the scale and urgency of the plastic waste problem. Read the four key take aways from the virtual event over on GreenBiz.

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How Lego Perfected the Recycled Plastic Brick

After 72 years and billions of interlocking polymer toy bricks, the company finally has an eco-friendly alternative.

Jeremy White writing for Wired:

Each year, more than 380 million metric tons of plastic is produced worldwide. Lego is responsible for 100,000 metric tons of it. This contribution to the annual total is, of course, the result of making its classic children’s toy. Lego’s impact may initially appear to be a sliver of that plastic output, but it still counts. Why? That 100,000 metric tons of polymer was last year turned into 110 billion bricks.

Back in 2015, kids' toys conglomerate Lego announced it would be investing a large sum into a Sustainable Materials Center. Six years later and after testing over 250 PET materials, Lego has confirmed a suitable PET plastic alternative produced from discarded bottles. This discovery, made by a team of 150, is the first brick made from a recycled material that meets most of Lego’s requirements for its standard ABS bricks.

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Global Plastic Pollution May Be Nearing an Irreversible Tipping Point

Plastic is found everywhere on the planet: from deserts and mountaintops to deep oceans and Arctic snow.

Stockholm University writing for SciTechDaily:

Current rates of plastic emissions globally may trigger effects that we will not be able to reverse, argues a new study by researchers from Sweden, Norway and Germany published on July 2nd in Science. According to the authors, plastic pollution is a global threat, and actions to drastically reduce emissions of plastic to the environment are “the rational policy response.”

If the world continues on the same path, the amount of plastic dumped in our water ways is expect to double by 2025. We are on the verge of an irreversible tipping point according to a new study by researchers from Sweden, Norway and Germany, and our current waste management systems are no longer adequate to handle the amount of plastic waste consumer culture produces.

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Smart Plastic announces first-ever fully recyclable and compostable plastic straw

The SPTek ECLIPSE™ Straw is the only 100% recyclable plastic straw on the market that will conclusively bio-assimilate, resulting in zero microplastics.

Smart Plastic Technologies has launched the SPTek ECLIPSE™ Straw, an innovative product that will completely bio-assimilate in marine, terrestrial and all landfill environments within 12–42 months, resulting in zero microplastics. The straw, which meets all requirements for hot, cold, foamy and frozen beverages, is produced with SmartPlastic’s patent-pending SPTek ECLIPSE™ bio-assimilation technology. In a world’s first, this technology is backed by the C-13 carbon labelling and bio-assimilation test, conducted byLMPE, a respected eco-compatible polymeric materials laboratory located in Lucca, Italy.

"What’s unique about this product is its ability to truly and completely bio-assimilate in all environments - from industrial composting, to marine, terrestrial and anaerobic landfill environments - leaving behind zero microplastics.” stated Jay Tapp, President and COO, Smart Plastic.“In addition, the SPTek ECLIPSE™ Straw is made from 100% recyclable materials. This is where it differs from traditional compostable products, including paper straws, which cannot be recycled. This ensures that no matter where the straw falls at its end of life, it will not be detrimental to our planet or its inhabitants."

According to studies, 500 millions plastic straws are used every day throughout the United States alone. And while traditional plastic straws made from polypropylene (PP)are recyclable, they’re often not accepted at recycling centers because their size makes it difficult to properly sort them. Following a guaranteed lifespan of 18 months, the SPTek ECLIPSE™ enabled straws will completely bio-assimilate in as little as 12 months, resulting in nothing but C02, water and biomass.

Smart Plastic is the first company to pass the comprehensive C-13 carbon labelling and bio-assimilation test to determine the technology’s performance in all environments. The SPTek ECLIPSE™ straws are made up of 99% polypropylene (PP) and 1% SPTek ECLIPSE™.

Earlier in 2020 the company launched certified isolation gowns for healthcare heroes that also completely bio-assimilate, leaving behind zero microplastics.

For more information about the SPTek ECLIPSE™ Straw, visit

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The deception of greenwashing in fast fashion

Terms such as ‘ethical’ or ‘eco-friendly’ have no legal significance and encourages lack of accountability

This recent article from DownToEarth takes a deeper look at greenwashing in the fashion industry:

The term ‘greenwashing’ was coined by environmentalist Jay Westervelt in 1986 which refers to misleading advertisements or false claims by companies that suggest they are doing more for the environment than they actually are.

Such practices deceive customers with claims that are not backed by evidence and bear social, ethical and environmental repercussions.

Have a read to learn how to identify greenwashing.

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Implementing circular business model for global brands

Moving from a linear business model to a circular takes time, effort, and trial and error. But it also has its hidden benefits.

Organizations all over the world are starting to see the necessity and potential of implementing circular business models. GreenBiz Group spoke with three companies embracing these practices at GreenBiz 21: REI, IKEA and Eileen Fisher. Whether its reusing, reselling or recycling, each company is adding one or more pillars of the circular economy to their business practices.

Shifting to a circular business model creates opportunities for companies to reach new customers, all while exciting and engaging their loyal base and having a positive impact on the planet. Check out four lessons these companies have learned from adding circular business practices below.

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Mission Possible: Achieving a Sustainable Future

As part of their Mission Possible campaign, edie released this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

Each week edie compiles the top five sustainability wins in its Mission Possible: Achieving a Sustainable Future series.

Last week Procter & Gamble announced new packaging for its Gillette brand that will reduce their annual plastic output by 66 metric tonnes. With a goal of halving the amount of virgin plastic Gillette uses by 2030, this switch is a positive step forward. This is a powerful example of how large-scale organizations can implement strategies to reduce plastic waste without sacrificing quality.

Take a look at the other four sustainability success from last week in the article: P&G reduces plastics and record UK wind bids: The sustainability success stories of the week.

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