Smart Plastic Team

Revolutionizing the sustainability of plastic to preserve our planet for future generations.

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What are nanoplastics? An engineer explains concerns about particles too small to see.

Nanoplastics – little bits of plastic, smaller than a pencil eraser – are turning up everywhere and in everything, including the ocean, farmland, food, and human bodies. Now a new term is gaining attention: nanoplastics. These particles are even tinier than microplastics, and that's a huge problem.

It’s become common to read that microplastics – little bits of plastic, smaller than a pencil eraser – are turning up everywhere and in everything, including the ocean, farmland, food and human bodies. Now a new term is gaining attention: nanoplastics. These particles are even tinier than microplastics – so small that they’re invisible to the naked eye.

Nanoplastics are a type of microplastic, distinguished by their extremely small size. Microplastics are usually less than 5 millimeters across; nanoplastics are between 1 and 1,000 nanometers across. For comparison, an average human hair is roughly 80,000-100,000 nanometers wide.

Nanoplastics are attracting growing concern thanks to recent technological advances that have made researchers more able to detect and analyze them. Their smaller size means that they are more easily transported over long distances and into more diverse environments than microplastics. They can more easily penetrate cells and tissues in living organisms, which could lead to different and more acute toxicological effects.

Studies in the past two years have found nanoplastics in human blood, in liver and lung cells, and in reproductive tissues such as the placenta and the testes. Around the world, nanoplastics have been found in the air, in seawater, in snow and in soil.

We already know that microplastics are present from the heights of Mount  Everest to deep ocean trenches. Now there is growing evidence that nanoplastics are more prevalent than larger microplastics in the environment.

Where they come from and where they go

Nanoplastics are created when everyday products such as clothes, food and beverage packaging, home furnishings, plastic bags, toys and toiletries degrade. This can be caused by environmental factors such as sunlight or wear and tear from mechanical action. Many personal care products, such as scrubs and shampoos, can also release nanoplastics.

Like larger plastic particles, nanoplastics can come from a variety of polymer types, including polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride. Because plastic products are widely used, it is hard to avoid nanoplastics in our daily lives.

When plastics reach the nanoscale, they present unique questions and challenges because of their tiny size and varying surface properties and composition. Since nanoplastics are small, they can easily penetrate cells and tissues that larger particles cannot. If they accumulate within living organisms, they could potentially cause adverse biological effects.

Graphic comparing size of nano- and microplastic fragments to a virus, smoke particle, grain of salt, human hair and pencil tip
Nanoplastics are several orders of magnitude smaller than microplastics. Center for International Environmental Law, CC BY-ND

The fate of nanoplastics in the environment is an ongoing research topic. Scientists don’t know yet whether nanoplastics further degrade in various environments into smaller particles, or into polymers, which are their basic building blocks – large molecules made of many small molecules strung together.

Detecting nanoplastics

Finding nanoplastics is challenging because they are so tiny and have diverse chemical compositions and structures. Researchers are refining different approaches for detecting nanoplastics, using techniques including Raman spectroscopy, chromatography and mass spectrometry. These methods can see the shapes and analyze the properties of nanoplastic particles.

In a 2024 study, researchers from Columbia University presented a new technology that was able to see and count nanoplastics in bottled water with high sensitivity and specificity. Unlike previous studies that could detect only a limited amount of nanoplastic particles, this study found that each liter of bottled water that was analyzed contained more than 100,000 plastic particles, most of which were nanoplastics.

A scientist looks at a computer screen that shows an enlarged red area.
Columbia University physical chemist Naixin Qian zooms in on an image generated from a microscope scan, with nanoplastics appearing as bright red spots. AP Photo/Mary Conlon

More studies need to be done before scientists can conclude whether all bottled water contains nanoplastics. But this new technique opens the door for further research.

Are nanoplastic particles toxic?

The toxicity of nanoplastics is another field of ongoing research. Some studies have suggested that these particles could pose significant risks to ecosystems and human health. One recent study suggested that they may be a risk factor for heart disease.

Another concern is that chemical pollutants, heavy metals and pathogens may stick to nanoplastics and become concentrated in the environment. This process could potentially expose living organisms to high concentrations of these harmful substances.

Nanoplastics clearly are a part of modern environments, but scientists need more research and information to understand what kinds of threats they could pose. As toxicologists often say, “The dose makes the poison.” In other words, actual exposure matters a lot. It is difficult to assess toxicity without knowing actual concentrations.

It is well known that larger plastic debris can fragment into nanoplastics, but there is much to learn about how these fragments degrade further. Researchers are working to detect and understand nanoplastics across many environments so that they can develop effective strategies to manage and mitigate these materials’ effects on people and the planet.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here.

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[Buffalo Grove, Ill., Aug. 1] - Smart Plastic Technologies, a pioneering company in sustainable plastic solutions, is delighted to announce the appointment of Jerry Starr as the new chairman of its Board of Directors. Mr. Starr, the visionary CEO of Aargus Plastics, brings decades of expertise and a remarkable track record in the plastic industry to the Smart Plastic team. His outstanding leadership and commitment to innovation align seamlessly with Smart Plastic Technologies' mission to revolutionize the global fight against plastic waste.


Aargus Plastics, Inc., founded in 1959, stands as one of the nation's most versatile low- and high-density polyethylene extruders, printers, converters and recyclers. The company has continually adapted to meet the dynamic needs of its customers while maintaining a strong commitment to sustainability. Their range of recyclable products is custom-made to precise specifications and proudly manufactured in the United States.


Jerry Starr's journey with Aargus began in 1971 when he seized the opportunity to acquire a small plastic bag making company, Aargus Poly Bag in Chicago. Under his stewardship, Aargus Plastics witnessed substantial growth, evolving into a22-extrusion line and flexographic printing powerhouse. Starr's strong vision and unwavering commitment to excellence propelled the company to new heights of success. Alongside his wife, Sherry, and eldest son, Scott, Mr. Starr has steered the thriving family business for over three decades.

"We are thrilled to welcome Jerry Starr as the new Board of Directors chairman,"said Tim Murtaugh, founder and CEO of Smart Plastic Technologies. "His wealth of experience in the plastic industry, along with his passionate pursuit of sustainability, perfectly aligns with our values and vision. With Jerry's guidance and expertise, we are confident that Smart Plastic Technologies will continue to lead the way in transforming plastic waste management."

Earlier this year, Smart Plastic announced its status as a certified BCorp, acknowledging its dedication to combatting the global plastic waste crisis and utilizing its innovative bio-assimilation technologies as a force for good. Its cutting-edge SPTek ECLIPSE™ technology offers a bio-assimilable solution that allows plastic products—including stretch film, shopping bags,food service items and more—to degrade completely, leaving no harmful microplastics behind. This revolutionary technology has empowered the company to develop sustainable product offerings that significantly reduce the environmental impact of plastic materials.


SmartPlastic Technologies looks forward to collaborating with Jerry Starr to driveinnovation and sustainability in the plastic industry.

To learn more about Smart Plastic Technologies, please visit

About Smart Plastic Technologies:

Smart Plastic Technologies is a sustainability disruptor in the waste management, environmental and human wellness sectors, redefining the potential of plastic. The company's goal is to transform plastic into a material that supports a circular economy and a regeneration model for the planet and its inhabitants. Smart Plastic Technologies' advanced technologies enhance the beneficial properties of plastic while significantly reducing its environmental impact. All products are 100% recyclable, FDA-approved and designed for the circular economy.

Press Contacts:

Chuck Morris
Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Tim Murtaugh
CEO and Founder

Robin Misir
Senior Vice President

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[Buffalo Grove, Ill., June 29] — Smart Plastic Technologies, a global leader in sustainable plastic solutions, is proud to announce its official B Corp certification. This prestigious recognition acknowledges Smart Plastic's dedication to combatting the global plastic waste crisis and utilizing its innovative bio-assimilation technologies as a force for good.

Administered by B Lab, a nonprofit organization driving positive social and environmental change through business, the B Corp certification process rigorously evaluates a company's social and environmental impact. Smart Plastic Technologies underwent a comprehensive assessment of its operations and business model, ensuring alignment with B Lab's standards of transparency, accountability and sustainability.

As a B Corp-certified company, Smart Plastic Technologies joins a global community of like-minded businesses committed to making a positive impact on society and the planet.

We are thrilled to have earned the B Corp certification," said Tim Murtaugh, CEO and founder of Smart Plastic Technologies. "This achievement reflects our commitment to sustainable plastic solutions and reinforces our mission to drive meaningful change in the waste management, environmental and human wellness sectors. We are proud to join the B Corp community and collaborate with other purpose-driven organizations.

Smart Plastic Technologies develops innovative materials that minimize the environmental impact of plastics. The company's sustainable product offerings aim to reduce waste, promote recyclability and mitigate the negative effects of plastic pollution. Through its performance additives, Smart Plastic Technologies protects the health and well-being of both people and the planet while profoundly enhancing the behavior and beneficial properties of plastic.

Smart Plastic’s bio-assimilation technology allows plastic to degrade to a molecular weight that can be consumed by living organisms. This represents the final and conclusive stage of plastic biodegradation, leaving behind no microplastics.

The company’s collaborations with Munchkin, a renowned provider of baby and toddler products, PFN, a leading manufacturer of human wellness nonwovens, and Sigma Stretch Film, an industry leader in stretch film, enable Smart Plastic Technologies to expand its reach and bring sustainable solutions to diverse sectors, creating a positive ripple effect across industries.

The B Corp certification underscores Smart Plastic Technologies' ongoing commitment to operating as a responsible and sustainable business, delivering solutions that support a circular economy and a regeneration model for the future.

To learn more about Smart Plastic Technologies, please visit

About Smart Plastic Technologies:

Smart Plastic Technologies is a sustainability disruptor in the waste management, environmental and human wellness sectors, redefining the potential of plastic. The company's goal is to transform plastic into a material that supports a circular economy and a regeneration model for the planet and its inhabitants. Smart Plastic Technologies' advanced technologies enhance the beneficial properties of plastic while significantly reducing its environmental impact. All products are 100% recyclable, FDA-approved and designed for the circular economy.

Press Contacts:

Chuck Morris
Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Tim Murtaugh
CEO and Founder

Robin Misir
Senior Vice President

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Smart Plastic at the National Restaurant Association Show

Smart Plastic Technologies Showcases Breakthrough SPTek ECLIPSE Bioassimilation Solutions at the National Restaurant Association Show 2023  (North Building Booth #5628)

Smart Plastic Technologies continues to make a significant impact on the global plastic waste crisis with its revolutionary, patent-pending, SPTek ECLIPSE Bioassimilation technology. This weekend, the company's vice president, Robin Misir, and his team will be attending the highly anticipated National Restaurant Association Show 2023 in Chicago to showcase these groundbreaking solutions.

With the ECLIPSEBioassimilation technology, Smart Plastic is providing immediate and scalable answers to the environmental challenges posed by plastic waste. Introduced to the market approximately two years ago, SPTek ECLIPSE Bioassimilation technology has received acceptance in a wide range of product applications. Smart Plastic is excited to exhibit at the National Restaurant Association Show 2023 and introduce this innovative technology to the restaurant and QSR industries.


Addressing the Problem

The world is drowning in plastic waste. Of the 407 million tons of plastic produced annually, a mere 6% is properly recycled. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for innovative solutions.

SPTek ECLIPSEBioassimilation technology provides a sustainable solution to eliminate plastic waste by completely breaking down polyolefins, which are the most widely used types of plastic. This means that instead of plastics ending up as long-lasting waste in landfills or polluting the environment as microplastics, the technology ensures full bioassimilation—their complete breakdown after a programmed useful life period as required by the brand owner. This breakthrough allows for proper end-of-life disposal and offers a safety net in case of mismanaged disposal. By targeting the most prevalent plastics and providing a sustainable way to deal with them, Smart Plastic Technologies has reached a significant milestone in the fight against the global plastic waste crisis.

Read on to learn more about the specific use cases of SPTek ECLIPSE Bioassimilation technology.


Plastic straws contribute significantly to the global plastic waste crisis, with 500 million single-use straws discarded daily in the United States alone. Smart Plastic tackles this problem head-on with the SPTek ECLIPSE™ Bioassimilation Straw, which offers a scalable and environmentally friendly alternative. These straws are designed to be 100% recyclable and bioassimilate within approximately 42 months, eliminating legacy plastic’s long-lasting harm to the environment.



Traditional multi-layer pouches pose a significant challenge to recycling efforts, with the majority ending up in landfills. The SPTek ECLIPSE™ Pouch provides a game-changing solution: a recyclable alternative that maintains the beneficial properties of stand-up pouches. These pouches are entirely made of a homogenous material, including the zipper, ensuring hassle-free recycling and eliminating the accumulation of plastic waste in landfills. As with all SPTek-infused products, in the event of inappropriate disposal, the pouch will fully bioassimilate.



Stretch film is a ubiquitous plastic shipping material used extensively in the global economy. It is the number-one use of polyolefin film in the world. SPTek VANISH Stretch Film, powered by SPTek ECLIPSE Bioassimilation technology, provides a recyclable and environmentally conscious solution that bioassimilates within approximately 6-24 months, leaving zero microplastics behind. By using this stretch film, businesses can protect their cargo without compromising the environment, preventing billions of pounds of plastic waste from entering ecosystems and landfills annually.


The Results

By incorporating SPTek ECLIPSEBioassimilation technology into foodservice products, Smart Plastic Technologies is spearheading a positive change in the industry. Our commitment to reducing plastic waste ensures these innovative solutions have a lasting positive impact on the environment. With the adoption of SPTek ECLIPSE Bioassimilation products,foodservice companies are joining the global effort to reduce the volume of plastic in landfills and eliminate the plastic waste crisis that damages ecosystems around the world.


Come Say Hi!

The presence of Smart Plastic Technologies at the National Restaurant Association Show 2023 in Chicago, with Vice President Robin Misir leading the way, represents a significant milestone in the fight against plastic waste. SPTek ECLIPSE Bioassimilation technology has proven to be the most effective solution to the plastic waste crisis, ensuring that plastic products can be disposed of responsibly and without harm to the environment. By developing these innovative solutions, Smart Plastic Technologies continues to lead the charge toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Take a few minutes to visit Robin and the team in NorthBuilding Booth #5628 at the show this weekend and learn how Smart Plastic can help your business conquer the plastic waste crisis.

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PFNonwovens: Making Polyolefin Degradable

PFNonwovens’ new Eclipse® technology by Smart Plastic renders polyolefin-based nonwovens degradable.

Headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, PFNonwovens has been a leading global producer and innovator of customized spunmelt nonwoven fabrics for decades. This INDA member manufactures nonwovens for use in the personal hygiene market such as baby diapers, adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products and wipes. PFN also supplies construction, agricultural and medical applications.

"Our tradition of innovation is continuing today with the development of a sustainable solutions platform to improve end-of-non-woven product life," said Tonny de Beer, Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer for PFN.

PFN’s product advances include carbon footprint optimization and carbon footprint modeling. One example of these advances is our end-of-non-woven product life breakthrough innovation based on Smart Plastic's SPTek ECLIPSE™ bio-assimilation technology, which renders polyolefin based nonwovens degradable. Smart Plastic Technologies confirms that ECLIPSE™ is backed by the world’s first C-13 carbon labeling bio-assimilation test, which definitively demonstrated the transfer of carbon from an ECLIPSE™-enabled polyolefin film into the cell walls of microorganisms, creating biomass.

This joint venture in collaboration with Smart Plastic Technologies is progressing rapidly. Nonwoven manufacturing process validation steps including masterbatch addition and formula optimization have been successfully demonstrated. Accelerated aging tests of the ECLIPSE™-enabled nonwovens showed the desired rapid disintegration (e.g., polymer molecular weight reduction) profiles of the PP based material. Followup bio-assimilation tests, including microbial consumption resulting in water, small amounts of carbon dioxide, and biomass as final products at specific conditions simulating various end-of-product life environments (e.g. terrestrial, marine, etc.), are currently underway.  

Finally, PFN’s robust corporate environmental sustainability program, which is centered around emissions and waste reduction, contributes to further reduce PFN’s impact on the environment. For example, 100% green electricity is now used at all the company’s manufacturing sites in the Czech Republic.

(This article originally appeared on the INDA website and is republished here in its entirety with permission).

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Smart Plastic Partnership Featured in Munchkin® Sustainability Report

Through our unique partnership, Smart Plastic and Munchkin® are changing plastic. Munchkin products and packaging using Smart Plastic's ECLIPSE™ technology will disappear from the Earth, leaving zero plastic waste.

We couldn't contain our smiles all around when we recently read about our ECLIPSE™ technology being featured in Munchkin's sustainability report. Our partnership with Munchkin is unique, and it is changing plastic for the better — for a brighter future on our "Big Blue Marble." Munchkin CEO Steven Dunn says it best in his opening letter:

"Big changes begin with baby steps. But let’s cut to the chase; we’re way past learning to walk. When I began Munchkin 32 years ago, I had a goal of simplifying parenting by inventing smart, reliable products. This promise still holds true today, but it has added weight. Our newest innovations look beyond immediate usage and focus on long-term environmental sustainability to support a 360 world. It’s not complicated. We invest in our children’s future, just as parents do each day. Kids grow fast, so we need to work faster. Our ongoing commitment to the United Nations Global Compact (the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative) and our recent announcement with Smart Plastic Technologies reinforce the actions we are taking to preserve our children’s playground. Concerned about greenwashing? So are we. This report does more than make promises. It is packed with the actions we are making to change the world today." —STEVEN B. DUNN, CEO & Founder, Munchkin Inc.

We couldn't agree more.

You may read the entire report here:

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Robin Misir promoted to Senior Vice President

We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Robin Misir to Senior Vice President!

As our new Senior Vice President, Robin will be working closely with our CEO Tim to oversee company operations and promote company growth through 2023 and beyond.

Robin has a successful history of leading initiatives for sales, marketing, and business development for underperforming mid-size companies. His expertise lies in managing the development of custom equipment, products, and process designs that positively impact both the environment and the bottom line.

Throughout his career, Robin has used his forward-thinking skills as an executive to deliver superior operations and product development results. Robin has a track record of finding innovative ways of using revolutionary technology to grow revenue and increase margins.

With Robin as our new Senior Vice President, we will thrive in our mission of transforming plastic into a material that supports circular and regeneration economic models for the future of our planet and its inhabitants.

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We’re going back to PACK EXPO 2022!

Visit us at PACK EXPO 2022 in Chicago, IL, October 23-26, 2022.

four weeks, the Smart Plastic team will be headed to PACK EXPO International 2022!

Last year's event was truly remarkable - we had the opportunity to meet industry leaders from across the United States and beyond. Our entire team is looking forward to this opportunity again.

We will be at Booth #W-23046 in the Containers and Materials Pavillion (West Building) all week.

This year our team is ready to chat all things sustainability, including how our revolutionary ECLIPSE™ Stretch Film and Co-Ex films are making a serious impact on the polymer industry.

PACK EXPO International is the largest packaging and processing trade show in the world. With over 2,000 exhibitors and >40,000 attendees, there will be no shortage of networking and engaging with the industry's best!

Learn more about this year’s event by visiting

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See what others have to say about us!

We recently heard from Highlight Industries who completed a comparison test between traditional Stretch Film and SPTek ECLIPSE™ Stretch Film. See what they had to say!

We pride ourselves on developing products that have all the beneficial properties of plastic without the added environmental damage. It’s essential that our products live up to not only our own customers’ standards – but also to their customers’ standards as well.We recently received the following testimonial from one of our customers and couldn't be more thrilled to hear it.

Highlight Industries:

“Highlight recently conducted comparative lab and load stability tests on two high-performance commercial stretch films, one made with Smart Plastic's SPTek ECLIPSE™ bio-assimilation technology and another without the additive. All tests performed yielded statistically equivalent results, with no noticeable difference in the excellent performance properties of the commercial film, with or without the ECLIPSE™ additive. These results are all the more impressive considering the ECLIPSE™ content will reportedly render the stretch film capable of complete bio-assimilation. This is a real win for green technology in the stretch film industry.”
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Meet our longest standing technical partner, LMPE

Smart Plastic Technologies has been working with LMPE since 2016 to conduct research and develop SPTek products. This technical partnership is integral to our work and company growth.

At Smart Plastic our partnerships are a fundamental support mechanism for our business. We are thrilled to highlight a key technical partner that we have been working with since the beginning to create and irrevocably prove our ECLIPSE™ technology - LMPE, an eco-compatible polymeric materials laboratory based in Lucca, Italy.

Together with LMPE, Pisa University, CNR Laboratories, and other university bio-science labs, we designed and conducted the first-ever C-13 test to determine bio-assimilation in ECLIPSE™-enabled plastic. This bio-assimilation test conclusively tracks the origin of carbon within a closed environment using Carbon-13. In addition to our laboratory work, Dr. Lucia Perez, LMPE’s former Materials & Bio-Systems Engineer, is a member of our Science Advisory board, supporting the technical development of our products.

The methodology of the C-13 carbon labeling test is quite simple, it took degraded ECLIPSE™ material and fed it to a colony of microorganisms in order to prove bio-assimilation. To track the amount of carbon given off during the test and the growth of the colony, proving bio-assimilation, the researchers used carbon labeling with Carbon-13 atoms. The carbon labeling showed that the locked hydro-carbon chains in the plastic broke down to an open carbon source which the colony of microorganisms could use as a fuel source, breaking the material down completely with no microplastics left.

Wikipedia describes carbon labeling as such:

Carbon labeling is a form of isotopic labeling where a carbon-12 atom has been replaced with either a carbon-13 atom or a carbon-14 atom in a chemical compound so as to 'tag' that position of the compound to assist in determining the way a chemical reaction proceeds.

We began working with LMPE in 2016 to conclusively prove our revolutionary ECLIPSE™ technology. We are delighted that such a reputable laboratory is one of our technical partners and we look forward to working with LMPE as we continue to better plastic for the future of our planet and its inhabitants.

About LMPE

LMPE (Ecosustainable Polymeric Materials Laboratory) srl Benefit Company is an Italian Innovative Start-up and is an affiliated Spin-off to INSTMThe National Inter-University Consortium of Materials Science and Technology. LMPE’s mission is aimed at the research & development of materials, processes, and technologies in the field of polymeric materials, and semi-finished and eco-friendly finished products.

Understanding the importance of the circular economy, LMPE is a member of the ICESP (Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform). LMPE uses a set of modern equipment in collaboration with the INSTM Consortium and the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the Pisa University.

The following tests are completed at LMPE:

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