In Episode 148 of the Disruptors for Good podcast, Causeartist contributor Rafael Aldon, speaks with Tommy Tjiptadjaja, Co-Founder and CEO of Greenhope, on redesigning the future of plastic through biodegradable plastic technologies.
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Plastic has been one of the most popular modern human inventions.
It provides unparalleled benefits to humankind, such as reducing costs for food transportation and fuel consumption by drastically increasing production scale while also preserving produce from farm-to table eaters with an extended shelf life in supermarkets!
The Challenges of Plastic Waste
When contemplating material sustainability for our lives, we need to think and consider the holistic picture:
- Source (renewable vs. non-renewable),
- Conversion cost (in terms of energy, money, other resources required to produce the item), and
- End of Life/Waste.
Plastic scores very well in terms of Conversion cost, better in the most matrix than paper.
However, Plastic scores the worst in End of Life/waste management, because the durability becomes a double edge sword once its useful life ends… it takes 500 years up to 1,000 yrs to degrade back to nature.
This is the most urgent challenge we need to address.
Countless debates, perspectives, analysis, research, on solving the plastic waste challenge are often biased and not balanced, too idealistic, not accounting for local economic reality and socio-cultural aspect, and/or impractical altogether.
- When Plastic becomes waste, its durability becomes a problem – it takes Plastic 500 to 1000 years to naturally degrade
- In its natural degradation process, plastic physically fragments to become dangerous micro plastic
- Human behavior and bad waste management cause up to 8mn tons plastic / yr “leak” into the ocean
Greenhope is a green technology company with two leading brands: Oxium (oxo-biodegradable additive) & Ecoplas (cassava-based biodegradable bioplastic).
The Greenhope mission is to bring innovative and useful eco-friendly products and services to the communities through collaboration with various parties such as governments, associations and non-profit organizations, together addressing the problem of plastic waste holistically and contextually.
Greenhope’s biodegradable products complete the holistic circular economy by addressing the hard-to-recycle items, the ones that are too small, too thin, distributed, mixed-up/ contaminated, the ones that are not economically viable or functional to reuse or recycle, the ones that are destined to the end of life (e.g. landfills).
They believe in 4R to complete the 3R (the last R should address the much needed end-of-life fate of the plastics after Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).
That 4th R is Return to Earth through Greenhope’s biodegradable solutions.
The award-winning Greenhope technologies are Oxium (oxo-biodegradable additive that is non-toxic with no heavy metals), Ecoplas (bio-based plastic from cassava starch), and Naturloop (home and industrial compostable bioplastic).
These technologies have gone through 10 years of research and development as well as 7 years of patent filing processes, resulting in US, Singapore, and Indonesia patents.
They are known as the market leader in Indonesia and are already exporting our technologies (resin form) as well as finished products (e.g. shopping bags, garbage bags, food containers, cups) to more than 12 countries from Southeast Asia to the United States.
Oxium is US-patented, oxo-biodegradable additive that speeds up the molecular and chemical degradation of plastic, thus helping to solve the massive accumulation of plastic waste.
Oxium’s proprietary formula is made of naturally available minerals that are non-toxic, non-heavy metals.
Oxium is used as an additive in low dosage towards regular plastic production (does not require separate/special machineries) and has proven to be an effective and every economical solution towards green plastic.
Ecoplas is cassava-based and biodegradable bioplastic made out of certified fair trade cassava, driving positive combined environmental and social impact.
Ecoplas has received numerous acknowledgment and awards domestically and internationally as one of the most competitive bio-based materials towards next generation/ sustainable green plastic.
I'm Rafael, Co-founder of regenr8 and an Impact investor working to replace old-world thinking in venture capital and accelerate regenerative business ecosystems that lead to the regeneration of our planet.