Is there a sort of plastic that can self-heal? You heard correctly! VPR plastic is a recent scientific advancement aimed at replacing granular plastic in environmental uses. What qualities does this particular kind of plastic have then? Is it safe to use in food packaging? Let's find out in the following article.
What is VPR?
- VPR, also known as vitrimer incorporated with polyester-grafted polyrotaxane, is an innovative kind of plastic that breaks down more quickly in nature. This material is made of vitrimer epoxy resin, which may be heated to change its shape yet remains stable at its normal temperature.
- VPR exhibits remarkable potential as a sustainable material due to its self-healing properties, durability at room temperature, and ease of disintegration upon waste.
- VPR plastic development is a relatively new achievement, with the first scientific articles on the material published in 2023. The material is still being developed and was created by researchers from the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Frontier Sciences.
What are Advantages of VPR Plastic?
When damaged, VPR plastic can heal itself. This is due to the plastic's polyrotaxane molecules' ability to connect and unlink reversibly. The polyrotaxane molecules can move about and patch in the fractures in the plastic when it is damaged. VPR plastic is therefore far more durable than traditional polymers. As an example: In just 60 seconds, VPR can self-heal if it is sliced with a knife and heated to 150 degrees Celsius. It can revert to its original shape when heated if it is folded into a crane shape and then flattened.
VPR is also durable. This is because the plastic is strengthened by a network formed by the polyrotaxane molecules within it. According to the study's the leader author, Shota Ando, VPR is five times more resistant to breaking than ordinary vitrimer epoxy resin. The new material can also chemically recycle itself ten times faster, self-heal fifteen times faster, and regain its original remembered shape twice as quickly.
Due to its partly biodegradability, VPR plastic has the ability to gradually transform into harmless substances. Compared to other plastics, VPR is still less dangerous when released into the environment. The researchers proved this by immersing the novel material in seawater for 30 days. It biodegrades by 25% all through that period, releasing chemicals that marine life can eat.
What are potential applications of VPR plastic in life?
With its exceptional benefits, VPR plastic can take the place of existing plastic varieties, reducing plastic waste and its negative environmental effects. The top 5 industries producing the most plastic trash are listed below:
- Packaging: Approximately 40% of all plastic trash produced worldwide comes from the packaging industry, making it a significant source of plastic garbage. This covers the packaging used for goods such as drinks, food, and cosmetics.
- Textiles: Approximately 12% of the plastic trash produced worldwide comes from the textile industry, which is another significant source of plastic garbage. This covers the plastic fibers found in textiles such as carpets and clothes.
- Construction: 6% of all plastic trash produced worldwide comes from the construction sector, which is a major source of plastic garbage. Plastics used in pipelines, windows, and roofing are examples of materials used in construction.
- The consumer products industry is a growing source of plastic trash, accounting for 5% of total worldwide plastic waste generation. This covers electronics, toys made of plastic, and other consumer products.
- The transportation industry generates 4% of all plastic trash generated globally, making it a significant source of plastic garbage. Plastics utilized in automobiles, aircraft, and other vehicles fall under this category.
VPR plastic, according to the scientists, has applications ranging from engineering to fashion, robotics to medical. As a result, while VPR plastic is still in development and not yet widely used, it is feasible to envision a future in which VPR plastic contributes to replacing dangerous plastic in the sectors listed above.
Kimecopak’s Eco Packaging That is Safe for Ocean
In actuality, it is now critical to reduce plastic waste and use sustainable materials. For food industries, Kimecopak offers eco-friendly packaging solutions. These items strive to reduce dependence on plastics and their impact on the environment, notably the marine environment. In particular:
- Paper To-go-Box: These compostable and biodegradable food containers are made of bamboo fiber, sugarcane, and kraft paper. This means that it degrades gradually, doesn't leak chemicals into the environment, and has a smaller effect on living things.
Click to find your suitable Food Packaging
- Biodegradable Straw: Available in a variety of sizes, Kimecopak's straws are composed of non-toxic materials such as sugarcane, bamboo, and bioplastic.
Click to see more about Biodegradable Straw
- Wooden Cutlery: Kimecopak's biodegradable and compostable bamboo and birchwood spoons, knives, sporks, and forks are among the items in this category. This product is entirely safe for the environment and does not include plastic.
See more about how its advantages to environment at Disposable Cutlery
- Biodegradable Beer Rings: Our beer rings, which come in 4- and 6-pack sizes, are manufactured entirely of sugarcane pulp and are environmentally safe.
Learn more about our Biogegradable Beer Rings
- Disposable Plates: Made from sugarcane waste, Kimecopak's disposable plate products are safe for the marine environment, biodegradable, and compostable.
Learn more about the Disposable Plates Canada
In short, VPR plastic is a type of plastic that can self-heal and break down without harming the environment. This is a substance with great promise that can take the place of dangerous plastics, improving the environment and life in the long run. At Kimecopak, we provide a wide range of environmentally friendly packaging options for companies that replace plastic.