It’s no secret that the world has a plastic pollution problem. Each year, 300 million tons of plastic are made, and even worse, 50% of it is for single-use plastics. However, what if this was replaced with dissolving plastic?
Newlight Technologies believes it has the solution in its new alternative called AirCarbon. It functions exactly like plastic, but it dissolves within water and is fully biodegradable. This will solve the plastic pollution problem oceans face.
However, what’s holding back this new technology?
Dissolving Plastic is Expensive
AirCarbon is still a relatively new technology and as a result, it’s expensive. And that’s a big problem.
Normal plastic is extremely cheap, which is why it is so popular among companies.
For example, one of the most popular single-use plastics is kitchen utensils. If you take a trip to your store for a dollar or two you can buy yourself 100 plastic utensils. However, a full cutlery set made of AirCarbon would run you $6.99.
It’s far more expensive than plastic, but that’s because it’s new. Newlight Technologies is aiming to scale up production, which will help keep prices low and make it more competitive.
It’s Carbon Negative
On top of helping solve the plastic pollution problem, it also aims to help solve the emissions problem. Just this year AirCarbon was certified as Carbon Negative, which means it removes carbon from the atmosphere.
Replacing plastic with AirCarbon would have a massive impact on the climate.
In 2019, plastic production released 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases. Reducing that to nothing would be the equivalent of shutting down 189 500MW coal power plants, which is absolutely insane.
However, before it can replace the plastic on the large scale it needs to become more competitive in its pricing. But as we have seen in renewable energy, it’s very possible for the price to not only be competitive but superior.