The new category of stone-based technology results in an immediate reduction of pollution caused by everyday items.
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, April 28, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Global ingredient technology company Okeanos® introduces Made From Stone™ (MFS), a new category of materials enabling brands and manufacturers to immediately reduce the virgin plastic content of their products, and significantly lower their carbon footprint today.
Okeanos has developed a patented low-carbon footprint compound using responsibly sourced calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This natural and renewable mineral is used to replace the majority of petrochemically derived plastic in traditional compounds with natural stone. Products Made From Stone can achieve up to 2/3 reduction in plastic content and an immediate reduction of carbon footprint by a similar amount. Calcium carbonate has long been used as a filler in packaging but has been limited to small percentages due to processing and density issues. Okeanos has resolved both these problems, allowing the calcium carbonate to comprise most of the item while allowing it to remain flexible, lightweight, and floatable. Since calcium carbonate is less expensive than oil-based or bio alternatives, MFS compound is priced at the same or less than current plastic compounds.
The environmental impact of plastic is worsening by the day, and a perfect solution has yet to emerge. Plastic alternatives including bioplastics (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are limited by scalability, cost, and insufficient waste-management systems ill-equipped to handle their materials, while traditional alternatives including paper and aluminum are responsible for enormous carbon emissions. Innovators have yet to introduce an economical and scalable alternative that could tackle both plastic and CO2 reduction until now.
“Catastrophic damage is being done to the environment daily. This is a sustainability emergency, and neither companies nor countries are treating it that way. We cannot wait until 2025 or 2030 to start attacking the problem, by which time the amount of plastic in the oceans is projected to triple,” explains Okeanos co-founder and CEO Florencio Cuétara. Annually, more than 300 million tonnes of virgin plastic is produced globally, and of that, more than 8 million tonnes of that enter the oceans creating an environmental nightmare and polluting the food chain.
Solving these issues will take hundreds of billions of dollars and decades to scale worldwide. In the meantime, existing disposal options including recycling and landfills are imperfect. 50% of all plastic produced is considered “single-use,” and less than 10% of all plastic is fully recycled, and only 5% of compostable items are composted. Much of this plastic, whether collected through recycling or disposal, is incinerated, creating a separate environmental disaster of toxic air pollution and greenhouse gas release.
Okeanos has created a solution that isn’t based on speculative improvements to waste processing infrastructure years down the road and does not require a change in consumer behavior. MFS formulations will also allow many products that are currently non-recyclable (multi-material containers, multi-layer films, etc.) to enter the recycling stream, potentially hastening the adoption of new sources of post-consumer recycled materials. That being said, Okeanos is clear-eyed that the Made From Stone solution is not yet perfect – items Made From Stone still contain a small percentage of resin, which the company is working toward eliminating. But for now, the reductions in the use of virgin plastic and CO2 footprint are real, immediate, and affordable.
To develop their solution, Okeanos’ founders, both avid divers, turned to mother nature for reference – studying the natural world’s existing packaging – eggshells, coral, and seashells – comprised mostly of calcium carbonate, then conceptualized MFS by mimicking nature’s solutions. Biomimicry combined with source reduction allows Okeanos to reduce the flow of plastic into the marketplace before it gets into the hands of consumers.
“Globally, we have been approaching the plastic pollution epidemic in a reactive, downstream manner, trying to clean up the mess we’ve already made. The best solution is to solve the problem upstream by making the product out of a more sustainable material,” explains co-founder Dr. Russell Petrie.
Plastic pollution and climate change are global problems that require global solutions. Okeanos has developed a robust network of international partners on five continents to source, process, manufacture, and distribute MFS, allowing companies from Miami to Mumbai to integrate the solution easily and affordably into their existing operations with minimal environmental impact. The Okeanos network includes partners in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Africa, and the United States.
Okeanos’ formulations are designed to be run on existing machinery today, eliminating the need for costly new plants and equipment. MFS compound is available for use across traditional manufacturing processes including film, thermoforming, and molding.