The science

All Zungleboo products are made of a bio-compound: they consist of a composite material of natural bamboo fibers and bioplastic called PLA. This "bio-compound" does not contain any petroleum, and it is free of BPA and melamine. 


Part 1. PLA 


What is bioplastic (PLA)?

The term bioplastic (biopolymers) is composed of the two words - bio (organic) and plastic. They may sound like two contradictory terms, but if plastics are produced based on renewable raw materials such as plant starch, they can very well be biological and organic. Every plant performs photosynthesis and converts absorbed CO2 and water into glucose and O2 with the help of sunlight. The surplus sugar that is not consumed is stored in the form of starch, which becomes the raw material to produce bioplastics.

Bioplastics are considered far more sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics, such as PP (polypropylene). PET (polyethylene terephthalate), and PS (polystyrene). 



How do From plant starch to plates and bowls

- The plant starch is fermented to lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria (micro-organisms) and then converted by polymerisation to long-chain carbon polymers - polylactic acid.

- Small plastic granules are formed from polylactic acid (PLA), from which any desired objects can then be formed. In our case, the granules are used to make bio-plastics pallets, which pass through various machines and are formed into plates and bowls with the help of moulds, punches and heat effects.

- Done! The Zungleboo dinnerware is ready for transport and is looking forward to being used in your home

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Special characteristics of Zungleboo bioplastics

- High stability

- Free from BPA and other harmful substances

- Based on plant starch

- Fully biodegradable according to ASTMD6400

- Thermoplasticity and therefore mouldable into any object


Advantage of bioplastics over conventional plastics

5 REASONS WE LOVE PLA

corn fields for bioplastic

PLA IS MADE FROM RENEWABLE RESOURCES

BioPak PLA bioplastic foodservice packaging is made from plants, not oil. Think about it: plants are rapidly renewable and better for the environment, oil is finite, and its extraction, processing and conversion into products have adverse effects on people’s health and the environment.


greenhouse gases from smoke stack

PLA HAS A LOWER CARBON FOOTPRINT

The production of  PLA bioplastic results in 75% lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional plastic derived from fossil resources. (Source).


bioplastic cup with compostable symbol

PLA IS A COMPOSTABLE-ALTERNATIVE TO MANY PRODUCTS

BioPak PLA bioplastic products will biodegrade through the industrial composting process in a maximum of 8 weeks and are certified to Australian and European Standards (AS4736, EN13432).


less energy required for bioplastic PLA

LESS ENERGY IS REQUIRED TO CREATE PLA

According to an independent analysis by NatureWorks, producing PLA requires 65% less energy compared to conventional plastics (source).


bioplastic aligns with the circular economy

PLA ALIGNS WITH THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

A lower carbon footprint and less energy required in production are just some of the reasons PLA aligns with the circular economy. The best bit? PLA comes from natural resources and can be returned to the earth naturally through the industrial composting process – mirroring the cradle-to-cradle model of the circular economy.


  1. Fewer CO2 emissions during production

Bio-plastics such as polylactic acid (PLA) also have an advantage over conventional plastics in terms of production. In contrast to petroleum-based plastics such as PS and PET, the production of polylactic acid (PLA) causes around 60 percent fewer CO2 emissions and consumes 50 percent less non-renewable energy.



  1. Less greenhouse gas effect

Also, in "cradle to cradle" studies, PLA has advantages in terms of the greenhouse gas effect and resource conservation, as well as positive results for the overall environmental balance. 


  1. Short life instead of durable plastics

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable and compostable bioplastic. PLA is certified according to DIN 13432 and decomposes to at least 90 percent within 90 days in an industrial composting plant. Outdoor decomposition usually takes longer due to various factors. After its decomposition, no toxic residues such as chlorine-hydrocarbon compounds or inorganic substances remain, apart from the organic basic substances. 

In contrast, the decomposition of petroleum-based plastics can take centuries or millennia. Even then, tiny, possibly poisonous, micro-particles remain, which are eaten by animals and therefore partly by us. In the sea, the micro-plastic particles even absorb toxins from the water. Also, on land plastic can release toxic substances and affect the fertility of the soil. For this reason, it is important to replace the plastic products that outlive us with short-lived bioplastic products.


What are the benefits of PLA products?

PLA requires 65% less energy to produce than traditional, petroleum-based plastics. It also emits 68% fewer greenhouse gases. And that’s not all:


The environmental benefits:

Comparable to PET plastics – More than 95% of the world’s plastics are created from natural gas or crude oil. Fossil fuel-based plastics are not only hazardous; they’re also a finite resource. PLA products present a functional, renewable, and comparable replacement.

Bio-based – A bio-based product’s materials are derived from renewable agriculture or plants. Because all PLA products come from sugar starches, polylactic acid is considered bio-based.

Biodegradable – PLA products achieve international standards for biodegradation, naturally degrading rather than piling up in landfills. It does require certain conditions to degrade quickly. In an industrial composting facility, it can break down in 45–90 days.

Doesn’t emit toxic fumes – Unlike other plastics, bioplastics don’t emit any toxic fumes when they’re incinerated.

Thermoplastic – PLA is a thermoplastic, so it’s moldable and malleable when heated to its melting temperature. It can be solidified and injection-molded into various forms making it a terrific option for food packaging and 3D printing.

FDA-approved – Polylactic acid is approved by the FDA as a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) polymer and is safe for food contact.


Part 2. BAMBOO


BAMBOO - the green gold from the Far East

When people talk about bamboo, they often think of ornamental plants or balcony screen mats. But the raw material has much more to offer than just decorating domestic gardens. The most widespread misconception about bamboo is that bamboo is a type of tree. Instead of being a tree, it belongs to the sweet grass family. Over 1,400 types of bamboo grass grow frugal almost everywhere on earth, but primarily in East Asia. 


Why is bamboo called “material of the future”?


  1. The versatile miracle plant - Dense and hard as a stone, tough as steel, but at the same time, light as a feather, flexible as … Bamboo is an absolute all-rounder. This makes it easy to process and it can be used as a base material for many products.
  2. Rapid growth - Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on our planet and can grow up to 30 feet in just a month. Depending on the genus, it even grows up to 40 inches per day. Plants that will later serve as raw materials will, therefore, reach their full size after a few months. 
  3. Requiring little to no fertilizers and pesticides to grow - Unlike many other cultivated plants, bamboo does not depend on artificial irrigation methods. One of the reasons for this is the extensive root system. In addition to absorbing water, the root system also serves to constantly form new plant shoots. Harvesting a culm, therefore, does not cause the entire plant to die - as is the case with most tree species. Thus, large quantities of bamboo can be harvested without endangering the stand.
  4. Bamboo, the Earth healer - Bamboo stores more carbon dioxide and produces more oxygen than trees. It is therefore a real climate superstar and a true all-rounder. (Climate friendly due to absorption of large amounts of CO2)
  5. Long lifespan - the plant represents an infinite resource. Because of its durability and stability, the material also has a long lifespan. It is not for nothing that bamboo is considered a symbol of steadfastness and age in China. 
  6. Biodegradable
  7. Moisture resistant
  8. Attractive appearance, neutral taste
  9. Therefore, the most sustainable plant on earth

Zungleboo is a Science.