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Changing plastic for good

Wed 28 Jul 2021 | 08:08 am GMT
Helena Mansell-Stopher | Products of Change Writer

Change Plastic for Good

Canadian company Change Plastic for Good is pioneering a revolutionary product called BDP (breakdown plastic), which can be added to plastics to speed up decomposition. Ryan Jesse is the founder and CEO of Change Plastic for Good and he talks to us about this revolutionary new technology which could change the face of plastics. How did you come to create the BDP formula? BDP is an organic biotechnology developed from the medical industry. This technology existed in the late 1990’s in sutures and our scientists began developing these ingredients to be added into plastics to attract microbes in biologically active environments like oceans, landfills, under soil and anaerobic compost. The proprietary ingredients and nutrients used in BDP are a natural food source for microbes in nature. We fuse these ingredients onto the polymer chain and then blend this into plastic products such as PET, PVC, Nylon, Polystyrene and almost all types of plastics. What partners are you working with? There is a lot of money to be made in sustainable products and consequently, there is a lot of greenwashing. Our butterfly symbolises a lighthouse in the sustainability storm, representing effective technologies and so much more. We collect a licence fee from our customers that is donated to organisations like Parley for the Ocean and A Plastic Ocean Foundation that clean up ocean plastics and recycle it back into products. Parley collect and divert plastic bottles and send them to companies like Adidas who make shoes with it. Around 11 million pairs of shoes have been made with ocean plastic that Parley collected. In the near future, some of these non-recyclable plastics will be made with BDP and be diverted to anaerobic digesters which will convert the plastic into clean energy, compost and fertiliser. We also use these fees to help fund new R&D into developing other technologies that will lead to converting plastic waste into clean energy, compost, fertiliser and even new plastic. This is being done currently in partnership with three universities: two in England and one in the U.S. The brands that work with us display our Change Plastic for Good butterfly which tells their customers a regenerative story and the consumers are helping clean up our oceans and fund this research whether they know it or not. What new technologies are you working on? We have just launched BDP wood which is a line of resins that cut out 50% of the plastic in toys and other injection moulded products. We replace it with by-products from the paper industry, sourced from sustainable forests. We blend in BDP as well which allows the toys to decompose once disposed, releasing the wood to biodegrade as well. Normally these bio-based plastic entomb the natural materials they are made with, so the addition of BDP creates a very beneficial product. We will be launching loyalty products with BDP wood shortly, in a partnership with PPI Worldwide. What’s next for the movement and technology? Our focus at the moment is to raise awareness for our movement and to utilise industry experts and scientists to help guide and support our mission. This involves many partnerships with organisations that believe in true sustainability. And we want the consumers to champion it. Some of the brands we work with like Levi’s, RipCurl, tentree, to name a few, all see the benefit in what we are trying to achieve. The value in our brand story is found more in telling the truth about sustainable products than it is selling products. Because of this, we can create an integrity brand backed by science and supported by NGOs and the scientific community. And it opens up the doors for great collaborations. How can the brand and licensing industry benefit? Every company is looking for a sustainable story to tell their customers. We offer them a great story. From our experience, the toy industry in particular struggles with making materials more sustainable due to the types of products they make and the use of different types of plastic in one product. This limited recycling options, so we offer them a better product and good story that resonates with the consumer. Products of Change members can listen to a podcast with Ryan talking more about the BDP technology.
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