Radical Plastics is a woman-owned business started by Dr. Yelena Kann and Kristin Taylor with the goal of making a meaningful contribution to the battle against plastic pollution. Radical Plastics has developed a game-changing solution to plastic pollution. After spending decades in the plastics industry and seeing the impact of these materials on the environment, the founders felt a calling to create a better, more sustainable solution. Radical Plastics is providing a drop-in replacement for conventional plastics that is economical, recyclable AND fully biodegradable.
So, let's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and REDESIGN plastics so we can enjoy their many benefits without polluting our planet.
Plastics are one of the most important inventions of the last century. They’re strong, lightweight, cost-effective materials that have transformed our lives. That's why plastics is a $650 Billion industry.
But plastics have a problem. They don’t go away. In fact, around 80% of all the plastics ever made are still here.
We produce around 380 million tons of plastic each year and only around 4% of that is being recycled. And it's estimated that over 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year, threatening wildlife and human health.
This is a problem that requires a radical solution.
At Radical Plastics, we’ve developed a patented technology that involves blending conventional plastics with our proprietary, naturally occurring catalyst. When properly compounded, this catalyst has the ability to render regular plastics biodegradable in the natural environment.
Items made from the Radical Plastics compound perform just like regular plastics. But if they end up in the environment, the free radical catalyst converts the plastic into a material that microbes recognize as food. This allows them to metabolize the material turning it into biomass, CO2 and water. Radical Plastics compounds biodegrade fully in the environment leaving no residue, no toxic substances and no microplastics.
A radical solution to fight plastic pollution
High-yield farming is necessary to support a growing global population. An Important tool used in high yield farming is plastic mulch film. Agricultural mulch films are utilized to reduce water usage, suppress weeds, reduce fertilizer usage and increase crop yield. They also allow for earlier planting and control of the soil temperature to improve crop quality.
In the US, the single-use agricultural film market exceeds 500 million pounds per year. The vast majority of this film is non-degradable polyethylene which must be landfilled or incinerated after use. Because these films are contaminated with soil and chemicals, they are very challenging to recycle economically. Removal of these films also leads to the loss of a substantial amount of valuable topsoil. In addition, these films tend to embrittle over time, so they are difficult to collect without tearing, which leads to plastic pollution and the production of microplastics.
Radical Plastics has made significant progress towards the development of soil biodegradable mulch films. The films are made by blending conventional polymers with our patented regenerative catalyst, which renders the plastic fully biodegradable in the natural environment.
Field trials of mulch film produced by Charter Next Generation, Inc. using Radical Plastics patented technology are in progress. These films function just like conventional mulch, but at the end of the growing season, they can be tilled into the soil where they fully biodegrade leaving no residue, no toxic substances and no microplastics. This eliminates the labor and cost associated with film removal and disposal. As an added benefit, the minerals used in the proprietary catalyst formulation have even been found to be beneficial for the health of the soil.
Replacing conventional plastic mulch film with soil biodegradable films made with Radical Plastics is a big step to reduce plastic pollution.
The free radical catalyst technology from Radical Plastics can make a significant contribution to the battle against plastic pollution. By replacing existing, non-degradable plastics with biodegradable compounds from Radical Plastics, converters and brand owners can enjoy the outstanding properties and economics of conventional plastics with the added benefit of complete biodegradability.
Let's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and REDESIGN plastics for a healthier planet.
Dr. Yelena Kann, CTO/Cofounder, has a PhD in Chemistry and an MS in Polymer Engineering & Technology. With over 25 years of industry experience, she has over 20 patents and has published over 30 papers in the fields of bioplastics, polymer chemistry and color technology. Dr. Kann's work experience includes technical roles at Lynn Plastics, Metabolix Bioplastics, Sabic and EInk.
Kristin Taylor, CEO/Cofounder, has an MS in Plastics Engineering and over 20 years experience in Market Development for commodity, engineering and biobased/biodegradable plastics. Ms. Taylor's work experience includes technical, sales and management positions at ExxonMobil, Metabolix Bioplastics, Sabic and Huntsman Corporation.
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Beverly, MA 01915