Material made from honeycomb may be a substitute for disposable plastic

by Jean and Fred

Plastics are inexpensive, lightweight, and are used throughout the life as a material that is also excellent in durability. Meanwhile, as plastics become garbage once they have not been disassembled for hundreds of years, the problem of environmental pollution caused by plastic garbage is also becoming serious. Meanwhile, New Zealand's biotechnology venture " Humble Bee " is trying to solve the plastic problem by creating raw materials that will be plastic substitutes from the nests made by a kind of bee in Australia.

Humble Bee: How New Zealand's forward-thinking biotech company is is helping disrupt the plastics industry

How a humble Australian bee can help the world's plastic problem - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Plastic is a very convenient material, but in recent years the problem of plastic garbage has been taken up globally and worry about the impact of microplastic discarded in the sea on living things. In India's capital, Delhi , the use of disposable plastic products is completely prohibited , Starbucks announces that plastic straws will be abolished by 2020, regulations on plastics are increasingly moving.

Therefore, Humble Bee, a biotechnology venture, watched the bee called Hylaeus alcyoneus in Australia to solve the plastic problem. Hylaeus alcyoneus is known to have a unique yellow pattern, but it is not toxic, it has water resistance and it makes a nest which is resistant to fire and heat. Humble Bee plans to develop materials using raw materials of nests made by such Hylaeus alcyoneus and to use it as a substitute for plastics.

"The plastic particles and chemicals have begun to affect ecosystems all over the world and now it extends from fetal blood to the Arctic Ocean," said Veronica Stevenson , CEO of Humble Bee, He said that the plastic problem is very frightening. According to Stevenson, the material used in the nest of Hylaeus alcyoneus is similar to cellophane and there is a possibility of being a substitute for plastic.

by quoll2

In New Zealand we could not collect enough Hylaeus alcyoneus so we went to Queensland in Australia and gathered Hylaeus alcyoneus, Stevenson said. After that, Mr. Stephenson cooperated with the Feria laboratory of the University of Victoria , and started business in Wellington where many startups gather.

Humble Bee raised 160 thousand dollars (about 11.7 million yen) in the first round of investment and received support from investment funds such as Sparkbox , Go Global Day One , and NZVIF . In the second round of investment rounds we aim to procure 500,000 NZ dollars (about 37 million yen), and from the government agency Callaghan Innovation , which supports New Zealand innovative companies, It seems to have installed NZ dollar (approx. 8.8 million yen) support.

by Nick Kidd

"Although the movement to reduce the disposal of plastics is globally active, as plastic plays an indispensable role in our lives, we can not completely stop using plastic" as Stephen Mr. Sunn said that in a way other than stopping the use of plastic, we should deal with the problem of plastic garbage.

According to Mr. Stevenson, the material using Hylaeus alcyoneus' nest has an important property that many industries are seeking for plastic, so it can be replaced as a plastic substitute. In addition, the material derived from the honeycomb has biodegradability, so it will not remain for a long time like plastic, even if it is discarded after use. "Although development is in its early stages, we are already developing it to the manufacturing technology side," Stevenson said and wants to prepare to sell the material within five years.

by Edinburgh Greens

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1h_ik