The Life of New Plastics
The Life of New Plastics
			It has been about a hundred years since plastics were industrialized. Plastics are now a vital part of our lifestyles.
			However, plastics are now seen as a problem, due to their effects on our global environment and society. 
			For example, the effects of plastic rubbish on our environment. Plastics do not rust or rot, so they never return to the environment when thrown away. As a result, they remain indefinitely, continually to adversely affect the surrounding environment.
			In the late 90s, the generation of dioxins from the burning of plastic waste became a problem. This happened because they were being burned in inadequate incinerators. These days, facilities have been improved, and the amount emitted has been cut to 1% of what it was a decade ago, but it was a major social issue at the time.
			Plastics have wonderful advantages, and have made our lives much more convenient. So the development of an environmentally-friendly plastic that can coexist with our global environment and society is the wish of all humanity. Kaneka has finally created a new plastic that can answer this wish.
			This plastic Kaneka has developed is called a “biopolymer.” This can be quickly decomposed by microorganisms if it is buried in the earth, where it changes into water and carbon dioxide. The natural world breaks it down over time, so it does not need to be burned. It is truly a dream plastic.     
			The birth of this biopolymer was in fact spurred by a coincidence. One day, about twenty years ago, a Kaneka researcher was investigating soil collected from the company site. In that soil, he found unique microorganisms that stored, inside their bodies, soft plastic that could be used as film.  
			With the amazing discovery of these “living plastic factories,” Kaneka started developing biopolymers. In 2010, we succeeded in mass-producing polymers created from 100 % vegetable matter, as the main raw material, with no fossil fuels at all.
			With the development of biopolymer mass production, and the birth of a new lifecycle for plastics, the global environment, and our living environments, will both become even better than before.

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