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Today, there are businesses exploring techniques for producing 100 percent recyclable bioplastics from agricultural and forestry waste.
As the threat of climate change grows, many sectors are turning to biotechnology for answers to make many areas of life more environmentally friendly. Biotechnology is best positioned to replace polluting materials and chemical mechanisms with more sustainable, biological alternatives. This scientific subject is based on millions of years of evolution, during which living beings have specialized in the production and recycling of a wide range of chemicals and materials. These biological processes can be utilized to break down trash and manufacture materials more efficiently and with less pollution, water, land, and energy use than traditional approaches.
Biotechnology has an almost limitless number of areas where it can contribute to sustainability. Here are two areas where biotechnology is already making a difference.
One of the major environmental concerns we're dealing with right now is plastic waste.
The trash from petrochemical plastic manufacturing plants and the tons of non-biodegradable plastic thrown away every day are major environmental concerns. New plastics-making technologies that include life could provide a more sustainable option. One firm based in Amsterdam is exploring techniques for producing 100 percent recyclable bioplastics from agricultural and forestry waste; the firm is collaborating with major companies to create environmentally friendly bottles and yogurt cups. Another business is using microbial enzymes to break down and recycle common plastics.
One of the first applications of industrial biotechnology was the development of more robust and sustainable detergents. The first enzymatic detergents were sold by a Danish biotech company, in the 1960s. They are made up of specialized enzymes derived from microorganisms that can break down molecules hiding behind tough stains like blood and fat. Enzymatic detergents, unlike chemical alternatives, are biodegradable. New generations of enzymatic detergents have improved in effectiveness over time. They have the advantage of working at lower temperatures, reducing the amount of energy spent on laundry. Enzymatic detergents can also be used to clean medical equipment more thoroughly and effectively than traditional cleaning solutions.