Environmentally friendly bottles made almost entirely from plants will soon be showing up on store shelves filled with nutraceutical products. They will be followed by pharmaceutical, functional foods and body-care products.
The compounded resin formula behind the “EarthBottle” is the brainchild of Clemson University employees Danny Roberts, researcher and assistant vice president of Public Service and Agriculture, and David Gangemi, director of the Institute for Nutraceutical Research. These natural polymer-fiber bottles are recyclable, biodegradable, petroleum-free and stronger, lighter than glass and more durable than most other bottles.
The materials have the potential to replace plastic for automotive parts, agricultural and industrial fabrics and biomedical parts, among other applications.
The natural fibers are combined with polylactic acid, a plastic-like substance made from corn. The bottles are made by injection molding and injection blow-molding processes. Inhibitory agents rich in naturally occurring antioxidants and antimicrobial properties are added to protect the products inside the bottles.