British scientists are teaming up with a chemical company in the U.S. in a bid to mass-produce plastic products without pollution.
London-based startup Fabricnano wants to make fossil fuels a thing of the past by producing environmentally friendly plastic with proteins instead of oil and gas.
“A protein can do any material production and any chemical production that we can think of today. The problem is that we can’t make these proteins work in industrial reactors,” said Fabricnano CEO Grant Aarons.
Scientists are aiming to design enzymes that can survive when made on a mass scale, and they’re teaming up with Sumitomo Chemical America to help create climate-friendly products people want.
“The chemical industry can be our friend if we enable them with technology that is a drop-in replacement for how they currently make chemicals today,” said Aarons.
The companies know it could take a while to see industrial plastics produced through biomanufacturing but they’re hoping the climate-friendly collaboration will eventually pay off for the planet.
It’s estimated more than 170 trillion plastic particles are floating in the world’s oceans, often killing fish and sea animals.
Scientists warn that amount could triple by 2040 if no action is taken.