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Will Micromidas Have the Golden Touch with Sewage Based Bioplastics?

| Friday November 12th, 2010 | 4 Comments

ban-startup-friday

When you wash your hands, flush the toilet, or do the dishes, the water’s just gone, right? Waste to be processed, end of story. Not quite, if Micromidas has its way.

They have developed a way to extract the carbon from waste water, to be used to make plastic. According to PSFK, the plastics are similar to what’s commonly used in containers, housewares and automotive parts. The product is also amenable to being used for medical purposes.

What does this mean?

It means a potentially substantial amount of reduction of sewage waste municipalities need to process and dispose of. The results are many: cost, energy, and human resource savings. Best of all, a reduction in the need for petroleum based plastics, many of which are either difficult to recycle or not of high enough value/volume to be a lucrative material to dedicate resources to process.

The question that arises is one that, months ago would have been shrugged off as trivial, but now, post Sunchips compostable bag consumer revolt, bears asking: What does this bio based plastic feel like? Smell like? Look like? People may have all the intention in the world to live and shop more sustainably, but if what they’re presented with vastly differs from what they’re used to, they’ll at a minimum not buy it, and on the case of Sunchips, get downright hysterical about it.

Readers: Would you buy things made from plastic you knew was sourced from sewage waste? Would you trust it’s food safety? What would reassure you of this? What other interesting new reuses/diversions of waste are you seeing?

Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.


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  • Marta

    Yes, I would buy it. We are now used to see stuff such as bags, paper cups or furniture made with recycled materials. I think that if this plastic is resistent enough it would have many applications and I believe they would “clean” the bacteria first!

  • http://redgreenandblue.org/ Jeremy

    Hm… let’s see. We currently eat billions of hamburgers a year that are “fortified” with “pink slime”, the yucky mess of blood and bovine byproducts that they practically scrape off the slaughterhouse floor.
    But plastic made from poo? Americans won’t stand for that…. :)

  • http://www.greensmithconsulting.com Paul Smith

    Ha ha ha! You two make great points. Let’s hope others have as much perspective.

  • Biodegradable Plastic

    Interesting, it seems as though their company is not even in operation. Just a whole lot of press.