The American company PrimaLoft has patented its own microfibers alternatives to conventional plastic, whose main feature is its biodegradable nature, which allows it to disintegrate in less than a year.
The war against plastic – a highly polluting material, which is already present in tiny particles in the food we eat or in the water we drink – requires allies both new alternative materials and ways to decompose it more quickly, since plastic is characterized by slow degradation, taking hundreds of years to decompose. The circular economy, the substitution of plastic for other components -something for which brands such as Samsung already advocate- or the reduction of both production and consumption are necessary initiatives to alleviate this global problem.
Today we bring an interesting advance in the hands of the company PrimaLoft, known for manufacturing the microfiber insulation of thermal garments such as those of The North Face. This company has achieved a breakthrough in the sustainability of its materials by developing synthetic fibers that are alternatives to the harmful microplastics, which come off the clothes we wash and make their way through drains and wastewater plants, reaching stomach of fish and numerous animal species, contaminating the waters and generating a negative and irreversible environmental impact.
Now, after five years of hard work, PrimaLoft has managed to develop an insulation material made of 100% recycled polyester, but unlike other plastics, will biodegrade relatively quickly, instead of taking hundreds of years. Each of these tiny fibers-50 times smaller than a human hair-are equipped with the technology developed and tested through simulations by the company, which has added polyester. a food source for microorganisms present in landfills or water.
“The microorganisms are attracted to the material and feed on it, and when they feed on it, they eat the food we give them, but they also degrade the polyester at the same time,” they reveal from PrimaLoft. In the landfill tests the materials achieved almost complete biodegradation in about a year, and they were significantly biodegraded in a marine environment.
Anyway it is not a complete solution for the case of the oceans, since the fish could ingest them before the biodegradation. However, it is a step ahead of the standard plastic. “The material will not be sitting there for thousands of years accumulating at the bottom of the ocean.” Of course, the material only degrades under certain conditions, so a jacket whose insulating padding is made with it can last for hundreds of years.