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Biopolymer specialist Teysha Technologies and NIAB tackle agricultural plastic pollution

Biopolymer innovator Teysha Technologies is working with the crop research organisation NIAB to research, test and develop bioplastics for the agricultural industry in the UK.

The opportunity will allow Teysha to expand as the start-up further commercialises in the UK, utilising the facilities and expertise at the Eastern Agritech Innovation Hub near Cambridge. The Innovation Hub, a NIAB incubator facility, is a focal point for research and development into reducing or valorising waste in farming. Teysha will therefore expand the remit by developing and testing new sustainable materials and bioplastics to tackle growing plastic pollution as well as investigating waste feedstock options within British agricultural operations.

The first innovation to be delivered from the new Teysha Laboratory, based at the Hub, will be a series of new polyester composite materials. The purpose will be to replace some products that are currently based on petrochemical plastics, as well as improve the biodegradability of existing bioplastics such as polylactic acid. Unlike other polymer manufacturing processes, the synthesis of Teysha’s materials generates zero chemical by-products for disposal. Its properties make it susceptible to microbial breakdown, a desirable benefit for applications like packaging.

Teysha’s new polyester composites show promise as plastic alternatives across industries like agriculture and horticulture. For example, British gardeners go through 500 million plastic plant pots a year that are either incinerated or sent to landfills. On average they take an estimated 450 years to degrade and in the process may release toxic additives, dyes and microplastics into the environment. To address this, Teysha is targeting the development of alternatives using polyester composites. The goal is to prototype alternative options that provide additional plant nourishment while also having the ability to either biodegrade or be composted.

“This opportunity to work alongside NIAB and other licencees at the Eastern Agritech Innovation Hub, will allow us to further develop innovative, sustainable materials that can replace harmful plastics in industries like agriculture, as well as examine waste feedstocks for our range of biopolymers,” said Matthew Stone, Managing Director of Teysha Technologies.

Click the link below to visit Teysha Technologies website.

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