In the last BioPolymers article, we explored VNF’s multi-functional Chitosan ability in bioplastic to tackle the dire global plastic pollution problem.
Up until 2020, corporations and the community publicly pledged to address the plastic crisis in different ways – reducing single-use plastic, adopting alternative materials, better recycling, etc… Yet as we live in a very different world, it is undeniable that plastic consumption has been at an all-time high for all countries with eco-friendliness being an all-time low priority.
Above all, we now emphasize health, cleanliness, and achieving COVID-free transmission as best as possible. No one wants to share, and reusing and recycling (for past reasons) are too far down the list to think about.
Sustainable products and production have always been at the forefront of VNF’s mission. We cannot change the pandemic-stricken world we live in, but VNF will not abandon our vision.
How VNF has maintained this goal in 2020 is by working with innovative partners who share the same vision of refusing to ‘go backwards’ in the fight against single-use plastic. Against the backdrop of a challenging year, VNF has achieved a breakthrough milestone for Chitosan-based bioplastic.
On November 3, 2020, in Hanoi, Vietnam, VNF signed an official MOU with An Phat Holdings (APH) and Itochu Corporation on the co-production and distribution of compostable products derived from Chitosan.
VNF will be responsible for producing eco-friendly and customizable Chitosan, An Phat Holdings will create biodegradable products and compounds containing Chitosan, and Itochu Corporation will market and distribute the Chitosan compound and final product worldwide. Initial target applications include the food and medical industry.
Nevertheless, the possibilities are endless as Chitosan’s bio-friendly, biodegradability, and antimicrobial mechanisms are in demand (at least in some way) everywhere and by everyone. With VNF’s position as a leading global shrimp co-products processor (and controlling the majority of shrimp co-products raw materials in Vietnam), available Chitosan supply will not be challenged by new applications.
With the aim of developing novel, compostable compounds and finished products, this collaborative venture is expected to be a breakthrough solution not only against plastic pollution but also the need for anti-microbial protection amid COVID-19.
At the end of it all, bury any Chitosan-based compound or bioplastic in soil, and targetted Chitinase enzymes will ‘awaken’ to break down the Chitosan into natural liquid fertilizer beneficial for plants.
Chitosan further astounds us as there is evidence and studies that show when immersed in marine water, Chitosan will become brittle and break down. The reason: Strains of bacteria in marine water can produce Chitosanese like in soil.
Born from the second most abundant polymer in the world, Chitosan starts from the Earth and returns back to the Earth (with the help of naturally occurring enzymes) to complete a circular economy.
As written in last week’s BioPolymers article, the bioplastic solution needed by the world won’t be solved overnight by one company. Although VNF’s Chitosan will step up to play a significant part, VNF aims to actively work with local and global partners to develop diverse Chitosan-based products. We can sustain the world by tackling pollution and the pandemic together.