Mission: stop the growth of plastic island

Formerly a plastic manufacturer, we have produced products for the electronics and sports industries for many years. Suddenly something happened and we has completely changed in to ecological company that is trying to stop the growth of plastic island.

ReFork_official
Sep 18, 2018 · 5 min read

We are company of professionals who have long and rich experience in plastics molding, precision machining and 3D printing. Plastic island is name for places characterized by high concentrations of plastic garbage floating in the ocean. It consists primarily of an increase in suspended, often microscopic, particles in the upper water column.

The invention of plastic in the last century was a huge technological advancement. Plastic surrounds us literally everywhere so it made sense for us to go into business producing plastic products. We use plastic every day of our lives and don’t even think twice about it. Our fresh cups, water bottles, and even the fleece we’re wearing all contain plastic. We store our food in it, drink water from it, and even brush our teeth with it. It’s cheap, convenient, and versatile.

The use of plastic in manufacturing cars is even helpful because it makes them lighter so they require less use of fossil fuels. Think for a moment of plastic grocery bags. They take up one-seventh of the space paper bags do in landfills. Contrary to popular belief, only 9 percent of waste in landfills is plastic, however that number is growing because it will continue to remain there for years to come compared to paper and other materials. Plastic is one of the slowest decomposing materials made.

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We began to look at all the waste that is being created. There is lot said about this problem by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Greenpeace, WWF, World Economic Forum or UN Environment. We recycled the waste from production, however plastic can only be recycled so much. It was not just the waste that we created from production that had us concerned. It was the products themselves. Look at all of the waste around us, on our streets and beaches. I would walk the beaches, hoping that I don’t find a plastic product manufactured by us.

It was obvious that as a manufacturer, we hold a great responsibility to protect our planet. However, we can only do so much as the producer. Reducing the amount of waste from the final product depends on the consumer. Many states in America have taken steps to reduce plastic waste by promoting recycling in schools and placing deposits on plastic bottles. California has even banned the use of plastic straws. The same is massively happening in Europe.

However plastic is a necessary evil. It’s many uses are countless but the loss of our environment is something that we can never get back. That is why it became so important for us to try to integrate biodegradable materials into the production of our new products.

The road to becoming an Eco-friendly company was not easy. When looking into biomaterials, our company ran into a few drawbacks along the way. The cost of biopolymers is often very high which would create a higher end cost for the consumer. Often the biopolymers cannot be used for the necessary applications. Some of them are not solid and some are not heat resistant. We had experimented with creating a spoon and when we had tried to stir a cup of hot coffee, it could not hold up to the heat and became soft and distorted. Another downside that we had found was that some biopolymers are difficult to decompose on their own in nature.

We needed better material than what the market had to offer. We had decided that it was best for our company to take a different route. The material that we were looking for had to be firmer, cheaper, heat-resistant and quickly degradable in nature. Our company had put a lot of money and effort into the last several years attempting to develop a material that fit all of our needs.

The result of our development was so surprising that we decided to leave the old plastic market and focus on modern biopolymers only. The time has come for the use of organic products to grow and the current supply is far below the demand. There is still a lot of work ahead of us so that we can develop and fill the market. It means a lot of work for us in designing and testing new products, producing a variety of forms and manufacturing technology but we feel that we are up for the task.

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We believe that we will shift life on the planet in a better direction again and reduce plastic waste. This new material can now be used to produce a wide range of products, including cutlery, cups, straws, plates etc. Our first products are cutlery than will easily decompose in nature.

Our first recyclable prototype was a fork. Connection between fork and recycling has inspired us and that is how we came to establish the ReFork brand. www.refork.org

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Think of how many times you have been at a picnic or barbecue and maybe your fork or spoon had slipped off your plate without you noticing it. With any regular plastic fork, it will remain hidden in the grass for the next few centuries. Even the ones that find their way to the bin will end up in a landfill for centuries to come. It is almost like we leave something behind for the next generations. On the contrary to the beauties that for example old Romans left for us to admire what we leave behind are piles of trash. With the ReFork, that is no longer an issue. I’m not going to tell you to just drop your fork wherever you want but if you do that with ReFork it will decompose quickly back into the earth.I am very excited to continue moving forward with our new eco-friendly products! I cannot wait until the day that I can go to the park and walk past families having their picnics and see everyone using our ReFork cutlery. Together we can all work towards a better and brighter future, not just for our children and grandchildren but for many generations to come. We only have one planet, let’s make it last!

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refork

Green solution to global plastic problem

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