What are the biggest problems in biotechnology

Biotechnology ensures sustainability - with bioplastics against the plastic problem

(Berlin - September 16, 2020) Our planet has a plastic problem. Humanity today uses 20 times more plastic than 50 years ago. It produces 400 million tons of plastic every year, most of it for single-use products and packaging. Only one seventh of this production is sent for reuse through recycling. Wind and water wash around eight million tons of plastic waste into the world's oceans every year, putting a heavy burden on these ecosystems. This is where bioplastics that are made from bio-based raw materials and are also biodegradable can help. Great hopes are placed on the bioplastics polyhydroxybutyric acid (PHB) and other so-called polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), which are produced by fermentation by bacteria. This is because these disintegrate completely and comparatively quickly in a natural environment such as the oceans, at high temperatures in less than six months, and no special composting facilities are required.

Norbert Hentschel, board member of BIO Deutschland comments: “The amount of plastic in the oceans is a serious problem for the ecological balance of these waters. More than 150 million tons of plastic have now collected in the oceans. We must therefore avoid this waste as much as possible and recycle used plastics. But that will not be enough. We still need other solutions. Biotechnology can help. High hopes are placed in a class of bioplastics called PHAs. They are produced by bacteria, have good packaging properties and disintegrate completely and relatively quickly in the oceans. In this way, biotechnology makes an important contribution to environmental protection and sustainability. "

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are natural substances. They normally build up hundreds of different microorganisms in your organism as energy stores for times when there is little food. The industrial production of PHA plastics based on bacterial fermentation is still so expensive that its price cannot compete with conventional plastics. But the demand for them is growing rapidly. In 2019 they were sold out on the world market.

About the "101 Years of Biotechnology" initiative
In 2019 the term “biotechnology” celebrated its centenary. Karl Ereky was director of the cattle exploitation cooperative of large Hungarian landowners and author of the German-language book “Biotechnology of Meat, Fat and Milk Production in Large Farms”, in which the term biotechnology came into the world. The publication first appeared in Berlin in 1919. That is why the first theme year “100 Years of Biotechnology” was launched in 2019, in which milestones in biotechnology from the last 100 years were celebrated for twelve months and a look into the future was also taken. In the continuation of the initiative, the theme year "101 Years of Biotechnology", the focus is on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations.

The initiative “101 Years of Biotechnology” has the following supporters: Biotechnologieverbund Berlin-Brandenburg eV (bbb), Biotechnological Student Initiative (btS eV), German Academy of Engineering Sciences (acatech), Society for Chemical Technology and Biotechnology (DECHEMA e.V.) ), Association of Biology, Biosciences and Biomedicine (VBIO e.V.), Association of German Engineers (VDI e.V.) and Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM e.V.)

You can find more about “101 Years of Biotechnology” here: www.101jahre-biotech.de

Follow the theme year on Twitter @ 100YearsBiotech.

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About BIO Germany:

The Biotechnology Industry Organization Germany (BIO Germany) with 330 members - companies, bio-regions and industry service providers - and based in Berlin has set itself the goal of supporting and promoting the development of an innovative economic sector in Germany based on modern biosciences . Oliver Schacht, Ph. D., is CEO of BIO Germany.

Further information at: www.biodeutschland.org

Supporting members of BIO Germany and industry partners are:

AGC Biologics, Avia, Baker Tilly, Bayer, BioSpring, Boehringer Ingelheim, Centogene, Clariant, CMS Hasche Sigle, Deutsche Bank, EBD Group, Ernst & Young, Evotec, Exyte Central Europe, Isenbruck, Bösl, Hörschler, Janssen-Cilag, KPMG , Merck, Miltenyi Biotec, MorphoSys, Novartis, Pfizer, Phenex Pharmaceuticals, PricewaterhouseCoopers, QIAGEN, Roche Diagnostics, Sanofi Aventis Germany, SAP, Thermo Fisher Scientific, TVM Capital, Vertex Pharmaceuticals.


BIO Germany e. V.
Dr. Claudia Englbrecht
Schützenstrasse 6a
10117 Berlin
Tel .: + 49- (0) -30-2332 164-32, Fax: -38
Email: [email protected]

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