Sunday, October 18

Mixed news - paints and plastics

After a year or so trying out eco paints, two paints seem to be holding up well, whilst one isn't doing as well as the other two. Earthborn Emulsion used in the laundry room area and Auro gloss paint used on the kitchen woodwork (doors and door frames) are both doing well.

However the use of Nature Paint (the powder in a paper bag) in a steamy area is looking like it might have been a mistake. This was a bit of gamble since the paint wasn't designed for 'damp' areas, hence any fault is probably mine. In areas where steam has been present around the cooker and kettle, the paint has cracked and flaked a bit. It could be that next year I might have to consider replacing it with either standard emulsion suitable for kitchens or possibly a more robust eco-friendly paint.

I have recently come across some products made from a new robust biodegradable plastic. Called Ecogen, the plastic is a bio-engineered material produced using bacteria fed on cornstarch sugars in a fermentation process. The plastic is only biodegradable in soil or compost and takes 6 to 9 months to decompose (compared to hundreds of years (at least) for most petrochemical based plastics). However in normal household conditions the plastic remains robust.
Currently the company produces bathroom products (soap dishes, toothbrush holders etc.) which are available from Natural Collection.


Anonymous said...

We made plastics at school using potatoes and glycerol.

The chemistry is really interesting. We buried a couple over the summer and within a few weeks they were all but gone.

Once the price of oil gets to rediculous levels we'll be using these plastics far more out of necessity.


TheVille said...

I remember a teacher showing us how nylon was made or at least how polymers were made.

The Ecogen products seem to be quite reasonably priced. About £5 for a soap dish.
OK, so you might get a plastic one for £1 in a 'Pound' shop. But considering the material is new and has some 'value' in that it is a new type of material, I thought £5 was quite good, assuming it lasted a long time.

The bathroom is also probably the most inhospitable place in a home for materials, so the plastic must be quite robust.