OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Fully compostable bioplastic cups, made from untapped by-product of the forest industry.

A fully compostable bioplastic cup produced from untapped resources of existing key-players in the value chain.

Photo of Laurence Boudreault
2 2

Written by

Idea Title

A bioplastic cup, fully compostable and affordable

Idea Summary

Bosk has developed a bioplastic based on its proprietary PHA which is completely compostable, made from untapped by-products of the forest industry, non-GMO, non-toxic, heat resistant and affordable.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

Bosk Bioproducts

Website (if applicable)

https://www.bosk-bioproducts.com

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

Bosk has developed several grades of bioplastic (injection, thermoforming, extrusion, blow molding) and has tested them on conventional equipment of many manufacturers.

COMPOSTABLE BIOPLASTICS

Bosk’s project constitutes a radical innovation by the fact that it offers a fully compostable bioplastic at a competitive cost. Unlike other bioplastic on the market, it do not contain or use any GMOs, is non-toxic and is made from renewable untapped by-products of the forest industry. By working with Bosk you can achieve a 0-waste solution. 


A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION

Bosk produces bioplastic based on its proprietary PHA which is completely compostable, non-GMO and non-toxic. To produce our PHA, we use by-products of the forest industry that are not used in the value chain and doesn't compete with food sources. This highly compostable PHA is then mixed with ingredients that are meticulously chosen to make sure that at the end of its useful life, this biopplastic breaks down quickly into beneficial elements to the environment. Bosk’s bioplastics are developed to meet the most stringent requirements in terms of standards for composting. 


AS EFFICIENT AS CONVENTIONAL PLASTIC

These bioplastics can be used for finished products from standard processes like injection, thermoforming, extrusion and blow molding and requires no additional equipment for the manufacturer. 

The finished product has the same desired properties, whether it's flexibility, impact resistance or other properties.

And no need to worry about product durability. Thanks to a clever blend of ingredients, it can meet consumer demands while ensuring compostability. Biodegredation begins only when the object is in contact with the natural bacteria living in the soil or in the aquatic environment. The time required for degradation can be as short as a few weeks up to a few months, depending on the thickness of the finished product.


WE ONLY USE NON-TOXIC INGREDIENTS, FDA APPROVAL PENDING 

All the ingredients we use are already FDA approved and our team is working towards obtaining FDA approval for our bioplastics. The time required for approval will depend on the adjustments to be made to the bioplastic to meet the characteristics and needs as defined more precisely.


HEAT RESISTANT

PHA is one of the rare bioplastics with good heat resistance. Bioplastics developed by Bosk have already shown good resistance to heat. Once we have better defined the standards to reach, Bosk's bioplastics could be optimized to achieve all the criteria specific to the intended application. One of the strengths of Bosk is that we have integrated a team specialized in the development of bioplastic and natural fiber, which allow among others a better resistance to heat, while remaining highly compostable.


A COMMERCIALLY VIABLE SOLUTION 

PHA is known as the most compostable bioplastic, but it is also among the most expensive. Bosk has managed to achieve competitive production costs through an innovative production process that uses untapped resources from key-players in the value chain, both raw material supply and finished product manufacturing. This business model also makes it possible to reach the targeted markets more quickly by integrating an efficient value chain.


SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES


HOW IT’S DONE

  • We use untapped by-products from the forest industry to produce our high quality PHA
  • The sales team surveys the market with end users to better define the needs and characteristics to achieve
  • The R & D team develops the bioplastic based on this PHA, and adds a clever blend of ingredients to obtain the desired characteristic properties
  • The production team develops the product according to the needs of the end users
  •  Goods manufacturing and distribution is ensured through partnerships with companies that share our values, have untapped production capacity and / or want to access a new market


MANY OPTIONS ARE POSSIBLE
The various grades of Bosk bioplastic can work with different manufacturing technologies and several options are available for the manufacture of fully compostable cups. For example, we can produce a completely compostable coating on fiber cups or we can produce thermoformed bioplastic cups.


NEXT STEPS TO ACHIEVE THIS PROJECT
- Define more precisely the needs and the desired characteristic properties (because we are consumer centric, we do not only reproduce the performance of the actual fiber cup with a better recoverability, we will try to improve its properties to better meet the needs of the market).
- Finalize the evaluation of the production costs according to different methods (coating of a fiber cup, thermoformed cup, injection, etc.)
- Finalize budget planning and project financing
- Confirm the choice of the manufacturer(s)
- If necessary, optimize the composition of the bioplastic
- Perform a test of the material on the equipment of the selected manufacturer(s)
- Produce prototypes
- Run a test on a defined market

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Cup Lids
  • Straws
  • Cup Liner
  • All of the Above

How is your concept recoverable?

Bosk bioplastics are fully compostable. The time required for degradation can be as short as a few weeks up to a few months, according to the thickness of the finished product. It will degrade more rapidly in composting conditions, but even if it is thrown in the trash, or ends up in the oceans, it will degrade at a speed unmatched by conventional plastic, and the non-toxic blend of this bioplastic will not cause damage to wildlife or the environment. As we speak, composting is the only solution that can transform products into basic elements that have become available and beneficial for the environment. Fully compostable plastics can be a viable and responsible “end-of-life” solution and enables zero waste solutions.

How have you incorporated additional sustainability attributes (beyond recoverability) into your solution?

The raw material we use is not used in the current value chain, thus participating the circular economy. The production process has also been designed to minimize its impact on the environment, using as much untapped resources as possible from the value chain.

What regions do you plan to address with your solution (and how will you accomplish this)?

First, we are targeting Canada, the United States and Europe. Production and marketing strategies can quickly adapt on a global scale. The ecoconscious consumer-centric marketing strategy includes a digital marketing plan to interact with end-users in these markets to better understand their needs and adapt product design. Our business model then makes it possible to adapt production through partnerships with local manufacturers.

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Our solution will delight customers through convenience while at the same time ease their ecoconsciousness. This solution will also benefit companies that will use this product as they will reduce their environmental impact through a 0-waste solution, they will take advantage of a new clean market space and increase their sales (eco-conscious consumers), offer a convenient solution to their customers, thus increase their brand equity.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Prototyping

What are the biggest challenges you are facing today? What are existing gaps in your solution?

R&D: If adjustments are needed to achieve a better resistence to the heat, the challenge will be to find additives that will not harm the compostability and will not be toxic to the environment. Also, our bioplastic can be transparent, but not « crystal clear ». However, it can be colored very easily of any color. COSTS: Our product is more expensive than conventional plastic, but it also offers great added-value (eco-responsible end of life) which meets the demand of eco-conscious consumers. We work on two levels: Our R&D team is constantly working to optimize the production process in order to reduce our costs and be more competitive, and our marketing team anticipates an educational marketing campaign, which will highlight the benefits of this solution. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Our biggest challenges are financing and manufacturers recruitment. So far we have managed to recruit a few that allow us to represent the portfolio of manufacturing technologies.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Product / Industrial Design and Prototyping
  • Growth and Scaling
  • Fundraising / Finance

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

Bosk CEO Paul Boudreault is a serial eco-business founder (30+ yrs in biotechnology). Our team is made up of efficient, agile and creative people for the marketing and development of products and bioplastics. We are working with 2 R&D teams.

In what city are you located?

Quebec

In what country are you located?

Canada

What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

Corporation

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

All the customers we meet are interested in buying the product, but they want to test this innovation first. To produce it, investors and manufacturers want orders first ... A program like the NextGen Cup Challenge would allow us to finalize product development to meet end user requirements, and produce a first quantity to test the market and to make this eco-friendly alternatives better known.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Koldun Victor
Team

An ordinary cardboard cup breaks down in the natural environment roughly in a year or thereabout. Approximately how the fallen leaves does, consisting of the same cellulose. In order for the new material for the production of cups to become a cost effective replacement of cardboard, it should decompose order faster, somewhere in a month, maybe two or three. This is at an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius (according to NASA). But when we pour water near a boiling point, at a temperature of 95 degrees, into such cup , according to the rule of Svante August Arrhenius, all the chemical processes in it, including the self-decay of complex molecules, respectively, accelerate. The minimum acceleration will be somewhere 250 times, and the maximum will be about 65,000 times. That is, for a disposable cup that has been filled for at least an hour, and this is a real situation somewhere on a picnic, there is all the chances to pour out their content on the table at best , at worst, on himself or his electronic devices. Even if this cup was made a few days before that and was stored in a stock in perfect conditions.
Therefore, the question arises - how do you deal with such issue?

View all comments