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The biodegradable straw - Investigating how enzymes can be used to enhance desired product qualities of drinking devices.

Parnefjord Gustafsson, Charlotte LU and Liang, Hanna (2020) MMKM10 20201
Product Development
Abstract
The increasing production of single-use plastics negatively affects the climate. The resulting plastic ocean debris has fatal consequences to marine life. As a result, the European Parliament has placed a ban on single-use plastics by 2021, making it essential to study sustainable materials for single-use products such as straws. Previous research has investigated how enzymes can be used to catalyse reactions in food processing. However, little research has explored the use of enzymes to biodegrade the material of single-use straws or drinking devices. This thesis aims to investigate how different designs and material combinations using enzymes can enhance both the environmental profile and user experience of drinking devices.

... (More)
The increasing production of single-use plastics negatively affects the climate. The resulting plastic ocean debris has fatal consequences to marine life. As a result, the European Parliament has placed a ban on single-use plastics by 2021, making it essential to study sustainable materials for single-use products such as straws. Previous research has investigated how enzymes can be used to catalyse reactions in food processing. However, little research has explored the use of enzymes to biodegrade the material of single-use straws or drinking devices. This thesis aims to investigate how different designs and material combinations using enzymes can enhance both the environmental profile and user experience of drinking devices.

Interviews with 24 experts at Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions AB and the Division of Biotechnology at Lund University were conducted to gain insights into industry needs and material development. Moreover, a questionnaire based on Kano Analysis was performed to study consumer preferences regarding features of drinking devices. Statistical methods were used to analyse the results from the 308 respondents and target specifications were established for the product development.

Based on a literature study, interviews and consumer preferences, multiple material combinations and designs were developed and evaluated. The final recommendation is a fibre-based drinking device with a PHB surface treatment with encapsulated enzyme. The purpose of surface treatment is to improve the moisture resistance and mouthfeeling. Furthermore, the role of the enzyme is to increase the biodegradation rate of the PHB. The suggested design is an ergonomically shaped mouthpiece for increased stability and control, reducing potential spilling. A theoretical multiple linear regression model is developed as a proposal for evaluating the biodegradation of the bioplastic surface treatment. Further experimental testing is needed with the material combination, prototyping of the final product design as well as the theoretical biodegradation model. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Den ökande produktionsvolymen av engångsplaster har negativ påverkan på klimatet. De resulterande havsplastföroreningarna har omfattande konsekvenser för marint liv. Som ett resultat har Europaparlamentet infört ett förbud mot engångsplaster till år 2021, vilket gör att det av grundläggande betydelse att studera alternativa och hållbara material för engångsprodukter som sugrör. Tidigare forskning har undersökt hur enzymer kan användas för att katalysera reaktioner i livsmedelsbearbetning. Däremot finns det mindre forskning om hur enzymer kan användas för att bryta ner material för engångsbruk. Detta examensarbete har som syfte att undersöka hur olika designs och materialkombinationer med enzymer kan förbättra både sugrörens miljöprofil... (More)
Den ökande produktionsvolymen av engångsplaster har negativ påverkan på klimatet. De resulterande havsplastföroreningarna har omfattande konsekvenser för marint liv. Som ett resultat har Europaparlamentet infört ett förbud mot engångsplaster till år 2021, vilket gör att det av grundläggande betydelse att studera alternativa och hållbara material för engångsprodukter som sugrör. Tidigare forskning har undersökt hur enzymer kan användas för att katalysera reaktioner i livsmedelsbearbetning. Däremot finns det mindre forskning om hur enzymer kan användas för att bryta ner material för engångsbruk. Detta examensarbete har som syfte att undersöka hur olika designs och materialkombinationer med enzymer kan förbättra både sugrörens miljöprofil samt användarupplevelse.

Intervjuer med 24 experter genomfördes på Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions AB och avdelningen för bioteknik vid Lunds universitet för att få insikt om branschens behov och om materialutveckling. Dessutom togs ett frågeformulär fram baserat på Kano-analys för att studera konsumenternas preferenser gällande sugrörs olika funktioner. Statistiska metoder användes sedan för att analysera resultaten från de 308 respondenterna och därefter fastställdes målspecifikationer för produktutvecklingen.

Baserat på litteraturstudie, intervjuer och konsumenternas behov, utvecklades och utvärderades flera lösningar. Den slutliga rekommendationen består av ett fiberbaserat sugrör och en PHB-ytbehandling med inkapslat enzym. Syftet med ytbehandlingen är att förbättra fuktbeständigheten och munkänslan. Enzymets roll är att öka den biologiska nedbrytningshastigheten för PHB. Den föreslagna designen är ett ergonomiskt format munstycke för ökad stabilitet och kontroll, vilket minskar potentiellt spill. En teoretisk multipel linjär regressionsmodell föreslås utvecklas för att göra en utvärdering av biologisk nedbrytning av den bioplastiska ytbehandlingen. Ytterligare experimentella tester behövs gällande materialkombinationen, prototyputveckling av den slutliga produktdesignen samt den teoretiska biologiska nedbrytningsmodellen. (Less)
Popular Abstract
The increasing ocean debris from single-use plastics has fatal consequences to marine life. As a response, the European Parliament imposed a ban on single-use products, such as straws, by 2021. The new regulations are making it essential to study alternative sustainable materials. Although paper straws have become a popular substitute, product qualities such as sogginess are reducing consumer satisfaction. Furthermore, little research has identified how enzymes can be used to enhance the desired qualities of straws. In this thesis, the possibilities of using enzymes to create a biodegradable and user-friendly straw are investigated.

Through interviews with experts in the packaging industry and biotechnology, challenges and opportunities... (More)
The increasing ocean debris from single-use plastics has fatal consequences to marine life. As a response, the European Parliament imposed a ban on single-use products, such as straws, by 2021. The new regulations are making it essential to study alternative sustainable materials. Although paper straws have become a popular substitute, product qualities such as sogginess are reducing consumer satisfaction. Furthermore, little research has identified how enzymes can be used to enhance the desired qualities of straws. In this thesis, the possibilities of using enzymes to create a biodegradable and user-friendly straw are investigated.

Through interviews with experts in the packaging industry and biotechnology, challenges and opportunities in utilising enzymes for drinking devices are discussed. Mainly, the analysis suggests that there is a potential for using bioplastics as a surface treatment to a paper-based drinking device. Current paper straws quickly become soft and wet during use and a bioplastic surface treatment is a potential solution. Bioplastics have similar properties to fossil-based plastics but also offer additional advantages as they are biodegradable and biobased. A potential to utilise encapsulated enzymes in the surface treatment was identified to increase the rate of biodegradation before recycling.

To identify consumers’ preferences about drinking devices, a survey was conducted with 308 respondents. Safety, moisture resistance and flavourless were identified as the most important features of a drinking device. In addition, recyclability and biodegradability are shown to be of high importance according to the respondents.

Based on the interviews and the survey responses, several designs and material proposals for environmentally- and user-friendly drinking devices are suggested and discussed. A theoretical mathematical model is developed as a proposal for how to model the biodegradation rate of the material combination. An outline is also given for how to use a mathematical model for analysing how much an enzyme can speed up the biodegradation process.

The study identifies the potential of using a PHB surface treatment on a fibre-based drinking device with encapsulated enzymes, see Figure 1. The suggested drinking device design is an ergonomic mouthpiece that creates control during use to prevent spillage. Once the drinking device touches the liquid, the encapsulated enzymes will start to biodegrade the bioplastic surface treatment. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Parnefjord Gustafsson, Charlotte LU and Liang, Hanna
supervisor
organization
course
MMKM10 20201
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
biodegradable, bioplastics, drinking devices, enzymes, fibre material, PHA, product design, statistical analysis, straws
language
English
id
9019282
date added to LUP
2020-06-18 08:44:51
date last changed
2020-06-18 08:44:51
@misc{9019282,
  abstract     = {The increasing production of single-use plastics negatively affects the climate. The resulting plastic ocean debris has fatal consequences to marine life. As a result, the European Parliament has placed a ban on single-use plastics by 2021, making it essential to study sustainable materials for single-use products such as straws. Previous research has investigated how enzymes can be used to catalyse reactions in food processing. However, little research has explored the use of enzymes to biodegrade the material of single-use straws or drinking devices. This thesis aims to investigate how different designs and material combinations using enzymes can enhance both the environmental profile and user experience of drinking devices.

Interviews with 24 experts at Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions AB and the Division of Biotechnology at Lund University were conducted to gain insights into industry needs and material development. Moreover, a questionnaire based on Kano Analysis was performed to study consumer preferences regarding features of drinking devices. Statistical methods were used to analyse the results from the 308 respondents and target specifications were established for the product development.

Based on a literature study, interviews and consumer preferences, multiple material combinations and designs were developed and evaluated. The final recommendation is a fibre-based drinking device with a PHB surface treatment with encapsulated enzyme. The purpose of surface treatment is to improve the moisture resistance and mouthfeeling. Furthermore, the role of the enzyme is to increase the biodegradation rate of the PHB. The suggested design is an ergonomically shaped mouthpiece for increased stability and control, reducing potential spilling. A theoretical multiple linear regression model is developed as a proposal for evaluating the biodegradation of the bioplastic surface treatment. Further experimental testing is needed with the material combination, prototyping of the final product design as well as the theoretical biodegradation model.},
  author       = {Parnefjord Gustafsson, Charlotte and Liang, Hanna},
  keyword      = {biodegradable,bioplastics,drinking devices,enzymes,fibre material,PHA,product design,statistical analysis,straws},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The biodegradable straw - Investigating how enzymes can be used to enhance desired product qualities of drinking devices.},
  year         = {2020},
}