Damning reports have suggested the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans will outweigh fish by 2050.
Not only is plastic leaking into seas at a startling rate – a truckload per minute, according to World Economic Forum – but once it’s in there, fish mistake it for food.
The situation has left companies across Europe scrambling to produce alternatives to our growing problem with plastics.
One, Novamont, is in the testing phase of its latest bioplastic product, which is designed to biodegrade in a marine environment. Divers have taken to depths below the surface, finding that the product has started to degrade within a month of arrival underwater, and has almost completely disintegrated after a year.
Novamont’s Mater-Bi bioplastic is already used in some packaging, disposable tableware, farming, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals - some of which decompose in soil, others in water.
The company hailed the results of the tests, saying the findings validated the outcomes of its lab-based experiments.
"We came forward with the knowledge we have on our products, that things were as expected and that our products have the same biodegradable characteristics as paper in various marine environments when studied,” said CEO Catia Bastiolo.
“Also in terms of eco-sustainability, there weren't any negative effects on marine life."