Frequently Asked Questions – Your questions & our answers
Natural polymer is very similar to conventional polymer. It is based on plants and is therefore an environmentally friendly alternative to oil products. NaKu produces all products with the highest possible proportion of renewable raw materials and they are fully biodegradable.
We only add substances that meet the strict conditions of the DIN standard 13432, the valid standard for biodegradable materials. After the rotting of our products compost of quality grade A and therefore best nutrient for new plants arises.
It is important to us that the starch contained in our NaKu bags is GMO-free. The appropriate certificates for our raw material manufacturers are available to us. Only disadvantage: all advantages of our products (GMO-free, European cultivation, Austrian added value, CO2 saving production, food-safe, biodegradable, especially breathable, etc.) affect the production costs.
Maize and potato starch has been industrially used for decades. The greater proportion is used by feed and food industry. Starch is an ideal raw material, because it is produced in great quantities with constant quality. One of the greatest industrial uses is the upmost layer of paper that is coated with starch for a better writability. Also in the chemical industry starch is used as a basic material for the production of adhesives, glue, labels, cosmetics and colors.
At the moment it is not possible for us to only use waste products for the production of natural polymers, because in choosing our raw materials we are dependent on the availability of existing technologies and the supply of the granulate production. We put major efforts in the production of biopolymers on the basis of by- or waste products of food industry. With the development of our sunflower products made of sunflower hulls, the waste product of sunflower oil production, we made an important step in this direction. Through an upcycling process, wasteful by-products are usefully reused; the start of an important process in the direction of bioplastic of the next generation.
We consider the production of natural polymers rather as an alternative for farmers that are subsidized for leaving fields idle. Therefore we at least have the possibility to support the domestic economy. We hope that in the future more public authorities will support the distribution of natural polymers.
Of course we don’t like it if our decomposable polymer gets into nature (un-)deliberately although natural polymers will biodegrade completely sooner or later. The lifespan depends on several aspects: humidity, circulation, oxygen supply, etc.
Optimal conditions can be found in an industrial composting plant. It’s always 60°C warm there; there are a lot of bacteria and a constant circulation. Under these conditions the biodegradation takes a few days.
For instance, in an agricultural organic compost heap that is regularly intermixed it takes about 9 to 12 weeks in warm weather until our NaKu bags are completely rotted.
If a NaKu bag happens to remain lying on the roadside or in the woods, nature needs to rely on itself. Still it only takes about one to two years for a NaKu bag to be degraded under influence of wind, sunshine, rain and bacteria. Of course that’s not perfect but better still than when you look at conventional plastic. Conventional plastic is neither biodegradable nor can it rot. Only after several decades it does start to break down into little pieces. The problem is still there – we just can’t see it anymore. If this conventional plastic gets into the sea, fish or seabirds think it is plankton and eat it. They then die with a proverbially full stomach.
The processing of NaKu-granulate takes similar amounts of energy as the processing of conventional polymers. Bioplastic carrier bags have a slightly better energy balance than the same articles made of conventional polymer. This is because our raw materials must first be planted and harvested and starch and sugar must be separated.
The use of natural polymers has a big impact on the carbon footprint and therefore an effect on climate and climate change. For us it is very important for our future (and the future of our children) that modern technologies are run in a cycle. They should be able to renew themselves, without consuming the resources of our planet. Natural polymers are a big step in this direction, because their cycle is closed within itself: from the plant to the natural polymer and through biodegradation back to the earth. Another advantage is that no microplastic remains, although this is not recorded in the CO2 balance.
Even if they look very similar to conventional plastic, our NaKu products are natural products that are subject to aging. We guarantee the quality of your fresh-storage bags for the first six month after production. We normally ship our products fresh from the production. The quality should not change in the first 12 month, after about 14 month the bag can lose about 10-15% of its carrying capacity. After about 36 month (depending on storage conditions) our bags start to get brittle and porous. They start to disintegrate, like they should at the end of their life cycle. Without an impact of bacteria, our NaKu bottle lasts for years.
Of course. The repeated use and the versatile application are part of our basic sustainability concept. You can refill, wash and reuse your NaKu bag as often as you want. If mould ever enters your NaKu bag though, the rotting process starts. You should not use it again in this case. The bag can now serve in its final purpose as an organic waste bag.
In our you can find all NaKu products of natural polymer. The webshop also provides you with information about products that can be produced on request, like individually printed bags or B2B products.
The sunflower displays are, like all NaKu products, made of natural polymer. Other than the bags and the kitchenware, they are not made of maize, but of grounded sunflower hulls. In this new method, sunflower hulls, a waste product of oil production, are reused in an upcycling process. Accruing waste is reused wisely!
Yes! The sunflower display is a product made of natural polymer and is therefore made of renewable raw materials. It is biodegradable and is produced in Austria. Especially ecological is the usage of waste products as raw material; the sunflowers are not cultivated deliberately for this product. Due to the application as slatwall system a lot of different combinations are possible, so the display allows equipping whole rooms PVC-free.
The sunflower display was an example showing that it is already possible for some applications to use waste for natural polymers. Having developed a polymer you can give any shape you like to it. Keep in mind that polymer production is dedicated for high numbers, but we like to get request to make our customer products out of NaKus sunflower.