What Are "Pyroplastics" and Why Are They Deadly?
Last week, Yahoo Finance reported on a strange, unsettling phenomenon taking place on the beaches of the United Kingdom.
The appearance of small, smooth-surfaced pellets of plastic waste that very closely resemble surf-polished stones.
"It's only when you pick them up and feel how light they are that you realize they are not stones at all," reported Hilary Rowlands, a founding member of Tywyn Beach Guardians in Gwynedd, North Wales.
The problem is not a localized one.
"There's not a single beach I've combed where I haven't come across them. Sometimes they are covered in oil or impregnated with the toxins that come from burning plastic," Rowlands added.
Telling these little bits of polyethylene apart from polished granite can be hard with the naked eye, but throw them into water and you'll see the difference instantly.
So what are these impostor pebbles, and where do they come from?
These compact chunks of plastic are known as "pyroplastics" and are formed, as the name suggests, through heating. It's believed that most arriving on British shores are the byproducts of the manufacturing process.
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This Isn't Just a Messy Beach... The Mess Is Already Inside You
Most disturbing of all is the age of some of these samples: Up to 50 years. Meaning that some of these little nuggets of chemical contamination have been shedding microplastic particles into the ocean for half a century.
And that's where the real worry lies. The microplastics that enter the water inevitably also enter the food chain, starting with the lowest rungs and working their way all the way up to the planet's ultimate end users: Homo sapiens.
The health risks here are what can only be described as exotically frightening. Reproductive damage, genetic mutations, as well as birth defects and developmental problems in children are just the beginning.
Plastic contamination has been linked to the emergence of deadly childhood allergies, creating a lifetime of risk for otherwise healthy individuals.
There's no need to get into the nitty-gritty of the problems it can cause, as the issue is clear, present, and severe.
What we need now is a solution.
Can We End Our Plastic Addiction?
And that is exactly what one small Canadian materials research company has found.
It's created a truly compostable plastic alternative unlike anything that has come onto the market before.
Truly compostable means that this material will degrade and return to the earth at the same speed as an apple core — with most consumer products completely disappearing after two months in a natural, uncatalyzed environment.
This company decided to enter the market with one of today's fastest-growing single-use plastic products: the coffee pod.
With over 50 billion hitting the market and then hitting the landfills every single year, the demand for these small containers is immense, but there was another reason behind the selection.
Coffee pods, in order to work, need to withstand high heat and high pressures, similar to those inside of an espresso machine. For a material to be able to sit on a shelf — for years, if need be — still operate as needed in a Keurig machine, and then decay into nothing inside of two months is borderline magic.
Could This Be the End of Single-Use Plastics?
The company that developed this material will soon be expanding its product line, with licensing deals likely to follow soon after.
But here's the part that should get any investors out there intrigued: This is a sub-$100 million company, and this material is literally its entire business model.
That makes this a pure play in one of today's most in-demand sectors.
And let's face it, we as a consumer culture are not going to stop using single-use products like disposable forks, plates, cups, and bottles.
Our only choice is to start using a material that doesn't poison our food supply.
There's really too much for me to say about this company right here, right now, which is why my video team and I have released a full-length informational presentation on the topic.
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Fortune favors the bold,
His flagship service, Microcap Insider, provides market-beating insights into some of the fastest moving, highest profit-potential companies available for public trading on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges. With more than 5 years of track record to back it up, Microcap Insider is the choice for the growth-minded investor. Alex contributes his thoughts and insights regularly to Wealth Daily. To learn more about Alex, click here.
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