My business partner and I spent two, 1.5 hour blocks of class time with seniors and juniors discussion bio-materials, the state of the industry and where we see it going in the future. Both classes have some pretty amazing kids who asked some very astute questions about the industry, our business and the future.
Several students challenged why the products and our closed loop composting system isn’t being made more available to the general public. We explained that we want to work with the local composting company to ensure that the products are labeled properly and easily distinguished from petroleum based products. The problem is that many of the products are not distinguishable. The end result is the composter has contaminates in the form of non-composting, petroleum based products in their compost heap which must be sorted out.
The kids challenged why it is taking so long to make the improvements which have to made to improve our environment. We explained that there is 50 years and billions of dollars invested in a petroleum based infrastructure. It will take time for products based on plants to become as cost effective as significant investments need to be made. What will speed up the transition is the inevitable rise in the price of oil as the world economy returns and demand outstrips supply. A tipping point will be reached when plant based products will not only make the sense for the environment, but will make the most economic sense.
We had outstanding discussions on the chemistry of the materials, their uses and where the future lies. It is our belief that the 80 million tons of petroleum based plastics produced each year will someday mostly be made from plants. Engineering materials will be developed and uses will extend into automotive, aerospace and beyond.
The talented juniors and seniors reminded me once more that there is a bright future for our planet. In their lifetime they will see dramatic changes for the better and they will be leading many of those important changes. Thanks to the Crescent Valley AP Environmental Science class! We enjoyed the discussion !