Newlight Technologies and Gelson’s Markets, a 27-store supermarket chain operating in the Los Angeles and San Diego markets, has launched Aircarbon foodware that incorporates a plastic-like material made without petrochemicals.
According to the manufacturer, Aircarbon emerged from 10 years of research to replace plastic with a naturally-occurring material that has similar characteristics but is made with a naturally occurring substrate. Aircarbon’s basic composition is a molecule known as PHB, which occurs naturally in Earth ecosystems, including in trees, animals and the human body, it stated. Newlight makes Aircarbon at a manufacturing facility, now at scale in California, by mimicking a process found in the ocean.
Aircarbon contains no BPAs, no phthalates and no PFAS, the company noted, and is certified carbon negative by SCS Global Services. Manufacturing is net negative carbon because it draws in air through production. The material can be melted and formed into parts, such as foodware, providing the performance benefits of plastic with the environmental plus of a plastic-free, naturally-occurring material.
“We believe we must end the flow of plastics into the ocean in this generation,” said Mark Herrema, CEO of Newlight, in introducing Aircarbon. “For us, that means making sustainable products that people love and that also work for the environment. This launch is the culmination of over 18 years of hard work by many dedicated people, and we couldn’t be more excited to launch with Gelson’s as a partner.”
Currently, the Aircarbon product line includes disposable utensils and straws.