Scientists estimate that roughly 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year. To solve this, a company in the Netherlands called Avantium is creating plastic from plants which they claim to have a rapid decomposition rate. 

Instead of taking centuries to biodegrade, the company’s plant-based plastic products are designed to decompose in only a few years. 

“We need bio-based plastics with a superior performance that can be recycled, that can save carbon dioxide, and can rapidly biodegrade once they get into the ocean or the environment,” Jacco Van Haveren, a researcher, to a digital news source called AJ+. 

Traditional plastic is petroleum-based but Aventium’s plant-based plastic can be used similarly to make bottles or fibers. 

“It’s an interesting material to consider and evaluate. There are really many options and we think this material has the potential to be applied in different areas such as textiles or apparel,” said Gert-Jan Gruter, Aventium’s Chief Technology Officer.