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The three letters “BIO” have, nowadays, become a part of our everyday lives, but what lies behind them? First of all, these three letters can prove to be a confusing abbreviation, depending on the context in which they are employed. Most frequently, we speak of “BIO”, foods, meaning that they are organic. This means that no chemical additives have been used in the agricultural production process and that this production is biodiversity-friendly.

When it comes to materials, "BIO" has no meaning. The abbreviation cannot be used to characterise a material. Indeed, a material can be solely “biosourced”, solely “biodegradable”, or “biosourced and biodegradable”. It can also be partially biosourced and biodegradable, but in this case, it can only be labelled Biodegradable. To be more precise, below, we explain the specifics of these terms in the context of our application, that is to say, in the context of the replacement of plastic by these materials for the manufacture of hunting ammunition components.


“Biosourced” products are made from renewable raw material, generally plant based. There is no obligation for these plants to be produced by organic farming. These biosourced materials have the same mechanical characteristics and longevity as petrochemically-sourced plastic. They are true plastics, with known recycling problems, but are of vegetable origin.


A “Biodegradable” product meets certain standards. These standards guarantee that the material contains no substances that are toxic to the environment. These standards indicate the rates at which these materials degrade in given contexts. When they are fully degraded, these materials become compost… It is important to understand that a “Biodegradable” material is designed, by definition, to disappear quickly. As a result, it loses its mechanical properties more rapidly than ordinary plastic. This means that its functionality will alter over time. In the case of hunting ammunition, this can result in shooting accidents (our patent avoids this significant problem). The faster biodegradable materials can degrade, the more sensitive they are to their environment, and the faster they lose their mechanical properties. Materials that degrade very quickly require specialist packaging and storage conditions to protect them from humidity, light, UV and excessive temperatures. This packaging and the correct storage conditions must be in place as soon as the material leaves the factory to be transported to the place where it will be transformed into finished or semi-finished products; these manufactured products must, in turn, be packaged in the same way for delivery to the manufacturer who will assemble them. This manufacturer will need to adapt the packaging as necessary to suit the customer.


Experience has shown us that the more rapidly a material deteriorates, the greater is the environmental impact of its packaging. It is essential, therefore, to prioritise one’s goals when choosing the speed and mode of degradation. It should be noted that biodegradation will take place differently, according to whether the material is hydrophobic, aerobic or anaerobic. In all cases, degradation will occur more or less quickly depending upon the environment in which it finds itself.


“Biosourced and Biodegradable” materials combine the characteristics of biodegradable products, and their raw materials are renewable.

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