Biome’s team is on a mission project to develop, test and bring to market a new generation of biodegradable tree shelters.
- Tree shelters are used to protect young trees and hedges from predation by animals.
- They are widely used by the forestry industry as a well-proven and economic route to limiting losses in the first 5 years after planting.
- Most tree shelters are made from oil-based and non-biodegradable plastics and are not collected at the end of their life with the result they litter the landscape with microplastic pieces (UK estimate of 2500 tonnes per year).
- Plans to significantly increase tree planting as part of the UK’s push to net zero emissions will exacerbate these littering problems without an innovative solution.
We believe we can develop such a solution and began work on this challenge in 2020 with a design brief of designing shelters that provide market-leading protection to growing trees, not hinder growth as trees reach maturity and then completely biodegrading in soil (with no microplastics or toxicological effects) if not collected.
The story of the first phase of our collaborative journey is told in the video below:
We are delighted that this ground-breaking work has received £58,843 of supportive funding from InnovateUK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund (SBRI Phase 1) that seeks, following COVID-19, to demonstrate the impact and potential of a clean growth led recovery and transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
If you are passionate about forestry and the environment and would like to be involved in our work please contact us