Plastics of the future

We are living in the midst of an environmental crisis. At the time of writing this article there is an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic polluting our oceans. Much of that plastic is petroleum based. Petroleum is a fossil fuel that is destructive to the ozone layer, and is existant in only a limited quantity. In fact, scientists speculate that we only have 100 years (approximation) until we completely run out of fossil fuels.

Because we are going to run out of petroleum soon, scientists are looking to alternatives to petroleum based plastics, namely, Bioplastics.

Image result for bioplastics

Bioplastics were an idea first introduced by Henry Ford in 1941. The initiative to make plastic from plants was all but forgotten until 1990 when a enviornmentalists started to look for effective alternatives to the prevalent pbp’s (Petroleum based plastics). Bioplastics are a type of plastic polymer that are made using renewable biomass sources such as… Cellulose, potato or corn starch waste. There are many advantages that come with bioplastic use. They include (but aren’t limited to)

  • A carbon footprint reduction
  • and safe materials that do not contain additives that are harmful to human health
Image result for edible water bottles

Some companies have leaned into the concept of bioplastics. One such company is Ooho (based out of spain). The concept behond ooho, is wrapping ice with a bioplastic “shell”. Once the ice melts, the water is stored in a completely edible membrane. This is just one cool solution to this expanive epidemic that is plauging the world.

Everyone can help the world by being more mindful of the plastic they use, and by recyling more. You can even make your own bioplastics at home! A link to a fun DIY experiment is listed below! -Yash Banga

https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/videos/chemmatters-april2010-bioplastics.pdf

Sources:

Bioplastics

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