Biodegradable plastics are being developed by researchers obtained from microorganisms that nourish on sea-weed. And more importantly, it generates zero toxic waste as well as can be reprocessed into organic waste. As per the UN, plastic reports for up to 90% of all the contaminants in our oceans, still there are few equivalents, environmentally friendly substitutes to the substance.
Alexander Golberg of the Tel Aviv University, Israel, said, “Plastics take so many years to decompose. Thus, packaging, bags, and bottles generate plastic ‘continents’ within the oceans, cause a threat to animals, and contaminate the environment. Also, plastic is created from petroleum products that have an industrial method that discharges chemical pollutants as a byproduct.”
He further said, “Our new method generates ‘plastic’ from the marine microorganisms that entirely reprocess into organic waste.” The scientists cultured microorganisms that nourish themselves on seaweed to create a bioplastic polymer known as PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate).
Golberg said, “Our raw substance was multicellular seaweed, farmed in the sea, which was consumed by single-celled microorganisms that also breed in extremely salty water and generate a polymer which can be utilized to make bioplastic.”
He continued, “There are already units that generate this sort of bioplastic in marketable amounts, but they utilize plants that need fresh water and agricultural land. The technique we suggest will allow nations with a dearth of fresh water, like China, India, and Israel, to move to biodegradable plastics from petroleum-derived plastics.” Scientists could transform the efforts of the world to clean the oceans, without impacting arable terrain and without utilizing fresh water.
Likewise, recently a team of UC San Diego biologists was bestowed with a $2 Million grant by the US Department of Energy to study plastic polymers derived from algae that decompose easier than usual plastics. The reward is a segment of an $80 Million grant scheme from the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office to sponsor a sum of 3 dozen bioenergy R&D projects.
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