Scientists turn Shrimp Shells into Eco-friendly Plastic!

In the Philippines, it was announced at the start of January 2019 that single-use plastics and products could be banned in the country as House Bill No. 8692 or the “Ban on Single-use Plastic Products” was filed at the House of Representatives. Also, there was news about a Filipino engineer that upcycled plastic waste into something incredibly useful like school chairs.

Egyptian researchers from Nile University have been developing a kind of plastic made from dried shrimp shells. The kind of plastic that won’t be harmful to the planet.

From the shrimp shell waste, the scientist chemically treats the shells after cleaning them, then they ground the shells up and it is dissolved into a solution that dries off to form plastic.

Irene Samy, the professor who oversees the project, conducted post-doctoral research that explored the idea of plastic from shells to reduce plastic pollution and waste.

As Samy shared that “the plastic has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties” it should also be noted that “if commercialized, this could really help us decrease our waste…and it could help us improve our food exports.” They envision that the plastic can be used for packaging and act as a replacement for plastic bags.

Also, a team of Harvard scientists has been working with shrimp shells. they isolated a substance in its exoskeleton to make chitosan, a super tough carbohydrate that comes from the crustacean’s shells. The final product of the plastic is named as “shrilk” and can break down after two weeks while releasing nutrients to feed plants.

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