Connect with us

Environment

New Biorenewable, Biodegradable Plastic Alternative Discovered

Renewable resources are the future, and it’s time to make the switch.

Lauren Ammar

Published

on

With our oceans currently full of almost as much plastic as there are fish, plastic pollution is a considerable problem for our planet.

It may be unrealistic to expect people to stop using plastic altogether, but thankfully there are many suitable alternatives to harmful petroleum-based plastics. These new eco-friendly plastics are much more sustainable and compassionate towards the earth and all life on it.

A recent study published in Nature Communications reveals that researchers at Colorado State University have created a new biomaterial derived from natural microorganisms. This newfound discovery could really make a difference in the way plastic is produced, leading to less negative environmental impacts in the world.

The team of chemists was led by CSU’s Professor of Chemistry, Eugene Chen. “More than 200 pounds of synthetic polymers are consumed per person each year — plastics probably the most in terms of production volume. And most of these polymers are not biorenewable,” Chen said. “Toxic plastic waste can take hundreds or thousands of years to decompose, posing a problem for natural ecosystems.” The team synthesized a polymer (large molecule) from bacteria, and this bacterial poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) is known as P3HB. This can also be created using algae and other microorganisms, as well as fermented glucose. The substance is a biomaterial, approved by the U.S. Department of Energy, and it can be used in the same way that petroleum-based plastics are currently being used. The biomass-derived material can easily be substituted in industrial production, and is expected to become more prominent in the future. As of now, production costs still remain high, but as technology increases, the price could decrease to make the material more available to consumers.

It is worth noting that this is not the first bio-renewable, biodegradable plastic created, as there are many other environmentally-conscious plastic alternatives available as well, such as those made from hemp, bamboo, corn starch, leaves and more. However, these green plastics are less well known and therefore not as widespread as they could be.

It is simply a matter of awareness and striving to make an effort to do better. There is a lot of potential in renewable resources, and the future is full of possibility. Plastics made from fossil fuels may still be the most common choice in these present times, but that could soon be a thing of the past.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Lauren Ammar is an aspiring herbalist and aromatherapist, and is currently attending Michigan State University, majoring in Sustainable and Organic Horticulture with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She loves sunshine, herbs, flowers, trees, gemstones and sunsets. She is passionate about holistic health and wellness, and enjoys living a pure, eco-friendly, high-vibrational lifestyle. She seeks to bring more natural beauty, wisdom, awareness, peace, grace and creativity to the world.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Government2 days ago

Former Astronaut Mark Kelly Will Run for Senate in 2020

If elected in 2020, Kelly will become fourth-ever American astronaut elected to Congress.

by , The Catholic American University
Government2 weeks ago

Gen Z Alongside Millennials Prefer Socialism Than Capitalism

The kids are all left-wing.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

New Year, New Laws for 2019

New year means new laws.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality1 month ago

Nancy Pelosi Elected Speaker of the House

Democrats continued to control the House on Thursday by electing Nancy Pelosi who returned to be the first woman to...

by , Mercy College
Government1 month ago

The House to Approve Legislation of Reopening of the Government

Late Thursday night, the new Democratic House passed bills that would reopen the government without paying for Trump’s border wall....

by , Mercy College
Government1 month ago

Elizabeth Warren Announces She is Running for President in 2020

On New Years Eve, Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D) Massachusetts, announced that she will become a candidate to enter the 2020...

by , Mercy College
Government2 months ago

Senator Elizabeth Warren Wants to Create a Public Option for Generic Drugs

The Massachusetts senator wants to take on big pharma.

by , The Catholic American University
Art2 months ago

Movie Review: Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’

The Mexican director's latest reflects the modern state of the human experience.

by , The Catholic American University

Top Reads