Scientists Develop Biodegradable Plastic That Could End Sea Pollution

Plastic is cheap and easy to make but its bad for earth as waste material does not degrade and poisons the soild and underground water reservoirs. However, scientists have finally found a way to make biodegradable plastic.

The planetary health of the Earth has been deteriorating at a very large scale and the main cause is pollution. Plastic waste is not biodegradable and it has played a significant role in polluting oceans and waters throughout the Earth. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish and this plastic will affect our tap water as well. Microplastics now make up 83% of the tap water we drink and use.

Read More: 83% of World’s Drinking Water Contains Plastic

Scientists Create Plastic From Sugar

Scientists from the Centre of Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) at the University of Bath have created plastic from a naturally occurring sugar called thymidine and carbon dioxide.

Plastic industries usually use harmful chemicals such as petrochemicals and material to make plastic. This plastic is not biodegradable and pollutes the Earth.

CO2 is added to thymidine sugar in a low pressure and at a room temperature. This reaction results in a polycarbonate – a tough plastic which can be used to make drinking bottles, CDs and DVDs, glass lenses, and even scratch-resistant covers for phones.

Not The First Biodegradable Plastic

The possibility of biodegradable plastic is nothing new and many kinds have been developed in the past. What made CSCT’s invention special is that this one is more practical. “Biodegradable” plastic made in the past wasn’t as practical because some of the types only degraded in temperatures above 50C.

This special plastic has the same features of normal plastic – it is tough, transparent and scratch resistant. It can also be easily degraded by the enzymes found in soil bacteria.

Via UniversityOfBath