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Addressing Plastic Pollution with 100% Biodegradable "Barley Plastic" (One Day)

biodegradable bioplastics microplastics pla pva

Plastic pollution is a significant environmental issue, with traditional plastics contributing to landfills, ocean waste, and greenhouse gas emissions. Although bioplastics like PLA (polylactic acid) and PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) seem like they offer some eco-friendly alternatives, they come with limitations and often still contribute microplastics of there own. PLA and PVA often require industrial composting facilities to degrade and can still contribute to pollution if not properly managed. 

Researchers invent 100% biodegradable barley plastic

As great as this sounds the timeline is uncertain so in the mean time reduce plastic use at home.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have developed a groundbreaking solution: 100% biodegradable "barley plastic." This new material aims to reduce plastic pollution and mitigate the climate impact of plastic production.

Key Points:

Overview of the New Biodegradable Plastic:

  • Innovative Material: Researchers have created a new biodegradable material from modified barley starch and fiber from sugarbeet waste. This "barley plastic" can completely decompose in nature within two months.
  • Superior Properties: Barley plastic is stronger and more water-resistant than many current bioplastics, which often require specialized facilities to break down.

Limitations of Current Bioplastics:

  • Partial Biodegradability: While bioplastics are made from bio-derived materials, only a small portion is fully biodegradable. Many require industrial composting facilities to decompose. 
  • Recycling Challenges: Efficient plastic recycling is difficult because different types of plastic need careful separation to avoid contamination.

Potential Applications and Timeline:

  • Collaboration with Industry: Researchers are working with packaging companies to develop prototypes for food packaging and exploring potential uses in the automotive industry.
  • Future Developments: Prototypes for various applications, including soft and hard packaging like trays, bottles, and bags, could be ready within 1-5 years.

In summary, the new 100% biodegradable "barley plastic" invented by researchers at the University of Copenhagen offers a promising solution to the global plastic pollution crisis and aims to reduce the environmental impact of plastic production.

barley film plastic

Source: https://news.ku.dk/all_news/2024/06/researchers-invent-one-hundred-percent-biodegradable-barley-plastic

Researchers invent one hundred percent biodegradable "barley plastic" A biofriendly new material made from barley starch blended with fibre from sugarbeet waste sees the light of day at the University of Copenhagen – a strong material that turns into compost should it end up in nature.

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