Discovery of an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Plastics
Plastic materials such as polyethene, polysterene and polyvinyl chloride (commonly known as PVC) have become pervasive in its use, be it as disposal containers or plastic bags. However, the ever increasing waste generated by the use of plastics has led to environmental pollution. When plastics are incinerated, they produce toxic fumes and the usage of landfills to bury plastics take up large areas of land.
However, the discovery of a squid protein could help to reduce the dependency on plastics. This protein originated from the ringed teeth of a squid’s predatory arms. This protein can be processed into fibres and recyclable fabrics that are biodegradable and can be sustainably produced using laboratory culture methods.
Furthermore, the production of this squid protein does not require the catching of a squid. This protein can be produced in genetically modified bacteria through the process of fermentation. With raw materials such as sugar, water and oxygen, biopolymers made from this squid protein can be manufactured.