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Effectiveness of Biodegradable Plastic in Preventing Food Spoilage

Zhang et al. | Mar 20, 2012

Effectiveness of Biodegradable Plastic in Preventing Food Spoilage

Most people put little thought into the type of plastic wrap they use to store their leftovers. This study investigates the differences between biodegradable plastic wrap and non-biodegradable plastic wrap in their ability to prevent food spoilage. Does one work better than the other? Read more to find out!

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Differentiation of Waste Plastic Pyrolysis Fuels to Conventional Diesel Fuel

Jewison et al. | May 25, 2018

Differentiation of Waste Plastic Pyrolysis Fuels to Conventional Diesel Fuel

Plastic pollution and energy shortages are pressing issues in today’s world. The authors examined whether waste plastic pyrolysis fuels are similar to conventional diesel and, thus, a plausible alternative fuel. Results showed that waste plastic pyrolysis fuels did not match up to diesel overall, though several fuels came close in calorific value.

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Comparing the Biodegradability of Petroleum-based Plastic with a Novel, Sustainable Bio-plastic Alternative

Van Note et al. | Dec 02, 2020

Comparing the Biodegradability of Petroleum-based Plastic with a Novel, Sustainable Bio-plastic Alternative

In this research, a novel bioplastic inclusive of bamboo tannins and chitosan is selected from more than 60 trial formula variations based on resulting strength, fatigue, and transparency attributes. The biodegradability of the finalized bioplastic is compared to that of conventional polyethylene, in addition to investigating its solubility and water absorbance. This research displays the potential of a legitimate, fully biodegradable plastic alternative to current marketplace bioplastics.

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A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Tsai et al. | Apr 05, 2019

A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Sweet potatoes are one of the most common starches in Taiwan, and sweet potato peels hold significant potential to make biodegradable plastics which can alleviate the environmental impact of conventional petroleum-based plastics. In this paper, Tsai et al created starch-based bioplastics derived from sweet potato peels and manipulated the amount of added glycerol to alter the plastic’s strength and flexibility properties. Their results indicated that higher concentrations of glycerol yield more malleable plastics, providing insights into how recycled agricultural waste material might be used to slow down the rate of pollution caused by widespread production of conventional plastics.

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The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Zhang et al. | Nov 28, 2013

The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-based, compostable plastic that is comparable in cost to petroleum-based plastics. This study aims to evaluate the effects of UV treatment and mechanical chopping on the degradation of PLA. Based on their findings, the authors propose an alternative PLA degradation process that may be more time and energy efficient than current processes.

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Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Srebnik et al. | Jan 20, 2021

Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Does the overuse of plastic in Japan poses an ecological risk to marine species and their consumers? Using visual and chemical dissection, all fish in this study were found to have microplastics present in their gastrointestinal tract, including two species that are typically eaten whole in Japan. Overall, these results are concerning as previous studies have found that microplastics can carry persistent organic pollutants. It is presumed that the increasing consumption of microplastics will have negative implications on organ systems such as the liver, gut, and hormones.

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Two Wrongs Could Make a Right: Food Waste Compost Accelerated Polystyrene Consumption of Tenebrio molitor

Fu et al. | Jul 13, 2020

Two Wrongs Could Make a Right: Food Waste Compost Accelerated Polystyrene Consumption of <em>Tenebrio molitor</em>

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a plastic used to make food containers and packing materials that poses a threat to the environment. Mealworms can degrade EPS, but at a slow rate. Here, researchers assessed the impact of food waste compost and oats on the speed of EPS consumption by mealworms, superworms, and waxworms. A positive correlation was found between food waste compost supplementation and EPS consumption, especially by mealworms, indicating a potential industrial application.

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A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Schafer et al. | Feb 17, 2019

A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Plastic debris can disrupt marine ecosystems, spread contaminants, and take years to naturally degrade. In this study, Wu et al aim to establish an understanding of the scope of Williamston, Michigan’s microplastics problem, as well as to attempt to find the source of these plastics. Initially, the authors hypothesize that the Williamston Wastewater Treatment Plant was the primary contributor to Williamston’s microplastics pollution. Although they find a general trend of increasing concentrations of microplastics from upstream to downstream, they do not pinpoint the source of Williamston’s microplastics pollution in the present research.

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