Plastics is now a global scourge, with more than 311 million tonnes of plastic waste discarded worldwide. Only 14% is recycled! And this pollution unfortunately puts all types of ecosystems in danger. Henderson Island in the Pacific is the perfect example of this serious environmental threat. That’s why researchers at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University have looked at the problem to try to find solutions, and they seem to have succeeded. They combine silk proteins and shrimp waste to create an innovative bio-plastic.
A biodegradable plastic
They were inspired by bio-mimicry to recreate the flexibility and resistance of the wings of butterflies. Nicknamed Shrilk from shrimp and silk. This ecological plastic is fully biodegradable in just a few weeks, and can even be used as a fertilizer to nourish the soil. Durable and flexible, even when wet, this product looks like plastic! It can also be molded or injected. This product could advantageously replace plastic in the packaging industry and in the medical field. All that remains to do now is to put on the bridge a method of manufacture that preserves all of its mechanical properties.