Source: None

If you think grocery bags made from shrimp sounds fishy, think again!

Scientists have found a way to turn discarded shrimp shells into biodegradable plastic.

The project could help alleviate waste and reduce plastic pollution

Scientists at Nile University clean and chemically treat shrimp shells, then ground them up and dissolve them in a solution that dries to form plastic. 

The shells would otherwise go to waste. The researchers have utilised chitosan, a polymer made from the compound chitin commonly found in crustacean shells, to make their clear, thin plastic prototype. They’re able to obtain the shells inexpensively, sourcing them from local supermarkets, restaurants, and fishermen at low prices. Source: Facebook/AJ+English

Harvard’s Wyss Institute has been researching medical applications for the plastic

Wyss Institute researchers have developed a fully degradable bioplastic by isolating a material called chitosan found in shrimp shells and forming a laminate with silk fibroin protein that mimics the microarchitecture of natural insect cuticle. The new material, called “Shrilk”, can be used to manufacture objects without the environmental threat posed by conventional synthetic plastics, and then it rapidly biodegrades when placed in compost releasing nitrogen-rich nutrient fertilizer. Because chitosan and fibroin are both used in FDA-approved devices, Shrilk also may be useful for creating implantable foams, films and scaffolds for surgical closure, wound healing, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine applications.

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