The world is littered with plastic that is heavily affecting the ecosystem. One of the biggest problems of plastic is that it can take up to 1000 years to decompose (10-20 for plastic bags and up to 450 for plastic bottles).Therefore, finding a solution for replacing plastic in its various application is very important for the environment.
A 17 year old, Angelina Arora, A teenager from Adelaide has developed a new solution to the world’s growing plastic problem. After experimenting with different organic materials, she has come up with a new solution – prawn shells. She has been able to produce compostable plastic using prawn shells and this material decomposes in just 33 days.
She said that the “prawn plastic” product is a biodegradable material and could be used for all sorts of packaging because it was transparent, flexible, durable and insoluble.
Angelina developed the product by mixing an element from prawn shell with a protein from spider web to create a plastic that decomposed 1.5 million times faster than conventional plastics. The product has been developed by mixing a protein from a silk cocoon and an element from prawn shells, which was able to create this compostable plastic. The exoskeleton of prawns is rich in nitrogen, when the plastic breaks down it releases this vital agricultural nutrient back into nature.