Transforming offcuts into a biodegradable packaging material

Transforming offcuts into a biodegradable packaging material

12th June 2014

Scientists have discovered a way to transform offcuts of wool and wood into biodegradable packaging material, which could help reduce the world's plastic consumption.

The unlikely marriage is thanks to work done at Deakin University's Institute for Frontier Materials. The university's Dr Nishar Hameed said humans consumed more than 100 million tons of plastics annually. This new processes will instead lead to more biodegradable materials being used.

“We're using cellulose from wood pulp as well as wool, silk, and nano-composites from bone material to produce biodegradable materials for potential application in packaging and clothing,” Dr Hameed said.  He said his new plastics would degrade, helping to stop pollution. “We feel this (new technology) will eventually be good for wool processors and wood producers too,” he said.

So far, production of the plastics has been lab-scale only, but Dr Hameed said researchers were aiming to have the product commercialised.

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Image credit: News Limited

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