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Waste & Recycling July 08, 2024 12:01:46 AM

Virginia Tech Researchers Work to Create Biodegradable Bioplastics from Food Waste

Waste Advantage
ScrapMonster Author
The project tackles the challenge of oceanic plastic pollution that is becoming even more prevalent with microplastics affecting nearly 88 percent of all marine species, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Virginia Tech Researchers Work to Create Biodegradable Bioplastics from Food Waste

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): Anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of the food that is produced ends up in landfills in the United States. What if there was a way to convert it into something we use every day? Researchers in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are doing just that by developing biodegradable bioplastics from food waste to give those materials a new – and useful – life.

“By creating cost-effective bioplastics that naturally decompose, we can reduce plastic pollution on land and in oceans and address significant issues such as greenhouse gas emissions and economic losses associated with food waste,” said lead researcher Zhiwu “Drew” Wang, associate professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and director of the Center for Applied Water Research and Innovation.

The project tackles the challenge of oceanic plastic pollution that is becoming even more prevalent with microplastics affecting nearly 88 percent of all marine species, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Because they can quickly biodegrade in sea water, the Virginia Tech bioplastics have the potential to reduce the effect of pollution on marine life across the globe. The first-of-its kind pilot project will develop and demonstrate an affordable modular bioprocessing system to produce biodegradable bioplastics from food waste.

Courtesy: www.wasteadvantage.com

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