Indian researchers create promising plastic substitute from naturally grown seaweeds
Indian researchers at the Mumbai Institute of Chemical Technology have achieved a breakthrough success in developing an eco-friendly plastic substitute from commonly found seaweeds.
A study published in the RSC Advances Journal said that the researchers used three seaweed spices found in India. The extract from seaweeds was treated with common industrial chemical called vinyl acetate in order to make it water repellent.
This development could help India get rid of the fossil fuel-derived plastics. The applications of the plastic-substitute can include replacement of plastic packaging and to produce ropes, bag handles, home-décor products etc.
Seaweeds are marine plants that are also classified as super foods because of their high nutrient content. These seaweeds are commonly found along the coast of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Gujarat.
The researchers were looking to fabricate ropes from seaweed extracts, which is partially-synthetic and partly-natural subspace. The aim was to replace nylon as a material for rope construction for seaweed farming.
However, the finding proved to be much more than just creating ropes.
Lab and field tests showed that ropes made from the seaweed extracts can last for 45 days when used on land and over six months in sea water under acidic conditions.
India land, water, and air, all of them are burdened with various kinds of waste produced in industries. Plastic is one of the major sources of pollution. What makes plastic harmful to our ecology is its high non-biodegradability. It’s almost impossible to get rid of plastic waste completely. Further, the improper garbage disposal and absence of any solid perspective plan regarding solid waste management have worsened the condition for India.