IISc researchers find a way to substitute for single-use plastics

What is the News?

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (IISc) have found a way to make a substitute for single-use plastic that can help mitigate the problem of accumulating plastic waste in the environment.

What is the new material developed by IISc?

Researchers have developed polymers using non-edible oil and cellulose extracted from agricultural stubble.

These polymers can be moulded into sheets having properties suitable for making bags, cutlery or containers.

The material so made is also biodegradable, leak-proof and non-toxic.

What is the significance of this development?

Alternative to Single-Use Plastic: Due to the harmful impact of single-use plastic on the environment, this material can become a substitute for single-use plastic.

Usage of Agriculture Stubble: Using agriculture stubble for the replacement of single-use plastics will not address the problem of air pollution. But it will generate additional income opportunities for farmers.

Can be used in Healthcare Facilities: As the material is biodegradable and non-toxic, researchers are planning to use the material for healthcare applications also.

Why is there a need to find an alternative to plastic?

According to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board of India, for the year 2018-2019, 3.3 million metric tonnes of plastic waste are generated by Indians.

Another alarming statistic is that of all the plastic waste produced in the world, 79% enters the environment. Only 9% of all plastic waste is recycled.

Accumulation of plastic waste is detrimental to the environment and when this waste finds its way into the sea, there can be major harm to aquatic ecosystems too. Hence, there is a need to find an alternative to substitute the use of plastic.

Source: This post is based on the article IISc researchers find a way to substitute for single-use plasticspublished in The Hindu on 18th September 2021.

Print Friendly and PDF