‘’Potato Plastic” an eco-friendly alternative to use of disposable plastic in the fast-food industry

Plastic pollution is a menace that poisons our environment every year and single-use plastic or disposable is a major contributor to the problem. In order to solve this big problem a Swedish student has come up with “Potato Plastic”, an environmentally-friendly alternative to the use of disposable plastic in the fast-food industry.
Starch-based plastic represents a good alternative to the usual plastic. Among the different types of starch, the young Swedish student Pontus Törnqvist researched the potato starch. His invention is a candidate for the prestigious James Dyson award.
The student followed out a ‘trial and error’ process, by initially using algae in biodegradable thermoplastic project, however, it was very successful, later he tried to mix algae with potato starch, a small part of that liquid fell on the ground. When it dried up, it formed a sort of film. And that’s where the Potato Plastic was born.
This is a biodegradable material that can be used to make every object that is usually made with disposable plastic: from straws to cutlery. Then, it will be turned into compost within two months after the use. Potato Plastic is produced by combining potato starch and water. Then, the two are warmed up until the liquid thickens. After that, the mixture is poured into moulds and exposed to heat until it becomes a compact and dry piece. Depending on the liquid quantity poured into the moulds, the materials can be thick, hard or a slim film.
It is a thermoplastic material, which means that it can be modeled when it is exposed to heat and humidity. This opens up many design possibilities, from the shape to the appearance of the surfaces. An extreme heat is not necessary. Therefore, moulds can be made out of plastics. This extremely reduces the costs compared to using metal-made moulds.

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