Angelina Arora, from Sydney Girls High School, with only 16 years old, she was worried about the plastic that was thrown into the oceans, especially the shopping bags. Therefore, he began to think about how to make one that was biodegradable.
He tested with different types of organic waste, such as banana peels, even resorted to shrimp (shrimp) after realizing the similarities between their shells and plastic.
As Aurora explains: "I extracted a carbohydrate called chitin and turned it into chitosan and mixed it with fibroin, which is a protein in silk cocoons."
He discovered that the combination of the two organic products created a material similar to plastic that It broke down 1.5 million times faster than commercial plastics, and it broke down completely in 33 days.
His invention earned him the Innovative Market Award at the 2018 BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards and international recognition at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where he won the fourth prize, as well as a comprehensive scholarship to a prestigious university in the United States.
Angelina Arora from CSIRO on Vimeo.
More than eight million tons of plastic enter the waste stream every year. 91% of it is not recycled. That means it is in landfills and finally makes its way to the ocean. Plastic takes 400 years to decompose.