Don't Throw the Shrimp Shell Away. It Helps the Enviroment!

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A lot of people love seafood, especially shrimp and crab.  These crustaceans are tasty but what can we do to the shell left?  Some bioengineers from University of Nottingham in England and Nile University in Egypt are developing a new substitute for plastic bags using a material made out of shrimp shells.

Photo courtesy: http://newatlas.com/plastic-bags-shrimp-shells/47329/


Plastic bags, made from fossil may be convenient to our lives, but the indecomposable characteristic has become a huge problem for the environment.  The plastic contamination and water pollution happen in developing countries like Egypt and North African countries.


Another alternative would be the bioplastics made from plants, but take Egypt for example; most of the cultivation is for production of food and cotton product.  They have to find the other solution.  Chitosan, an artificial polymer made from shrimp shell, which can be the answer for Egyptian condition.


Researchers abstract the polymer from the shrimp shell to form the flakes. These flakes will be processed into a plastic film using conventional manufacturing methods. Compare to original production process, this biopolymer nanocomposite material is cheaper and biodegradable.


Chitosan has already been utilized in food packaging and medical industries because it's not only biocompatible, but has antimicrobial properties.  This technology is a great step for dealing with the plastic pollution of conventional plastic carry bag.

Photo courtesy: University of Nottingham

"Use of a degradable biopolymer made of prawn shells for carrier bags would lead to lower carbon emissions and reduce food and packaging waste accumulating in the streets or at illegal dump sites" says Dr. Nicola Everitt from the Faculty of Engineering at Nottingham who is leading the research.



Source: http://live-uon.cloud.contensis.com/news/pressreleases/2016/december/surf-and-earth-how-prawn-shopping-bags-could-save-the-planet.aspx

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