Photo via Unsplash Ever heard of tardigrades? They’re cute microscopic “water bears” that will live long after humans are extinct . Microplastics, tiny, water-insoluble demons, are like their evil twins: invisible objects that pollute every crevice of the earth, from the depths of the Earth’s oceans to the salt we sprinkle in our food . Like tardigrades, they’re going to last a longtime – way longer than we’d like them to. In the search for sustainable plastic alternatives, a research intern from the Institute of Biological Chemistry at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan found a new biodegradable material. Denxybel Montinola, who hails from Cebu, Philippines, engineered a bioplastic using bio-polymers known as pectin and carrageenan, which come from mango peels and seaweed respectively. Part of the reason Montinola used mango peels and seaweed is due to their abundance. Mangoes and seaweed are two of the top ten Philippine exports. Perhaps in the future this bioplastic could join the fold as one of Philippines’ greatest contributions to the world? Not only is Montinola’s alternative sustainable, it’s also better than the plastics we currently use. For one, it’s completely water-soluble, which means it will completely dissolve in water and won’t degrade […]

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