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Single-use plastics are a growing problem for our planet, but they have also become a mainstay for people around the world. How can we replace the plastic bags, wrappers and more that plague us? One student has come up with a novel plastic alternative that also happens to avoid the use of virgin materials. This innovative bioplastic is made with materials otherwise destined for disposal — fish parts. Lucy Hughes, a product design student at The University of Sussex, aimed to source materials from the waste stream when she began working on her senior project. With guidance from a tutor, Hughes discovered a fish processing plant called MCB Seafoods, where she took a tour to learn more. During that experience, Hughes learned about the discarded remnants of fish processing including offal, blood, crustacean and shellfish exoskeletons and fish skins and scales. She got to work right away to figure out how she could turn this waste into something useful. The result is MarinaTex, a bioplastic film made primarily from fish scales and skins and bound with an organic binder. Creating MarinaTex required a lot of trial and error, but the result is more than a polymer; MarinaTex is biodegradable […]

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