Credit: CC0 Public Domain A biodegradable film made from waste from the palm oil industry could be used for food packaging Plastic pollution is a pressing environmental concern of the twenty-first century. So is the palm oil industry, which is linked to widespread deforestation and habitat destruction. Research published in Current Research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry may be able to put a dent in both issues, with a biodegradable plastic film made from palm oil production waste. Non-biodegradable single-use plastics, such as plastic bags and food wrappers, account for 40% of the plastic produced each year. "Hemicellulose is a naturally occurring biopolymer obtained from renewable materials such as polysaccharides and protein. It shows a huge potential for replacing non-biodegradable petroleum based polymers due to low cost and biodegradability," write the researchers, based at Universiti Sains Malaysia, in their paper. In addition to plastic waste, 19.8 million tons of waste palm oil fruit bunches are discarded each year in Malaysia alone.To reduce the environmental impact of these forms of waste, the researchers have turned hemicellulose from waste palm oil fruit bunches into biodegradable films for green packaging. Hemicellulose is abundant in agricultural and biomass waste. It is a promising […]

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