Plastic? No, fish scales and prawn shells

A UK student has created a bioplastic that breaks down in just six weeks. It's made of fish scales and algae. The bioplastic is called MarinaTex.

It doesn't leach toxins into the environment; it's stronger than a standard plastic bag and can be used in a variety of packaging. It requires little energy to make and people can break it down at home in compost. MarinaTex won the international James Dyson Award 2019. 23-year-old Lucy Hughes hopes that MarinaTex could replace much of the world's single-use plastic. She's using her $39,000 prize money to develop the bioplastic further and build a strategy for mass production.

Source: Reuters, 14 November 2019. Read the full article.

And an Aussie teenager Angelina Arora, 17, has used prawn shells to create plastic that can decompose in landfill over an average of just 33 days. Her invention has earned her a BHP Science and Engineering Award and last year she was named the Australian Geographic Society’s Young Conservationist of the Year.

Angelina developed the product by mixing an element from prawn shell with a protein from spider web to create a plastic that decomposed 1.5 million times faster than conventional plastics. The plastic could be used for all sorts of packaging because it was transparent, flexible, durable and insoluble.

Source:, 12 March 2020. Read the full article.