Bioplastic Made from...Cow Poo?


TreeHugger has seen it's share of bioplastics, used in everything from cutlery to packaging tape to baggies, and it's usually made from agricultural byproducts like corn or potato starch. A researcher in the Centre for Environmental Technology and Engineering in New Zealand has discovered another potential source for producing bioplastic: dairy-farm effluent, better known to most of us as cow poo in water. Dr. Steven Pratt is working on a way to turn carbon-based wastewater into a biodegradable, renewable form of plastic. The murky mixture he holds in the picture above is a mix of acids is produced by fermenting bacteria taken from wastewater ponds and fed with a glucose solution. Says the good doctor, "By using cheap and renewable sources there is a tremendous opportunity for biopolymer production to be made economic. At the same time, the problems of wastewater treatment and natural resource depletion are addressed." via ::Hugg