Plastic changed the world. In many ways when it was first discovered. It provided cheap and convenient solutions for example to storage. If your home is anything like ours, the kitchen is full of plastic storage containers for food and liquids on. And that’s just the kitchen. It can even be found in shower gels, exfoliants and toothpaste as microbeads. A thousandth of a millimetre in diameter, it is even in the air we breathe and the food we eat. Like Topsy, it just grew and grew. Plastic has invaded our lives to such an extent it is now a major environmental pollutant.
A whole new industry has evolved to address the thorny issue of what to do about plastic. Plastic free alternatives are being invented. Lucy Hughes is one such person. As her final year project she invented a product called Marina Tex. In her home kitchen. From fish scales and skin. Stuff that normally gets either buried as landfill or incinerated. How good is that!
She won the overall James Dyson Award in Sept 2019 for her work, beating designers from 27 other countries to take out the international prize.
British inventor James Dyson, who every year selects the grand prize winner in the international student design competition that bears his name, said that the material had the potential to replace traditional single-use plastics.
MarinaTex bioplastic is strong, translucent and flexible, making it a possible alternative for single-use packaging such as bags and sandwich wrappers.
Unlike current materials used for these purposes, it breaks down in home food-waste or compost bins, and its key ingredients are fish scales and skin — waste products that MarinaTex saves from ending up in landfill.
Be creative – think laterally