This Yazle Environment 360 article discusses a potential breakthrough replacement for petroleum-based plastic. Scientists at Ohio State University say they have developed a viable alternative to petroleum-based plastic food packaging by using natural tree-based rubber. According to the researchers, the new biodegradable material holds promise for fighting the world’s growing plastic pollution problem, as well as for helping curb our reliance on fossil fuels.
The new material developed by Ohio State scientists, detailed in a new study in the journal Polymers, involves melting natural rubber into a plant-based biodegradable plastic called PHBV, and then adding an organic peroxide and an additive called trimethylolpropane triacrylate (TMPTA). The scientists’ end product was 75 percent tougher and 100 percent more flexible than PHBV on its own.