Bioplastic straws from Potato Starch
We are the generation that is responsible for the degrading natural environment starting from climate change to generating massive amounts of plastic waste, as we can invent anything to ease ourselves.
We prefer disposals rather than cutlery; plastic straws are the central element of the world’s rapidly growing plastic pollution.
However, Researchers from all around the world are trying to develop a sustainable solution for replacing plastic. As we have annoying paper straws which become soggy before we finish our drink
Researchers at Inha University in Korea recently developed bioplastic straws through a chemical process from potato starch and citric acid, which can be a real game changer. They claim these straws are more durable and eco-friendlier than paper and plastic straws.
Its production begins with combining potato starch, lignin (polymer found in the plant cell wall), and polyvinyl alcohol to form a slurry and spread on a flat glass surface for drying. Roll out the sheet into a straw shape using a Teflon rod and place it in the oven for curing (chemical reaction to solidify bioplastic.)
These straws can be manufactured at different lengths and thicknesses according to their purpose of use. It is also less expensive and hygienic than ordinary glass or metal straws.
During testing of the finished product, the bioplastic straws remained rigid in 95 degrees Celsius hot environment and were durable in water for around 24 hours.
To test biodegradability, the research team buried ordinary and starch straw at two different locations for two months and then received results showing that the regular straw remained unchanged while the starch straw had signs of decay.
Still, the question is, is bioplastic entirely safe and can reduce our waste problem? The question still needs to be answered as further research is going on.