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July 2024

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Shrimp Shell Plastic

Plastic pollution is an ever-growing environmental problem, driving researchers of all ages to find solutions.

In 2016, at just 15 years old, Australian student Angelina Arora invented a strong, light plastic alternative made from discarded shrimp shells, a major waste product of the food industry.

She got the idea after a trip to a local seafood market, noticing the similarities between the shiny appearance of plastics and shrimp shells. Her experimentation led her to combine the shells with a protein from silkworm cocoons.

The resulting bio-plastic is durable, flexible, and water-resistant. In landfill conditions, it decomposes over a million times faster than commercial plastics, breaking down completely in just over a month.
This makes her plastic no threat to the environment or wildlife that accidently consume it.

Arora’s research has won her multiple international awards and scholarships. She has several patents pending for her inventions and she’s one of the youngest people to ever give a TED talk.
Still working to change the world, Arora hopes to see her bio-plastics in use everywhere and believes it’s necessary to not only have curiosity, but the will to see it through.

Because while the road of progress is not easy, it is worth it.

This story brought to you by Arroyo Seco Live.
“Building community through creativity. SecoLive.org
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