Bioplastic with leftover potato peelings

In Mexico, the annual production of potato skins reaches 100 million tons, but only 33% of them are recycled. This low recycling rate contributes to the pollution generated by disposable products and represents a serious environmental problem.

A group of students from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) developed a solution to solve this situation: they created a bioplastic from potato skins. This new material is highly biodegradable and breaks down in four to five months. That means it’s a more sustainable alternative to conventional plastics and can help reduce waste buildup in the environment.

Objectives of the project using potato skins

According to the creators of this proposal, Gabriela García Orozco, Lucero Guerra Tovar, Joel Sánchez Díaz and Yoxan Solís Vázquez, students at the Center for Scientific and Technological Studies (CECyT) 10 “Carlos Vallejo Márquez”, the use of bioplastics aims to provide an effective solution for the reduction of solid waste in urban environments.

The project was born due to the great demand that exists for plastics made with synthetic polymers and a bioplastic alternative made from potato peel is proposed, which transforms organic waste into products of common use for the country.”, commented Joel Sánchez Díaz.

The purpose of this prototype is to replace commonly used polymers that take hundreds of thousands of years to break down, contain contaminants and have adverse effects on soil organisms.

It is a biopolymer made with organic waste, such as potato peel starch and corn starch, which makes the product environmentally friendly.”, indicated Solís Vázquez, student of the technical career of Diagnosis and Environmental Improvement.

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Features of the bioplastic

According to experts, the product made from bioplastic has been tested and guarantees resistance to temperatures of up to 150 degrees Celsius. This means that you can use it worry-free even for hot drinks like coffee or tea, whose temperatures are usually between 35 and 45 degrees Celsius. Having this security is essential to ensure that the product is not damaged by hot liquids.

The project’s creators ensure that this product does not generate any negative impact on the environment, from its production to its degradation. In addition, it is worth mentioning that it does not have a flavor, so it does not cause any change in the product it contains. Its current color is orange, a differential, but it can be produced in other colors.

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