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Shrimp Shells Could Make the Green Plastic of the Future

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Unlike other forms of bioplastic, like those made from potatoes or corn, chitin plastic does not simply replace the carbon source for the polymer, it actually replaces the carbon-based plastic polymer, making it a totally biodegradable and sustainable material.

Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute used chitin from discarded shrimp shells from a shrimp processing plant to make plastic materials from egg cartons to chess pieces.

Javier Fernandez, Wyss Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, joins KPCC’s Take Two to explain how chitin works.

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