Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Green Living: Plastic made from Chicken feathers

Last week the BBC reported on a new environmental adventure, or study if you will, that the researchers at the U.S. agricultural authority have conducted where they believe that plastic can be made from chicken feathers. The principal idea of using agricultural waste, such as chicken feathers, is fantastic in and of itself but using it as an ingredient, or additive for plastics is even better. Until we as a society can move away from our crazy consumption of plastics (which I doubt will ever happen) we should continue to pursue recycling and repurposing waste to make plastics more environmentally friendly. The BBC reported that each year more than a billion kilos of chicken feathers are produced in the U.S. alone. That's a lot of ingredients for plastic!

The feathers would make up to 50% of the materials needed to make plastic, reducing the need of polyethylene, or petroleum based ingredients.

This research is exciting and hopeful, but continued studies and tests will be administered to evaluate it's success and feasibility for a grander, industrial scale. Answering the question- does the production of this new plastic waste too much energy, etc?

I wonder what Vegans will have to say about this plastic? But regardless it is another step in broadening our horizons on reusing biowaste and who knows what other ideas and research will result. I'm game!

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