Bioplastic Is Super Fishy

Nov. 14, 2019

Fish heads, fish heads -- roly-poly fish heads. If you grew up in the 80s, you probably just sang that first sentence. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me introduce you to one of the strangest avant-guard songs of my youth “Fish Heads” by Barnes & Barnes.

Now that you have that playing in your head, I’d like to introduce you to another fish story. This one takes fish heads and scales and any other organic fish waste and turns it into bioplastic. The breakthrough -- called MarinaTex -- earned the James Dyson award for its 24-year-old inventor Lucy Hughes, a graduate in product design from the University of Sussex, England.

According to an article in The Guardian, “Hughes sought to tackle the problems of environmentally harmful single-use plastics and inefficient waste streams by harnessing fish offcuts to create an eco-friendly plastic alternative.”

MarinaTex, which can biodegrade in four to six weeks, could be a viable alternative to sandwich baggies and plastic grocery bags. I’m assuming there’s no fishy smell and I bet the hungry caterpillars I wrote about a few years ago would love to munch on seafood for a change (see: “Hungry Caterpillars Could Eliminate Plastic Waste.”)

To learn more about Hughes' winning entry, read the entire Guardian article.

Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing’s senior digital editor. She hopes that the “Fish Heads” song gets stuck in your head just like it’s been stuck in hers since the 5th grade. You can email her your own evil earworms at [email protected].