I’ve always cared for the environment. During my university career I wrote all my lecture notes on the back of discarded “misprints” from the library because why waste? But I just cringe and cringe token efforts to reduce plastic waste by putting mandatory charges on shopping bags while almost everything we pick up from supermarket shelves are coated in plastic wrapping! Listen guys – we all wanna save the world, but we ain’t gonna do it by banning plastic straws.
It’s increasingly obvious that these measures are more about making it look like elected officials are doing something while nothing of any substance is being accomplished. Monsanto get away with spraying toxic chemicals that run off into rivers every single day the world turns, and while they poison me slowly to death I’ve got paper in my mouth from sipping this damn mojito.
Besides, people aren’t as stupid as you think. They were already recycling their plastic shopping bags by using them as bin-liners, to pick up after their animals, and things like that. Now they need to go out and buy a roll of plastic bin-liners. Thank you to the do-gooders in government who lecture me about reducing my carbon emissions while travelling the world in private jets.
Ok, enough of my ranting. I have some good news.
Recently I heard something for everyone. Whether you’re a sceptic of “the green agenda” – or you’re worried that your continent is soon going to be under sixteen feet of water by 2030 this should put a smile on your face.
A team of researchers, led by Professor Saffa Riffat from the University of Nottingham, are working to introduce a plant-based alternative to food packaging that will not only be eco-friendly, but edible too! It uses starch, konjac flour, cellulose or proteins to produce. All the materials can be safely eaten and so they don’t pose any threat to wildlife or the oceans, and because they are organic they are also biodegradable as well.
Professor Riffat says, “Plastic materials have been in use for around a century, their poor degradability is now known to cause serious environmental harm…We need to find degradable solutions to tackle plastic pollution, and this is what we are working on… The packaging materials we are working on have low gas permeability, making them more airtight. This feature cuts moisture loss, which slows down spoilage, and seals in the flavour. This is of great importance for the quality, preservation, storage, and safety of foods.”
The new materials are tipped to give consumers access to fresher produce by providing better storage, safer usage and a longer shelf life. With a little luck, they won’t turn to mush in my beverage either.