S. Korea scientists develop biodegradable plastic bags as sturdy as parachutes and safety belts

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Biodegradable plastic bag has become increasingly popular nowadays but there is one problem that remains noticeable—it is susceptible to rips and tears.

However, a group of researchers from South Korea has found a way to tackle the problem as they developed a new version of a biodegradable plastic bag that is sturdy with improved tensile strength.

The Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) announced on Thursday that a research team led by Dr. Oh Dong-yeop, Dr. Hwang Seong-yeon, and Dr. Park Jae-young has developed a biodegradable plastic bag that can rival the conventional plastic bag.

Their study shows that the biodegradable plastic bag will decompose within six months. It is made from sugar cane, wood, corn and rice straws with monomers from petroleum.

The new and improved version of the biodegradable plastic bag will be able to resolve the major problem that this type of plastic bag has as it tends to rip and tear apart when used.

Credit: Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology)

The South Korean researches overcame the problem by adding stiffeners extracted from wood pulp and crab shells to increase the strength and the durability of the biodegradable plastic bag.

It is as sturdy as the nylon used in parachutes and safety belts.

The new biodegradable plastic bag can even surpass the strength of common plastic materials such as polypropylene and polyethylene.

“We hope that the plastic materials that are being used at malls, cafes, and other vendors will be replaced with ours,” said Hwang Seong-yeon, head of the biochemical research center at KRICT.

This will further help the consumers to shift their preference into using biodegradable plastic bags compared to the conventional plastic ones.

Image for illustration purposes. (Credit: Pixabay)

While biodegradable plastic bags only take between three and six months to decompose, the typical plastic bags take a very much longer time to start to decompose.

Normally, plastic items take between 10 to 1000 years before they start to decompose while plastic bottles take 450 years and more to decompose.

Credit: Korea Biz Wire

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