Greener Solutions 2018: Ocean Plastics with Method

The Ocean Plastics team compared the performance and end-of-life behavior of bio-based plastics to petroleum-derived types, with the goal of identifying polymers that behave more similarly to cellulose, keratin, or DNA polymers in the environment. Their research indicated that plastics that degrade only to nano- or micro-scale structures can be very hazardous, readily absorbing persistent organic pollutants and remaining in the food chain. The problem of the ubiquity of nano-plastic bits in the environment was an additional and novel performance challenge that they considered in their final report.