Bioplastics are an option that is available today and they do provide you with an option that is a bit friendlier to the earth. These plastics are actually plant based, and they are a wonderful idea. However, the one big challenge to deal with is all the energy that it takes to actually produce this type of plastic.
The good news is that some scientists in South Korea have come up with polymers that are needed in these plastics and they have done so by using bioengineering. By doing this, they have reduced the amount of energy that has to be used when creating these types of plastics.
When it comes to bioplastic, one of the top components used in them is Polylactic Acid, otherwise known as PLA. Before it was produced in a chemical and fermentation process that took two steps to complete. However, these scientists from South Korea have been able to take an E. coli strain that they engineered metabolically and now there is a process available that is only one stage that they think may allow biodegradable and low toxicity plastic to be produced in an easier way.
At first, it definitely sounds a bit dangerous to be messing around with the E. coli. More than likely you probably think that this is only associated with food poisoning, and it is definitely associated with that. If you take a closer look though, you’ll find that many warm blooded creatures have E. coli in their lower intestines and most of the strains out there are quite harmless.
While using genetically modified organisms doesn’t sound great in foods, it definitely could provide a good role in making plastics that are better for the environment. Of course, we do hope that these organisms don’t mutate in a negative way.
This is definitely a piece of interesting news for the environment. Bioplastics do have something to offer us today and if there is a way that they can be created with less energy, then I’m all for that. Hopefully with this new technology that has been found by the scientists from South Korea, we can use bioengineering instead of actually using chemicals that are based on fossil fuels.
With global warming such a concern, we definitely need to start finding sustainable processes that can be used to create products that are based on resources that are renewable. With this new strategy that has been found, hopefully other organisms can be found that will help to make it possible to create even more products that are better for our environment today.