Home Science A Plastic Mug Made Out Of Salmon Sperm?

A Plastic Mug Made Out Of Salmon Sperm?

Scientists say this eco-friendly plastic can be used instead of other plastic.

Salmon Sperm
Image: Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman (AP)

The answer to a worldwide problem can be solved through this weird invention: the making of eco-friendly plastic using salmon sperm. Interesting right?

In the journal of the American chemical society published recently, a group of scientists conducted research on, “DNA plastic.”

To create this plastic-like material, two strands of salmon DNA are combined with chemicals in vegetable oil. As an outcome, they gained a substance known as hydrogel. This substance, the hydrogel can be squeezed into different shapes when freeze-dried. Through the process called aqua welding, these scientists have created puzzle pieces, a cup, and a plastic DNA model. Even though the outcome is normal plastic, still the process produces 97% fewer carbon emissions compared to polystyrene plastics. The researchers reported that it is more eco-friendly than all other sorts of plastics.

Oil-based plastics are made with a lot of heat and harmful chemicals, and they take hundreds of years to degrade. Most plastic products are burnt or tossed into landfills, despite the fact that they are marketed as recyclable.

DNA-digesting enzymes can be added to the new bioplastic to break it down and recycle it. If no enzymes are available, just soaking the sperm-derived substance in water will transform it back into a slop of hydrogel. As a result, filling the cup with tea may not be the finest choice.

Bioplastic makers may potentially be greenwashing and misrepresenting the contents of their bioplastics. According to a study undertaken by New Zealand–based private research company GNS Science, 19 of the 37 goods classified as bioplastic were discovered to be created from both petroleum and bio-based blends.

According to EuroNews Green, because salmon sperm bioplastic is created from DNA strands, it may be made from a variety of DNA sources, such as plants or microbes.

Throughout 500 million tons of plastic are produced each year around the world, most of which are single-use items with short lifespans that end up in landfills and natural environments years after they’ve been discarded. So it is believed by the researchers that the plastic discovered through salmon sperm would make a huge change in the plastic industry in the future.

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