The National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM as it is commonly known, is once again at the forefront of innovation into addressing the worldwide problem of pollution caused by single use plastics. Plastic straws (or popotes) are a major source of plastic pollution with 2017 figures estimating that 500 million straws are used in the USA alone on a daily basis (1)(2) and are … Continue reading The future of straws may be a cactus.
The Nopal Cactus may provide a solution to the plastic bag pollution problem. In 2018 Australia banned the use of single use plastic bags. These bags were provided free to shoppers at supermarkets and by 2016 it had been estimated that 5 billion of these bags were used annually in Australia alone and that around 150 million of these ended up as roadside litter (1) … Continue reading A solution to single use plastic bags.
Two students from the Mexican university UNAM have won a prize for making a bioplastic straw from mango and the baba (for non-Mexicans this is a type of “slime” similar to that produced when cooking okra) of the nopal cactus. (1) https://news.culturacolectiva.com/mexico/alumnas-de-la-unam-crean-popote-con-cascara-de-mango-y-baba-de-nopal/?fbclid=IwAR3zHp6JCJc25t6Cyvzte_CmBH3058D6BAAIioZ-IpT5pYQsKD0BTOySDyk This cactus is amazing. Apart from being a potential foodstuff of the future it is also capable of producing a non-toxic biodegradable plastic … Continue reading The Mighty Nopal Cactus