Faculty of Engineering

Crab shells and tree fibres could finally offer a recyclable and eco-friendly alternative to flexible plastic packaging

The University of Nottingham’s research on biodegradable shopping bags made from discarded shrimp shells has been referenced in a new report from Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The new research has discovered a new packaging material derived from chitin and cellulose – natural biopolymers found in shellfish and tree fibres.

The film which will form the packaging was developed by suspending cellulose and chitin nanofibers in water and spraying them onto a surface in alternating layers. After it has dried, the material is strong and flexible and will be compostable once recycled.

The new material would not only be eco-friendly and affordable, but would also extend product shelf life. Dr Nicola Everitt, Associate Professor from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham said: “Use of a degradable biopolymer made of shells would lead to lower carbon emissions and reduce food and packaging waste accumulating in the streets or at illegal dump sites.”

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Posted on Monday 30th July 2018

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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