A K NANDA, a young scientist from Berhampur in Orissa, has developed a commercially viable process for production of bio-degradable plastic sheets and films using starch. The polythene films developed from starch undergo complete degradation in two months of soil burial, unlike polymer plastics which take upto 100 years to decompose. The tensile strength of the new material is higher than that U conventional polythene films. The bio-degradable starch-based plastic will be adaptive to the human body and can be used in surgical implants. Starch can bp prepared from tapioca, corn wheat and potato, and its easy availability makes Nanda's new plastic a low-cost replacement for petrochemical-based plastic. The formulation has 40 per cent starch and optimum amounts of urea and water are blown into low-density polythene along with polyethelene acrylic acid as the coupling agent.
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