Animal waste made into plastic
A process developed at the University of Waikato will allow animal waste to be turned into useful and biodegradable plastic.
The new process, developed over two years by University of Waikato chemical engineer Dr Johan Verbeek and Masters student Lisa van den Berg, can turn animal protein waste like blood meal and feathers into a biodegradable plastic using industry-standard plastic extrusion and injection moulding machinery.
For Dr Verbeek, it is highly gratifying to use low-value sustainable waste to create a high-value product that breaks down without polluting the environment. "The material we can produce has the strength of polyethylene - the plastic used in milk bottles and plastic supermarket bags - but it's fully biodegradable." Read More
Science continues to find new ways to utilize this commodity. Being able to turn manure into a bio-degradable plastic will be just one more thing on the long list of products that we have due to animal agriculture.