Plastic is all around us. It has become a necessary evil for human beings. As much as it is being advertised that using plastic is not good for the planet Earth, nothing seems to work when it comes to discouraging people from using plastic. Landfills are filled with plastic and plastic wastes.
Since it is not biodegradable, it poses as a big hazard for the general health of the soil and air and if researchers are to be believed, by 2050, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish. But it seems the very same oceans offer us a solution to this problem.
A new material named “agar plasticity” has shown a ray of hope to the science community. Agar is a gelatinous substance which is derived from marine algae. Now designers are using agar to create a safe, ecological alternative to plastic. To manufacture agar, a specific type of red algae is boiled resulting in the collapse of the plant’s cellular walls giving a soupy liquid. This liquid is then placed into a mould and dehydrated. Designers, in order to arrive at the desired material, froze and compressed the agar. Agar has an amazing ability to morph itself from super soft to super rigid form. According the designers, the same capability of agar makes it the perfect substance to replace a wide range of plastics ranging from bubble wraps to Styrofoam. The best part is, agar plastic will be completely biodegradable, and so even if by mistake an agar plastic drifts in the oceans or water bodies, it will naturally destroy itself and be reclaimed by the sea. We just hope now, that the concept soon takes its practical form and we step in the direction of getting rid of plastics.