Bioplastic can be degraded in the Arctic without harm to the environment

At the moment, Russian and international teams are investigating the processes of pollution and spread

microplastics in the arctic zone.

All researchers note that in almost every sample they found plastic particles less than 5 mm in size, which were represented by polymer threads, granules or fragments.

Katerina Shalunova, Senior Lecturer, Department of Environmental Safety and Sustainable Development of Regions, St. Petersburg State University

The main danger of plastic in the Arctic is that animals, fish and birds can easily confuse it with food. Microplastics are believed to enter the Arctic through the Gulf Stream.

To solve this problem, the scientists of the Institutebiophysicists of the SB RAS have developed a technology for producing special biopolymers - polyhydroxyalkanoates, which in nature under certain conditions produce bacteria. The peculiarity of the obtained material is that it breaks down to non-toxic compounds, for example, carbon dioxide and water.

Researchers tested how bioplastics behave in different climatic conditions, and found that it is capable of degradation in subarctic latitudes, which means it is not dangerous.

Since the safety of bioplastics has been proven, it is possible to expand the scope of its application, the authors of the work believe.

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