June 12, 2019

This Mexican Scientist Makes Biodegradable Plastic from Cactus

 sandra pascoe cactus plastic


 Over the past few decades, many researchers have been exploring new ways to create natural and biodegradable alternatives to plastic. Surprisingly, biodegradable plastics can be made from many naturally occurring things.  We've seen plastics made from hemp, lobster shells, corn, and more.  Now, a woman in Mexico by the name of Sandra Pascoe has found a way to create biodegradable plastics from Cactus plants.  The result is a natural and non-toxic plastic that biodegrades and can even be ingested by humans and sea life. 

The basis of the plastic is actually made from the sugars of the Nopal Cactus plant.  She mixes the sugars of the cactus juice with Glycerol, natural waxes, protein, and colorants.  Once the mixture is ready it is then dried on a hot plate to produce the sheet of plastic.  The mixture can be made into different consistencies of plastic in order to make various products.  The process is sustainable and the cactus plants stay alive to produce more leaves.  Check out the video below to see how Sandra creates the plastic!