A Student Made “Plastic” From Potatoes

A student from Lund University in Sweden Pontus Törnqvist became one of the finalists of The James Dyson Award competition. He created Potato Plastic – a material made from potato starch, resembling plastic but biodegrading for less than two months.

Students from around the world participate in a high-profile The James Dyson Award competition, offering various developments for solving relevant world problems. The organizers have recently revealed the short list including 20 finalists. Pontus Törnqvist from Sweden is among them, The Huffington Post reports. He has developed a material called Potato Plastic.

It is widely known that plastics pollution is one of the most humanity’s persistent problems: in the estimation of specialists, about eight million tons of plastic appears to be in the global ocean (in particular, marine animals suffer because of this – for example, a sperm whale with 29 kilos of plastic in its stomach was found dead in Spain this spring). Furthermore, foodstuff industry is one of the main reasons of this pollution. This is the problem to solve which Pontus Törnqvist created Potato Plastic: it is made from potato starch and water, and, as Törnqvist states, may be used to produce cutlery able to biodegrade for less than two months.

The winner of The James Dyson Award will be announced in November. He or she will get £30,000 for launching the idea. Last year, a purse was given for creation of a compact device sKan which measures skin temperature to detect melanoma at early stage.

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