Researchers race to make bioplastics from straw and food waste
New bioplastics are being made in laboratories from straw, wood chips and food waste, with researchers aiming to replace oil as the source of the world’s plastic. The new approaches include genetically modifying bacteria to eat wood and produce useful chemicals. But the bioplastics are currently significantly more expensive to make than fossil fuel-based plastics. Land and seas around the world, from high mountains to deep oceans, have become polluted with plastic, prompting major public concern. The world has produced 8bn tonnes of plastic since the 1950s and demand is still rising.