Cactus juice used to make nontoxic, biodegradable plastic bags

Good News Notes:

“America generates almost 38 million tons of plastic waste every year, ranking second only to China. That’s a lot of plastic, and despite decades of recycling efforts, the bulk of it winds up in landfills and waterways.

To come up with a more sustainable substitute, researchers at the University of the Valley of Atemajac in Zapopan, Mexico, have turned to the juice from the prickly pear, or nopal, one of several cactus species of the genus Opuntia.

They’re beta-testing a nontoxic, plant-based plastic that can decompose in a few weeks. By comparison, it takes several centuries for normal plastic bags to  break down in landfills.”

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