Scientists Turn Beets into Plastic

Food containers may soon be made out of beet pulp. Scientist with the Agricultural Research Service have developed a biodegradable thermoplastic — a plastic that becomes soft once heated — using sugar beet pulp, which is leftover residue from sugar extraction. The use of biodegradable thermoplastic could be used in disposable food containers. By using up to 50 percent sugar beet pulp along with a polymer called polylactic acid, researchers were able to create a composite similar to polystyrene or polypropylene — compounds used to make white, spongy food packaging. Learn more.

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