Lucy Hughes, a University of Sussex student, has created nothing short of disruption for the plastics industry. If it’s not already evident from the video, she has created a practical solution to one of the biggest sustainability challenges – plastic waste. Not only that, but through the use of the discarded fish skin and scales as a key ingredient for the bio-plastic, named MarinaTex she has addressed another massive problem; 50 million tonnes of waste produced globally by the fishing industry every year.
Plastic waste, and waste in general, is an inconceivably big problem. We are privy to the amount of waste we produce as individuals and maybe in the places where we work and maybe the cities we live in but in reality, nobody sees the entirety of waste that is produced globally. Even if you tried, you’d probably fail because there’s more waste in the place you checked 5 minutes ago. Net net – we need alternatives. Alternatives that are biodegradable and not degrading our environment. The plastics used to create the most environmentally damaging items like fishing gear, plastic bags, utensils, balloons, cigarette butts and bottle caps, are replaceable. Some are easier to replace than others and Lucy Hughes has given us one such alternative to single use plastic films and it is impressive, to say the very least.
Tying directly in with SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 14 Life Below Water, the young Briton has produced a piece of work that experts in the field are equally inspired by. No wonder she has won the James Dyson International Award, as well as being recognised by the World Economic Forum, BBC, Reuters and more!
MarinaTex epitomises the type of innovation we need in order to achieve a sustainable future and so a huge thank you to Lucy for her innovative and inspiring work. The next steps for MarinaTex involve further research and development, with an aim to be in production by 2021 and what an exciting journey this will be. So many potential applications for bioplastics and so much potential for positive environmental impact as a result. Check out the website to learn more about why MarinaTex, and the young innovator behind it, is going to become the next big player in the fast-changing plastics industry.