In place of the most common material - plastic - comes bioplastic.
The word "polymer" is of Greek origin. Literally, a polymer is a molecule consisting of many ("poly") parts ("meros"), each of which is a monomeric, that is, consisting of one ("monos") part, a molecule. Simply put, polymers are branched chains of ordinary molecules, monomers.
However, plastic, except for all its remarkable properties, has two important drawbacks. Firstly, it is produced from non-renewable natural resources - oil, coal and gas. Secondly, its main advantage - longevity - which the inventors of plastic so chased at the beginning of the last century, turned into a disadvantage today. The more plastics we use, the faster the mountains of waste grow, which do not decompose in the medium under any conditions. Millions of tons of plastic accumulate in nature, polluting the environment.
Bioplastics are already widely used in many countries today. Polylactide can be used for the production of disposable diapers and dishes. It is not harmful to the human body, so not so long ago it began to be used in medicine as the basis for temporary implants and surgical sutures. "Corn" products can be made with the expectation of self-decomposition, which requires the specificity of its use. Some types of bioplastics dissolve very quickly, others can serve for months or even years.
The ideas of the production of not just disposable bio-packaging, but food packaging, which would contain specific bacteria that kill pathogens - the causative agents of various diseases, have already appeared. One of the most dangerous pathogens is a bacterium called "Listeria". It develops in foods even at low temperatures and can cause a fatal disease, accompanied by high fever and nausea. Scientists from the University of Clemson invented a bioplastic that contains nisin bacteria that prevent Listeria from reproducing. Nisin is an antibiotic that is produced by the lactic acid bacteria Streptococcus lactis. It is harmless to a living organism and is rapidly destroyed by the enzymes of the human intestine.
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