Mochalite: the Bio-Bag
Vivian Tan
R C Palmer Secondary
Floor Location : M 015 N

240,000 plastic bags are used every ten seconds worldwide, contributing to 280 million tons of plastic produced annually, and 2.86 billion plastic bags are used annually in Canada (around 200 per person). That’s a substantial amount of plastic bags being wasted, but what if there was an alternative to conventional plastics? Well the purpose of this innovation is to create a bioplastic material to replace conventional plastic bags. 3 stages were involved in making the final product. In the first stage, bioplastics made of agar, glycerol/sorbitol/xylitol, and water were tested for their strength, amount of water they absorbed, and how fast they biodegrade within 14 days. A combination of 2g agar, 40 ml water and 6g glycerol was shown to have the best results. In the second stage, various amounts of eggshell powder and/or coffee were added to the best resulting bioplastic from the first stage and were tested. A combination of ¼ tsp eggshells and a a coffee to water ratio of 1:1 and ½ tsp eggshells and a coffee to water ratio of 1:1 showed the best results. In the third stage, various amounts of ovalbumin were added and some of the bioplastics were dipped in beeswax after they had dried. The bioplastics that had the ovalbumin were shown to be weaker and very gritty and all the bioplastics dipped in beeswax became unusable and fragile. None of the bioplastics in stage 3 met the expectations. After making a decision, the bioplastic with ½ tsp eggshells and a coffee to water ratio of 1:1 added to the best resulting bioplastic in stage 1 was chosen because it was stronger than the other bioplastic even though its texture is a bit rough. The final result stretches and is almost as strong as a conventional plastic bag, but will become unusable when exposed to any liquids.