Teen Scientist Makes Plastic Out of Banana Peels

July 6, 2013 | By | 2 Replies More

Flickr - Banana Peel - CarbonNYCChristina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times

The Google Science Fair has recently awarded Elif Bilgin, a 16-year old from Istanbul, Turkey, $50,000 as part of the Science in Action Award, Google’s annual science trophy given to people who make a practical difference by addressing environmental, health, or resource challenges that we face as a modern society.

This young scientists spent two years developing her bioplastic from discarded banana peels. She was inspired by Thomas Edison’s quote, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” It took many trials and only in her last two attempts was she able to make a product that would not decay, even though it came from a fully benign, organic substance that most of us throw away.

From her research, Bilgin learned that starch and cellulose are used in other ways in the bioplastic industry (such as from mango skins) and she was hoping to develop something that could take the place of the many petroleum based plastics that we use today, which are harmful to our health and bad for the environment. She believes her banana-based bio plastic could be used for things like insulating electric cables or in cosmetic prostheses. This young mind wants to go into the medical field. She beat out 14 other contender’s for Google’s prize, and hopefully her great ideas will help to reshape an industry that usually puts profit ahead of human benefit.

When interviewed about why she entered the Google Science Fair, Bilgin responded:

I had been working on my project long before I found out about Google Science Fair. When my project was nearly finished, I started to look for a competition in which I could enter my project. I actually searched “science project competitions” on the Google Search Engine (a happy coincidence) and Google Science Fair was the first result I found. After I read the guidelines, I decided it was the competition I was looking for: not only were the entrants encouraged to share their ideas and innovations, but they were also encouraged to join Hangouts on Air, which allowed them to meet actual scientists. But, most important, they were encouraged to have fun.

When asked ‘What does being recognized as a Science in Action Award finalist mean to you, Bilgin said:

For me, this means that my project actually has a potential to be a solution to the increasing pollution problem caused by petroleum-based plastic. It also means that I have started the process of changing the world, which makes me feel like a winner already.

When asked, ‘If you could have dinner with any three scientists throughout time, whom would you choose?’:

I would choose James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins.

Maybe there is hope is for the world after all.

About the Author

Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao TzuParamahansa YoganandaRob Brezny,  Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.

References:

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/at-scientific-american/2013/06/27/science-in-action-winner-for-2013-elif-bilgin/

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Christina Sarich, Contributors, Earth, Environment, Ideas, Ingenuity, Inspiration, Science, Society, Technology, Time & Space, Waking Times

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rachel says:

    Wow! They can turn gold into shit now!

  2. Deadeinstein says:

    Nope. No hope so long as the status quo has us in her grasp. Only so much change is allowed within a certain amount of time. This won’t be seen or used for at least another 30 or 40 years….

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Do You Really Want to Eat Hot Dogs After Knowing This?

Do You Really Want to Eat Hot Dogs After Knowing This?













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

The hot dog is one of America’s most popular foods, with the average person consuming 50 of them per year. Hot dogs are one of the most nutritionally bankrupt foods.

Yet for decades, they’ve been given a free pass, granted one pardon after another thanks to … More

September 1, 2014 | By | Reply More
This Discovery Makes Bee Die-Off Problem That Much Worse

This Discovery Makes Bee Die-Off Problem That Much Worse













Heather Callaghan, Contributor
Waking Times

Many arrows point to the bee decline. A Harvard professorrecently warned that Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is only the beginning for us. The ripple effect from new classes of pesticides is just getting started.

But there’s more…

The problems they face can be compared … More

August 28, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
People are Proving That ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease is Reversible  – No Need to Waste Ice Water

People are Proving That ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease is Reversible – No Need to Waste Ice Water













Heather Callaghan, Contributor
Waking Times

I mentioned the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a recent article highlighting the social guiding that came with all the “disease awareness” we’ve been involuntarily immersed in via the media in the last few weeks. ALS meaning Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as … More

August 26, 2014 | By | 4 Replies More
Back-to-School Vaccines: Know the Risks and Failures

Back-to-School Vaccines: Know the Risks and Failures













Barbara Loe Fisher, Mercola
Waking Times

As summer comes to an end, the drumbeat promoting back-to-school vaccinations grows louder and louder in America. Unlike children in Canada and the European Union,12 our children must get dozens of doses of vaccines or they can’t get a public school … More

August 26, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
New Anti Police State App Helps You “See Something, Say Something” in Real-Time

New Anti Police State App Helps You “See Something, Say Something” in Real-Time













Waking Times

Recent studies have shown that police are held almost completely unaccountable by the current systems of governmental oversight. Perhaps this is the reason why you are 9 times more likely to be killed by a law enforcement officer than a terrorist. Rather than wait for bloated bureaucracy … More

August 25, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

Activism Works

Food as Medicine: How One Hospital Is Using Organic Produce to Help Heal Patients

Food as Medicine: How One Hospital Is Using Organic Produce to Help Heal Patients













Coach Mark Smallwood, EcoWatch
Waking Times

In 431 B.C. Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

More than 2500 years later, we are inundated with advertisements boasting the latest, greatest cure-all super drug. From a young age, we learn that it doesn’t matter how or … More

August 23, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry













, EcoWatch
Waking Times

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL’s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights … More

August 4, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Seizing Control of Our Destinies

Seizing Control of Our Destinies













Julian Rose, Contributor
Waking Times

In 1381, at a time of great repression for the British agricultural work force, an extraordinary people’s revolutionary named Wat Tyler sprang to his feet and announced, “England should be a nation of self governing communities,” to which he added, “ No lord shall exercise … More

July 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project

Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

On Friday morning, Dan A. Hughes Oil Company and the Collier Resources Company agreed to terminate their lease agreement, with the exception of the Collier Hogan 20-3H well, next to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.

Hughes Oil dropped its plans to drill … More

July 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site

A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

Shannon Rainey lives in a house that was built on top of a Superfund site in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

“I bought my house when I was 25, and thirty years later, I still can’t get out,” she told DeSmogBlog.

Rainey’s … More

June 23, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More