Marina Tex is a truly revolutionary new bioplastic made from fish waste, mainly leather and flakes. The discovery is thanks to the young English designer Lucy Hughes, a graduate of the University of Sussex and always sensitive to environmental issues related to the abuse of plastics. Says Hughes: “…when I read that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight, solving this problem has become a priority for me.
As Hughes has well considered in her broader study of the fishing industry, the global industry produces 50 million tonnes of waste each year. And it is precisely in that waste that Hughes saw a value, the value of being renewable.
From this belief, Hughes has started a long phase of experiments to trace a bonding agent from fish waste. After more than 100 laboratory tests, MARINA TEX was born as a translucent plastic that is particularly resistant and elastic at the same time. Designed as a material intended for food packaging, it is also suitable for the packaging of other types of goods and products, it degrades in four/six weeks and does not require either high temperatures or chemical adjuvants for disintegration. According to Hughes’ estimates, up to 1,400 Marina TEX bags could be obtained from one cod.
MarinaTex is therefore unique for several reasons:
- can biodegrade completely in food recycling bins or household compounds without releasing toxic chemicals into the environment;
- Compared to PLA type bioplastics, which can only be composed in specialized industrial plants and have contaminated traditional plants, causing the sending of compostable waste to landfills, MarinaTex will not contaminate these structures due to its different chemical structure;
- Being partly composed of a waste stream, it reduces the effort on resources and diverts waste from landfills;
- It has also been shown that the material has a higher tensile strength than LDPE at the same thickness, which shows that the sustainable option does not sacrifice quality.
After having demonstrated the quality, sustainability and stability of this new solution, the project for the organization and production of Marina Tex is now waiting for public or private funds.
Hughes, for this interesting and innovative solution, has been awarded the James Dyson Award, an international prize for projects by young designers capable of proposing new solutions to shared problems.