Powdered Coconut Husk, Okra Mucilage, Water Hyacinth and Starch as Alternative Plastic Composites

Topics: Starch, Plastic, Biodegradable plastic Pages: 5 (1508 words) Published: October 5, 2012
The present condition of our country regarding the use of plastics demands that people explore other means whereby proportionate products can be produced out of raw materials which are commonly disregarded. One of these is the utilization of solid wastes which could yield excellent useful results. Largely an agricultural country, Philippines provides various local raw materials, the utilization of which may lead to the country’s industrialization. Philippines provide ample farm products having great possibilities for some purposes. An example of which is the coconut husk fiber or cocos nucifera. Although some use this for making native products, this study used this for an alternative bioplastic product making it more different than the usual ones. Water hyacinth, which is commonly found almost in some rivers and considered as another solid waste is to be used also in this project study. Although it has the same function as the coconut husk fiber, this is used to lessen the number or amount of water hyacinth in our environment because of its abundance and bad effects. To improve the quality of the bioplastic product,the researchers used okra wherein mucilage can be found which lessens the brittleness of the said product because of the so called, glycirin. Another concerned material in the study is cornstarch. It is the source of polymer which is said to be the building blocks of the eco-friendly plastic product. What makes this study different is that the researchers used raw materials which are seldomly used in a more different way and utilize it to make a new product which could yield useful results. Moreover, the main purpose of this study, is to make plastic that can be decomposed easily since it uses raw materials, to use starch instead of chemicals and to utilize some of the solid wastes in our society.

Plastic is a versatile and potentially indestructible material, which makes it ideal for a number of commercial and household uses. Indeed, plastic has become a substitute for many items which used to be made from other substances, such as plastic bottles for drinks, condiments and many other more. In many cases, this is extremely useful and convenient. However, usage of plastic has caused many environmental downsides. This is because, plastic is so resilient that even burying it deep within the Earth doesn’t keep it from impacting the environment. Although plastics can be recycled, many people still burn them and we all know that it is harmful to the environment. It may also affect people’s health because plastics contain many chemical additives which causes illnesses like endocrine disruption which can lead to cancers, birth defects, immune system suppression and developmental problems in children. And worse it can also lead to toxicity of living organisms and marine animals. This ecological problem impelled the development of new materials that can be substitutes in producing biodegradable plastic which led us to think the utilization of eco- friendly materials that can be an alternative in making bioplastic.

Scopes and Limitations
The research study was concerned with utilizing coconut husk fibers or cocus nucifera and water hyacinth in producing a bioplastic product. The research focused not only on the simple production but also the quality of the said product in terms of brittleness and flexibility. Mucilage was obtained from okra where glycirin is found and improves the brittleness of the product. Furthermore, this study is also concerned in using cornstarch as the source of polymer considered as the building blocks of the product. Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this study is to produce an alternative plastic made up of organic materials. Another purpose of this study is to answer the following questions: 1.What will be the organic material used in making the plastic? 2.What content(s) is/are most effective in making the bioplastic more efficient...
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