Have you heard the term “biodegradable polythene”? We all know about plastic polythene bags. They have become an integral part of our daily life. But have we ever thought of its dangerous impacts on the environment and our health?
Potato is the new “plastic.”
It’s high time to become conscious about our mother earth. Plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose. A Swedish researcher Pontus Törnqvist from Lund University invented ‘plastic’ from potato starch and water.
Polka is here!
Following his formula, another researcher from Bangladesh, Mahbub Simon, invented potato polythene. He named this polythene “Polka.” Polythene means a long chain of the polymer. There is a vast difference between potato polythene and plastic polythene. Potato polythene is bio-degradable. On the other hand, plastic polythene bags are nonbiodegradable, which is threatening to the environment.
Potato bags take a maximum of two months to be biodegraded. At the same time, plastic bags remain in our environment for centuries. It is made of a hydrocarbon monomer. That’s why researchers have come up with new sustainable zero waste inventions. Polka is one of them.
Starch is the primary ingredient for Polka. Along with starch, water, vinegar, and glycerin are mixed. From 10kg potato, you will get 1300 gram starch. Glycerin is mixed to give flexibility to the polythene.
Knowing about the elements, if you are thinking of making this eco-friendly poly by yourself, just go for it! Here we are providing you the method of making Polkas:
Starch, Vinegar, Glycerin & Water.
Firstly, you have to grate the potatoes. Then soak the grated potatoes in water (room temperature) for 10 minutes. After that, squeeze the grated potatoes as much as you can. By pressing the potatoes, you will get potato juice. Store it for resting. After some moments, you will see the starch has set as grout of the potato juice.
Initially, the starch will look a bit reddish and dirty. Following the same process thrice (or more), you will get white marble starch. This starch is the perfect starch for Polka. After getting the starch to take it in a pan and put the pan on a stove.
Then mix water, glycerin, vinegar with the starch and stir it continuously. The proportion of glycerin and vinegar will be equal. When the slurry will become lightly thickened, pour it on a flat surface. Spread the warm mixture of Polka evenly. Then let it dry for 1 to 3 hours in direct sunlight or a dryer.
After adequately drying the mixture, pull it from the surface gently. Then you will discover that you have made an environment-friendly Polka without spending much money.
Polkas can be used as an alternative to plastic polythene bags. Moreover, you can use it as a wrapper, cling wrap for foods. It’s toxicity-free. Polkas are harmless as well.
These eco-friendly potato plastic bags don’t melt, drip, or release any toxic fumes when burnt, unlike conventional plastic bags.
For the sake of our better future, we all need to become more sensitive while using those life-threatening plastic bags. If these bags are produced commercially, then we can make a good impact on our environment.