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This Takes Guts!
News Bytes 11/22/2019 27 Comments

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By now you’ve heard about the problem: All of Creation seems to be full of plastic pollution, including the world’s oceans. Could the solution to that problem also be found in those same waters?

Meet Lucy Hughes. She’s a 23-year-old product design student at England’s University of Sussex. Lucy spends a lot of time handling fish guts, and she just won a design award for it! The James Dyson Award recognizes students who “design something that solves a problem.” 

Lucy opens a giant plastic bin filled with a slimy assortment of entrails. What did she make from these reeking leftovers that deserved the attention of the Dyson committee?

“I created ‘MarinaTex’ for my final year project. It’s a biodegradable material sourced from organic materials. So [I’m] using waste from the fishing industry and combining it to create a plastic film alternative,” she says.

MarinaTex is a word combo. It combines marina, as in a place for boats, and texfrom textile. Hughes’ plastic alternative is made from the bits of food fish that people don’t like to eat. Especially, Lucy says, she uses the fishes’ skin and scales. Other ingredients include red algae and shells from crustaceans.

The student ran through more than 100 different experiments before she found the right formula. She had a little help from Internet communities that specialize in bioplastics.

“Essentially when I felt the skins and the scales in my hands, I could see that there was potential locked up in it. It was so flexible yet pliable and strong. So it struck me that nature can make so much from so little. Why do we need to have hundreds of man-made polymers when nature has so many already available?” Hughes explains.

Plastic pollution is big problem for the world. Hughes hopes that using biodegradable alternatives like MarinaTex will reduce the problem of plastic pollution, replacing items like plastic shopping bags.

The Dyson Award granted Lucy Hughes about $40,000. How will she use the money? “It’s going to hugely help in developing MarinaTex.” She plans to enter “the next stage of R and D (research and development) and also [use the funds as] a huge kickstart in hopefully producing this worldwide.”

(Product design graduate Lucy Hughes holds up a sheet of MarinaTex—an edible and compostable plastic alternative made from byproducts of the fishing industry. REUTERS/ Stuart McDill)

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Most recent comments

1st comment

Very impressive and creative - to make a kind of plastic out of fish guts!

Wow!

She really spent some time on that! I love how she took something that is seen as gross and unusable, like fish guts, and made it into something useful! :-)

Woah!

That's amazing that she created something so useful out of some thing so gross!! Congratulations, Lucy Hughes! : D

Cool! You guys should watch

Cool! You guys should watch the video below this one. It's about salmon.

Pretty cool!! My older

Pretty cool!! My older brother just got back from Africa! He had some pretty cool stories!

That salmon video is cool! So

That salmon video is cool! So smart that they do that! lol

Janna @Beth H

Gross! I don't think I would be brave enough to touch those guts, but cool! @Beth H, is your brother in the military?

Gross!!

I could not do that.

HMMMM....

That is very interesting. Kinda gross, did y'all see that it is edible!?! @Beth H Congratulations!! That is sooooooooo exciting!!!!! My sister often travels so I understand! And I bet his stories are really neat!

Salmon

WOw!! that salmon video was neat!! This is NA. (nodiya ay)

Oh man, I got so squeamish

Oh man, I got so squeamish just watching the video. I don't think I could touch that stuff. But, this is a really incredible idea, I especially love how Lucy Hughes said, "...Nature can make so much from so little. Why do we need to have hundreds of man-made polymers when nature has so many already available?" I support just about anything that is made of biodegradable material, because of how good it is for the environment.

@Daniel

My brother is not in the military he was crumbing(leaving tracts) my older sister is a Marine though!
@Arlie Yeah pretty cool! He travels to China and Mongolia too!

@ Lena P

Yes!! I would have said the same thing!! It was a little gross!! no, a LOT GrOsS!!
This is Nadia A.. NA.

@Beth H

Neat!! And so fun!

@Bethsarah G

ABOUT THE ARTICLE:

this is all i will say:
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

PS I MEAN THE VIDEO GROSS YUK

PS I MEAN THE VIDEO GROSS YUK EEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

VIDEO

You all should see this video. It's off of WORLD kids. https://vimeo.com/374415123

@NA

Cool! I could never do that. I have some friends who are pretty good at Rubik's Cubes and once one of them tried to show me how to do it. I did not understand.

Wow that’s amazing! I haven’t

Wow that’s amazing! I haven’t even solved one of those in my whole life let alone in six seconds!

Gut some plastic?

I am getting grossed out from my home now. Sorry world. =. Well, that is nice taking fish and turning it into a plastic like substance! Cool!!!!

Home???????

Did I say home??? What's wrong with my spell check ?????????? I meant joke! Not home, joke!

Eilise W

your spellcheck is really tripping you up, huh?

BBBBBBBLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
gggggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrooooooossssssssssssssssssssssssss
yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyuuuuuuuuuuuuuuukkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
I COULD NEVER BRING MYSELF TO DO THAT YUCKY

Cool, but a little gross....

It's great that people are working to make a plastic-like substance to replace real plastic. It's amazing!!! We can keep our planet healthy if we work together! Congrats, Lucy Hughes!! Keep up the good work!!!

But....

I don't think I can touch all those fish guts and skins, not without gloves.

@ Maddy

Ya! it's gross!! It doesn't help that my brothers are obsessing over that video!!!!

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