Teen turns bananas into plastic

2013-06-28 11:05
Bananas (Picture: <a href=\http://www.shutterstock.com\>Shutterstock</a> )

Bananas (Picture: Shutterstock )

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington – There's nothing slippery about Elif Bilgin's idea of using banana peels as a substitute for old-school petroleum-based plastics.

The 16-year-old student from Istanbul spent two years perfecting a way to make a bioplastic out of discarded banana peels that could, in turn, be used for the electrical insulation of cables.

On Thursday, her efforts paid off when Scientific American named her the winner of its $50 000 Science in Action prize, a stepping stone to the Google Science Fair for young inventors in California this September.

In her research, Bilgin – who says "science is my calling" – determined that if starch and cellulose from such food waste as mango skins can be used to make bioplastics, then banana peels ought to do the trick, too.

"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," said Bilgin, who counts Nobel laureate Marie Curie among her heroes.

"It also means that I have started the process of changing the world, which makes me feel like a winner already," she added in an interview on the Scientific American's website, Scientific American.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    google  |  us  |  technology

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks change 2 for USA clash
Naholo remains under injury cloud
Eddie Jones would consider England job
England in hot water over official approach
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to day...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.