A product design student from England's University of Sussex has won about $40,000 for the invention of a translucent and biodegradable plastic made entirely from fish leftovers. Lucy Hughes, 23, hopes the grant from the James Dyson Award will help jump-start production of her ''MarinaTex'' which she hopes will one day replace much single-use plastic. She says the product she developed as a final year college project would be an alternative to plastic typically used in shopping or sandwich bags.
Class discussion: Could innovations like this eliminate the millions of tons of plastic waste we produce each year? How much of our plastic waste is generated by product packaging? A recent study found that 91 percent of plastic waste is not recycled. Where does all that unrecovered waste end up? How do microscopic bits of plastic end up in the water, air, animals and us? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about our ability and willingness to reduce the billions of tons of plastic clogging the environment? Why?