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Let's PLAy project - Bioproduction of PLA

Integrated HP

Gold medal

Our Human Practices work started with a survey on bioplastic knowledge from the wide audience. Following our results, we decided to work on MOOCs as a potential way to communicate efficiently on our project. We also focused on public policies tending to reduce the use of petroleum-based plastic, and we wondered if this could spur consumers to resort to bioplastics. Eventually, we decided to carry out a degradation experiment to take into account controversies on our project.

Why do we accomplish the Gold medal criteria?

We believe we have integrated well the topics studied during investigation through the experimental part of human practices. The approaches we took for integration were the following:

  • After conducting a survey, we noticed that people would prefer resorting to bioplastics in their daily life, but they don’t know much about PLA, and even less about synthetic biology. In consequence, we performed a MOOCs as an effective tool to spread knowledge.
  • We discovered that high prices of PLA products compared with petroleum-based equivalents hinders the consumption of this bioplastic. As those prices are related with low yields of PLA production, we reacted by providing efficient ways of production through conceiving a DIY bioreactor.
  • We found out there were controversies on plastic biodegradation. We took a skeptical approach and we empirically experimented it to check results.

Check out the whole part of Integrated Human practices here.