Team:Evry/Integrated Practices

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Let's PLAy project - Bioproduction of PLA

Integrated HP

Regarding Human Practices, we have developed different topics : MOOC, evolving regulations on petroleum-based plastics and controversy on PLA degradation.

Initial investigation

We started our investigations by conducting an educative survey. Our goal was mainly to understand if the wide public had a good understanding of bioplastics and synthetic biology. But we also wanted to know if people were interested in bioplastics and willing to use it in their daily life.

We also noted that public policies are tending to gradually ban petroleum-based plastic consumptions. Thus, we wondered how this could affect bioplastic consumption.

On the need of public awareness

After conducting a survey on our project, it appeared that people would prefer resorting to PLA – and bioplastics in general - rather than petroleum-based equivalents. Yet, the consumption of bioplastics remains lower and this is quite a paradox.

As we noticed that people don’t know much about PLA, and even less about synthetic biology, we wanted to consider ways of communicating more efficiently on our topic. That’s why we decided to study MOOCs.

Controversy around biodegradation

While reading about PLA, we noticed there was a diversity of opinions on its biodegradability. Thus, we decided to adopt a skeptical point of view by performing an experiment to empirically observe what happens in daily conditions.

Project insights

We carried out our PLA system development and experiments before and during the human practices procedure. Even though it was complicated to combine both aspects, we managed to consider a way of potentially reducing PLA prices.

Indeed, high prices of PLA products compared with petroleum-based equivalents hinders its consumption. As those prices are partially related to low yields of PLA production, we decided to work on improving PLA production by conceiving a DIY bioreactor.

Check out Improvements here.

Acknowledgements for Human Practices

During the investigation on human practices, we counted on the collaboration and help of several people and associations, mentioned below:


  • Marie Beigelman, student at ENSAE, French National School for Statistics and Administration – Advices on methodology for the survey.
  • Nicolas Mandroux, student at ENS Cachan – Proofreading on the survey.
  • Amélie Touzeau Duquesne student at Mines School – Proofreading on the survey.

MOOCs Experimentation

  • Laurent Martorell & Céline Barreto, teachers at Langevin-Wallon High School in Champigny sur Marne and their students – MOOC Experimentation.
  • Students from the Master in Systems & Synthetic biology from the University of Paris Saclay, campus of Evry – MOOC Experimentation.
  • Maison des Initiatives étudiantes, Paris – Technical and Adminstrative assistance for the preparation of the video.
  • Professor Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor of French and Philosophy at Columbia, New York and 
former Professor at Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar – Questions on MOOCs, especially in Africa.
  • JerryClan Sénégal – Presentation of their do-it yourself computer and its implementation in Senegal.
  • A former student in Senegal who helped us to better understand ICT issues in Senegal.

Impacts on Banning PLA

  • BioFutura on economic impact of French legislation for bioplastic stakeholders.
  • Olivier Kerfant from Artaxerkes Sarl – Point of view on African and European Bioplastic Markets in relation with past and upcoming legislations.
  • Ms Sandra Guillomot, Head of Cabinet of Célia Blauel, deputy Mayor for sustainable development at Paris City council.