Academics are currently creating a reusable shopping bag, made from shrimp shells.

Dr Nicola Everitt from the University of Nottingham and a colleague from the University of Nile, Egypt, are redesigning one of the most used everyday accessories and replacing it with recycled materials.

It is a two year experiment will focus on making environmental friendly bags, made out of shrimp shells. The purpose of the project is to create a new biodegradable alternative to plastic bags to help the environment and disposal problems.

Currently, the lab trials that are being run in Egypt, are processing the material at a two-day rate, in flasks in a lab scale.

Waste products from the shrimp shell experiment are also being evaluated by different extraction methods to ensure that make sure that the experiment has the least environmental impact.

“You could use one waste product to produce the bags to carry the other waste”
Dr Nicola Everitt, Associate Professor of Materials Engineering

The pair have been funded by the Newton Fund. Meaning they’re able to carry out research to benefit their parent country, Egypt. The goal of this is to have produced something to benefit the country in a five to 10 year time frame.

In regards to the long term benefit of the UK, there is biodegradable shrimp shell food packaging being experimented alongside of the bags, which will be more beneficial to our environment.


Audio: Dr Nicola Everitt speaks about how the experiment could contribute to the UK. 

Dr Nicola Everitt and her colleague have another year and a half to prove that their experiment is both environmentally friendly and will help boost the economy before it is given the go ahead.

It is very possible that we could be seeing reusable shrimp shells in our everyday materials sooner than we think.

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