Are “Milkwraps” the plastic of the future?!
Plastic is everywhere. Look to your left, now look to your right. How many plastic items are you surrounded by? How does it make you feel when people make predictions like “by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish”… What!?!?!?!
We try our best to be kind to the environment here at EcoDairy which means using eco-friendly farming techniques and educating our guests on ways they can help out too! There’s this fun science experiment that we like to do with our grade 6-8 school tours sometimes that shows how you can turn milk into “casein plastic” simply by heating up some milk and adding vinegar, and it’s safer for the environment!
“You may be surprised to learn that from the early 1900s until about 1945, milk was commonly used to make many different plastic ornaments. This included buttons, decorative buckles, beads and other jewelry, fountain pens, the backings for hand-held mirrors, and fancy comb and brush sets.”
So what is casein plastic exactly?
“Milk contains many molecules of a protein called casein. Each casein molecule is a monomer and a chain of casein monomers is a polymer. The polymer can be scooped up and molded, which is why plastic made from milk is called casein plastic.” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-milk-plastic/
We recently came across this article from Modern Farmer about “Milkwraps” which are similar to the casein plastic idea. It’s like plastic packaging, only it’s better for the environment and you can EAT it!
And science strikes again! Read the full article here and find out more about this new plastic that could be on a grocery store shelf near you in the future!