The contest 2019 – First Prize: Two girls from hue create a paper that can replace plastic and nylon

Plastic waste is a big challenge for the world, including Vietnam. Currently, in Thua Thien Hue province is actively taking place the movement “Say no to plastic bags and disposable plastic products”. At the age of students, the two girls in Huong Thuy town have created waterproof paper bags from bagasse that can replace plastic bags …

From discarded bagasse, two students Mai Cao Ky Duyen and Ngo Thi Diem Thuy (grade 11 students, at Phu Bai high school, Huong Thuy town, Thua Thien Hue) turned them into paper bags and paper cups. roll …

Duyen (3rd from left) and Thuy received the first prize in Thua Thien Hue province’s

Youth and Children Creative Contest in 2019

Recently, their topic won the first prize in Thua Thien Hue province’s Youth and Children Creative Contest in 2019, the first prize in the Science and Technology Contest for high school students in Thua Thien Hue in 2018 and 4th prize in the National level Science and Technology Competition for northern high school students in 2018 – 2019.

Holding bags made from bagasse, Duyen said, there are two popular types of bags on the market (including plastic and paper bags). However, the biggest disadvantage of paper products is water repellent and easy to tear, while plastic and plastic products pose a great threat to the environment and human health.

“Accidentally drinking sugarcane juice, we found that bagasse is usually taken away and burned. Through research, we know that bagasse contains about 45 – 50% cellulose so bagasse is a good material for making paper. Therefore, we came up with the idea of ​​making paper from bagasse with waterproof properties, ”Duyen said.

After that, the group quickly collected bagasse in small sugarcane shops, collected crab shells, shrimp shells in seafood restaurants and had corn starch, natural rubber, paraffin and related chemicals.

First, you soak, pre-process bagasse, then soften the bagasse, then grind and grind; Fading; Washing pulp and preparing suspensions (suspension media include: water, CaCO3, starch); Papermaking.

As for the waterproofing of the paper, the team carried out 4 options, of which two are the most prominent and most favorable ones, including creating a film from a polymer starch mixture – PVAc – Natriborat and a plan of shrimp and crab shell processing. Chitosan mixture creates waterproofing membrane.

Paper cups made from bagasse

Those girls created 3 products including lanterns, paper bags, paper cups and can be further developed such as straws, utensils, etc. These products can be used to make packaging materials to replace plastic cups, plastic bags …

After completing the product, they brought it to test at the Drug, Cosmetic and Food Testing Center – Department of Health of Thua Thien Hue Province.

The results showed that “Membrane made from bagasse  Starch – PVAc – Na2B4O7 (Sodium chloride)” achieves safety criterias to store food, capable of good decomposition, so it can be applied to use as packaging, paper cups, food containers.

And “Paper made from bagasse with Chitosan coating” not only achieves safety criterias for food store, but also has antibacterial and antifungal ability. At the same time, it does not detect fungal spores and toxins Aflatoxin.

According to Duyen, at present, paper made from bagasse has not been popularized. The processes for making this kind of paper are not available on books, Internet. In addition, the waterproof paper on the majority market coated PE film, while the paper of their group took advantage of two types of waste materials: bagasse and shrimp shell.

“From there, creating green products, environmentally friendly, safe for health. Low cost, estimated to put into the market about 15,000 VND / kg of pulp, cheaper than paper made from wood trees (20,000-25,000 VND / kg), ”Duyen said.

Holding a paper bag made from bagasse, Duyen wished that this products would be applied to large-scale industrial production to bring these friendly products to replace much more plastic waste – the most serious global issue.

Talking about the topic of the two students, MA.Hoang Minh – Principal of Phu Bai High School said: “Their topic is very practical in that it can meet the replacement of plastic bags, plastic, creating environmentally friendly products. Currently, there are many businesses contacting to transfer topics, commercialize products, multiply into life ”.

Author: Minh Phong – Minh Hai