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Project hooks bioplastics from fish waste

By Jenni Spinner+

14-Jan-2014

A bio-plastics partnership seeks to cull material for packaging and parts from fishery waste.
A bio-plastics partnership seeks to cull material for packaging and parts from fishery waste.

Scientists are working to create bioplastics for food manufacturing and packaging, using material derived from fishing industry waste.

Sierra Resins has launched a venture with Jason Bolton, a food safety specialist, to develop and commercialize bio-based, bio-degradable plastics. The resulting material will be used to create packaging, parts and other products for the food industry.

Fishy potential

The company has a history of formulating bioplastics that break down in compost and landfills. John Tersigni, CEO of Sierra Resins, said the team views the stream of waste produced in commercial fisheries shows significant potential as a bio-resin source.

“The fisheries waste stream could very well provide some answers in making our plastic materials more biodegradable," he said.

Bolton and the Sierra Resin team will hone in on creating and testing products made from the company’s Enviroable bioplastics line. According to Tersigni, Bolton’s extensive food safety experience makes him the best person for the job.

Bolton's background in food safety requirements, food processing, and quality control will provide us a level of confidence that our bioplastic products are safe to use in relationship to products that come into contact with food,” he said.

Expert background

Bolton serves as assistant extension professor and food safety specialist for the University of Maine. He consults food industry professionals on HACCP concerns, facility design, sanitation and other areas.

Bolton earned his PhD in Food and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Maine. Additionally, he acts a state-wide food safety educator, and has served as assistant extension professor of food safety for the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension since 2010.

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