Prawira won the Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation for this invention, which comes with a $10,000 prize.
She was looking for a way to use the cellulose fibers in cotton, corn, and paper that are usually tossed into landfills during processing. Her experiments culminated in the discovery that bioplastic made with paper fibers is the strongest, while adding cotton fibers makes bioplastic more flexible.
Prawira’s next goal is to develop a bioplastic that can fully degrade in the soil and in the ocean.
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