A group of Polish researchers from the Lodz University of Technology have developed a method of converting used tyres into biodegradable packaging
The researchers use the bacterial strain Lactiplantibacillus plantarum that eats rubber waste, turning it into biocellulose. Due to high water retention and insufficient strength, the obtained bacterial cellulose was originally unsuitable for paper production, but the scientists have now solved this problem.
Dr Tomasz Olejnik, one of the authors of the study, explained that the scientists developed a special composite: a mixture of plant and bacterial cellulose, improving the physicochemical properties of obtained paper, which becomes impermeable to air and biodegradable.
The paper obtained using this method can be used to produce packaging materials that can replace plastics.