UK scientists study ways to turn egg shells into plastics
University research looking for ways to reduce waste, expand use
Scientists at the University of Leicester are looking at ways to use egg shells as fillers to bulk up different grades of plastic, something which could have practical applications in everything from food packaging to construction materials, according to the research. Overall, the project aims to find useful ways of recycling egg shells which are currently regarded as waste by food producers and which they have to pay to dispose of in landfills.
“Egg shell is classified as a waste material by the food industry but is in fact a highly sophisticated composite,” said Richard Worrall, director of Food and Drink iNet, which is funding the project. “The scientists at the University of Leicester have identified a number of uses for egg shell waste...This could have potential benefit on many levels, both for food manufacturers and a much wider industry.” The researchers are also looking at the possibility of extracting materials from the egg shells that could have uses in the pharmaceutical industry.