How French researchers are working to develop new biodegradable plastics at sea


“Unfortunately, the bad news is that whatever we put in rivers and at sea, we will never be able to recover it. It is obvious. The solutions must therefore be upstream. It will be necessary that the science is innovating to change this type of plastic, but it is certainly not by cleaning the beaches or the oceans that we will find the solution “, says biologist Jean-François Ghiglione to the magazine “1:15 p.m. on Saturday“(replay). This researcher at CNRS in particular piloted in 2019 a “microplastics mission” aboard the scientific schooner Tara.

For him and his colleague Anne-Leïla Meistertzheim, also a member of the Microbial oceanography laboratory of Banyuls-sur-Mer (Pyrénées-Orientales), the only solution to resolve the issue is to invent new plastics that are biodegradable in the natural environment. In the test room, each box contains small plastic slides. Some are made from petroleum and others are made from algae, potatoes, sugar cane or bacteria … These, which disintegrate much more quickly, are concrete solutions for manufacturers. of packaging.

“We will have to find solutions for packaging … and I think we will get there”

“With the plastic of the bag that we know, we don’t really see any biodegradation. Over several years, we don’t see anything, is sorry (…)

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