Plastic packages have been increasing dramatically everywhere around us and day by day the human demand of plastic packaging is leaving footprints on the earth.
The environment has been and will continue to be threatened by this significant development of non-biodegradable plastics, unless action is taken. Thus, thinking about a win-win situation between humans and the environment, materials used for plastic packages have been researched and it has been found that U.S. Department of Agriculture are developing an environmentally friendly film made of the milk protein casein.
Unlike any petroleum based packaging , this protein based package can be both edible and bio-degradable. To ensure the technology is human centered and would be demanded by the society, this technology does not look any different than other plastic wrap and therefore guarantees practicality. Moreover, the protein-based films are powerful oxygen blockers that help prevent food spoilage, hence keeping the food fresher than other current packages.
There are currently some available edible packaging on the market but they are made of starch ; nevertheless it is more porous and allows oxygen to enter through its micro-holes.
This solution is found to be completely feasible and practical to implement given that it is derived from milk and is expected to be ready on shelves in less than 2 years.
One of the potential applications could be as a dissolving packet of dried coffee or soup. Instead of tearing the top off and pouring it out, you just drop the whole thing in hot water, and it dissolves, adding protein to boot. Another is as single-serve food wrappers that use large amounts of plastic for such products. Indeed, the applications of this casein packaging is literally endless.