(CNN)More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year, killing marine life and damaging ecosystems. But the same seas might also hold the key to reducing plastic pollution.
Could squid protein be an eco-friendly answer to our plastic problem?
Proteins found in squid can be used to create sustainable alternatives to plastics, according to a report published in Frontiers in Chemistry on Thursday.
Squid grasp their prey using suction cups on their tentacles and arms. The cups are equipped with sharp "ring teeth" that hold the food in place. The teeth are made from proteins that are similar to silk, and these have become the subject of scientific interest in the last few years.
Melik Demirel, of Pennsylvania State University, is lead author of the new report, which reviews existing research on materials made from these proteins. He says his team has produced prototypes of fibers, coatings and 3D objects made from the squid ring teeth (SRT) proteins.
Demirel says these