loader from loading.io

Chitin: The Alternative to Plastic

How To Protect The Ocean

Release Date: 04/19/2024

Standing Up Against Misogyny and Celebrating Women in Marine Science and Conservation show art Standing Up Against Misogyny and Celebrating Women in Marine Science and Conservation

How To Protect The Ocean

Join host Andrew Lewin on this episode of the How to Protect the Ocean podcast as he delves into a recent commencement speech by Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Harrison Buckner. While the speech may not directly relate to marine conservation, Andrew highlights the importance of setting the record straight on issues concerning women and the LGBTQ+ community in marine biology and conservation. Tune in to explore why these voices deserve recognition and why it's crucial to address misconceptions in society. Follow a career in conservation: Use the code SUFB to get 33% off courses and the...

info_outline
Behind the Scenes at the UN Global Plastic Treaty Meeting in Ottawa from Oceana Canada show art Behind the Scenes at the UN Global Plastic Treaty Meeting in Ottawa from Oceana Canada

How To Protect The Ocean

On this episode of the How to Protect the Ocean podcast, host Andrew Lewin is joined by Anthony Merante, Oceana Canada's senior plastic campaigner, to discuss the results of the UN Global Plastic Treaty's INC4 meeting held in Ottawa. Dive behind the scenes of the meeting and learn about the goals and outcomes of this significant event. Discover what actions are being taken to protect the ocean and how you can get involved in creating a better future for our oceans. Listen now to stay informed and inspired to make a difference! Check out the last episode where Anthony was interviewed before the...

info_outline
The 30 x 30 Campaign: Are Marine Protected Areas Really Effective? show art The 30 x 30 Campaign: Are Marine Protected Areas Really Effective?

How To Protect The Ocean

In this episode of the How to Protect the Ocean podcast, hosts Andrew Lewin, Beth Pike from the Marine Conservation Institute, and Angelo Villa-Gomez from the Center of American Progress discuss the effectiveness of implementing marine protected areas. They review the status of the campaign to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030 and share surprising findings from their study on the implementation of the biggest 100 marine protected areas. Tune in to learn about the progress and challenges in marine conservation efforts. Read the paper: Follow a career in conservation: Use the code SUFB to...

info_outline
The Alliance for Seafood Solutions: Promoting Sustainability and Social Responsibility show art The Alliance for Seafood Solutions: Promoting Sustainability and Social Responsibility

How To Protect The Ocean

This episode features Ryan Bigelow, the Director of Projects for the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. He discusses the seafood industry, the alliance's role, and the importance of conservation. From consumer to industry perspectives, the conversation delves into the challenges of sustainable seafood practices. Tune in to learn about the Seafood Watch program and how to make informed seafood choices for a better ocean. Website: The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions is dedicated to improving sustainability in the seafood industry by fostering collaboration between NGOs and...

info_outline
Shifting the SciComm Focus: Highlighting Conservation Beyond the Sexy show art Shifting the SciComm Focus: Highlighting Conservation Beyond the Sexy

How To Protect The Ocean

This episode of the How to Protect the Ocean podcast delves into the importance of focusing on the behind-the-scenes work of marine science and conservation, rather than just the glamorous underwater footage of majestic sea creatures. The host emphasizes that conservation efforts are primarily carried out in conference rooms by scientists, conservationists, NGOs, and government officials. The episode encourages listeners to shift the spotlight towards the real work of conservation and highlights the significance of discussing these topics on various online platforms. Follow a career in...

info_outline
How AI is Revolutionizing the Fight Against Illegal Fishing show art How AI is Revolutionizing the Fight Against Illegal Fishing

How To Protect The Ocean

On this episode of the How to Protect the Ocean podcast, we dive into how AI technology is being used to combat illegal fishing, ultimately reducing the risks migrants from Africa face when crossing into Europe. Discover the innovative work of Dyhia Belhabib from Algeria, who has revolutionized enforcement against illegal fishing practices. Tune in to learn more about the impact of her efforts. Link to the article: AI technology is revolutionizing the fight against illegal fishing activities, a critical issue with far-reaching implications beyond marine conservation. As highlighted in the...

info_outline
Conservation Efforts for Rio's Dolphins: A Deep Dive show art Conservation Efforts for Rio's Dolphins: A Deep Dive

How To Protect The Ocean

Andrew Lewin discusses a conservation project in Rio de Janeiro aimed at saving the Rio's dolphin from extinction. Highlighting the threats of chemical and oil pollution, dredging, noise, overfishing, and bycatch in three different bays, including Guanabara Bay, Sepetiba Bay, and Ilha Grande Bay, the episode explores the efforts to protect these dolphins in Brazilian waters. Link to article: Follow a career in conservation: Use the code SUFB to get 33% off courses and the careers program.   Sign up for our Newsletter:   Facebook Group: Connect with Speak Up For Blue:...

info_outline
Exploring the Field Guide to Sharks, Rays, and Chimeras of North America show art Exploring the Field Guide to Sharks, Rays, and Chimeras of North America

How To Protect The Ocean

On this episode of the How to Protect the Ocean podcast, Dr. David Ebert discusses the importance of his book, "The Field Guide to Sharks, Rays, and Chimeras of the East Coast of North America," which describes over 1,200 species. He has authored over 30 books on marine life and is joined by shark illustrator Mark Dando. Listeners will learn about the growth in knowledge of shark species and the significance of field guides for shark conservationists and enthusiasts. Get the Book:   Follow a career in conservation: Use the code SUFB to get 33% off courses and the careers program....

info_outline
The Controversy Surrounding Shark Nets: They Are Catching More Than Just Sharks show art The Controversy Surrounding Shark Nets: They Are Catching More Than Just Sharks

How To Protect The Ocean

Andrew Lewin delves into the controversial topic of shark nets in Australia. While these nets are intended to protect beachgoers from certain shark species, they also harm non-targeted marine animals like sea turtles and dolphins. The discussion revolves around the effectiveness of shark nets in ensuring beach safety and the impact on ocean species. Join the conversation to learn more about the balance between human safety and marine conservation efforts. Link to article: Follow a career in conservation: Use the code SUFB to get 33% off courses and the careers program.   Sign up...

info_outline
Zoos and Aquariums: Guardians of Coral Reefs show art Zoos and Aquariums: Guardians of Coral Reefs

How To Protect The Ocean

This episode dives into the beauty and importance of coral reefs, highlighting their significance for marine ecosystems, tourism, fisheries, and coastal security. However, it also addresses the alarming destruction of coral reefs due to climate change. The episode discusses efforts to save coral reefs, focusing on how zoos are playing a vital role by propagating corals in aquariums. Tune in to learn more about these crucial conservation initiatives. Link to article: Follow a career in conservation: Use the code SUFB to get 33% off courses and the careers program.   Sign up for our...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

Andrew Lewin discusses the potential of replacing plastic with a sustainable substance found in shellfish. Imagine a world where everyday items are eco-friendly and do not harm the environment when disposed of. Join us to explore this innovative solution to plastic pollution and learn how we can all contribute to a healthier ocean.

Link to article: https://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2024/03/experts-unlock-the-vast-potential-of-seafood-waste-without-the-toxic-after-effects/

Follow a career in conservation: https://www.conservation-careers.com/online-training/ Use the code SUFB to get 33% off courses and the careers program.
 
Sign up for our Newsletter: http://www.speakupforblue.com/newsletter
 

Chitin, a substance found in the shells of seafood shellfish, has emerged as a promising alternative to traditional plastic. Researchers at the University of Connecticut have developed a method to extract chitin from crabs, lobsters, and other crustaceans. Historically, chitin extraction has been challenging due to the use of harmful substances like hydrochloric acid, which can harm the environment. However, the researchers have found a more sustainable approach using non-toxic and biocompatible byproducts from the biodiesel industry.

This breakthrough is significant because chitin-based products could offer a more environmentally friendly solution to plastic pollution. Chitin-based materials have the potential to break down more easily in the environment, reducing the harmful impact on ecosystems. With approximately six million tons of seafood waste generated in the US alone each year, there is a vast potential source of chitin that could be repurposed into sustainable products.

The innovative extraction process involves using organic acids like glycerol, choline chloride, lactic acid, or malic acid to separate chitin from the shellfish material. This method not only makes chitin extraction more efficient but also eliminates the use of corrosive substances that harm the environment. The resulting chitin can be used as a biodegradable replacement for petroleum-based plastics, offering a more sustainable option for various products.

Furthermore, the researchers are exploring additional applications for chitin, such as turning salvaged chitin into nutrient-rich fertilizer for crops. This demonstrates the versatility and potential value of chitin as a sustainable resource. The episode emphasizes the importance of investing in innovative research projects like this to drive positive change and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

Researchers have made a groundbreaking discovery in finding a more environmentally friendly way to extract chitin from shellfish, making it a viable option for plastic production. Traditionally, extracting chitin from shellfish has been a challenging and polluting process, involving the use of harmful substances like hydrochloric acid. However, a lab at the University of Connecticut has found a new method that utilizes non-toxic, biocompatible, and cost-effective byproducts of the biodiesel industry, such as choline chloride, glycerol, and organic acids.

This innovative approach involves creating a solvent rich in hydrogen bonds that can break down the original bond in the shellfish material, enabling the separation and release of chitin from other compounds in the shells' complex matrix. This method not only makes the extraction process more efficient but also eliminates the harmful environmental impacts associated with traditional extraction methods.

With this new extraction process, chitin can now be obtained sustainably from the shells of crabs, lobsters, crustaceans, and shrimp. This discovery opens up a world of possibilities for using chitin as a biodegradable replacement for petroleum-based plastics. The potential applications of chitin in plastic production are vast, offering a more sustainable alternative that breaks down harmlessly in the environment.

Furthermore, researchers are exploring additional uses for chitin, such as turning salvaged chitin into a nutrient-rich fertilizer for crops. This demonstrates the versatility and value of chitin as a resource that can be repurposed into valuable products, contributing to a more circular and sustainable economy.

Overall, this discovery represents a significant step towards reducing plastic pollution and transitioning towards more eco-friendly alternatives in plastic production. By investing in innovative research like this, we can pave the way for a more sustainable future and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels for plastic manufacturing.

Governments play a crucial role in driving innovation towards more sustainable practices and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. As discussed in the podcast episode, investing in innovative projects like the use of chitin to create sustainable products presents a significant opportunity for governments to lead the way in environmental conservation. Chitin, extracted from seafood waste, offers a biodegradable alternative to petroleum-based plastics, addressing the pressing issue of plastic pollution.

By investing in research and development of chitin-based products, governments can support the transition towards a more sustainable economy. This investment not only fosters technological advancements but also promotes job creation and economic growth in emerging industries focused on sustainability. Furthermore, the utilization of chitin in various applications, such as packaging and fertilizers, demonstrates the versatility and potential of this natural resource.

Governments should prioritize funding for projects that explore innovative solutions like chitin-based products. By supporting these initiatives, policymakers can demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship and climate action. Additionally, investing in sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels aligns with global efforts to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Overall, government investment in projects utilizing chitin and other sustainable materials is essential for driving the transition towards a more environmentally friendly and sustainable future. By supporting research, development, and implementation of these innovative solutions, governments can play a pivotal role in creating a more sustainable and resilient society for future generations.