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Indian scientists develop new bio-degradable plastic

A new oxodegradable polymer, a kind of plastic that can decompose in a couple of months when exposed to sunlight, has been developed by the scientists from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga in Mumbai, India.

The polymer was developed by combining plastic granules with a catalyst derived from metals and helps plastic break down into smaller chains, hindustantimes.com reported.

According to the scientists, the catalyst, which was processed with synthetic polymer granules to manufacture transparent plastic films, promotes the oxodegradation of plastic and will cause the plastic to degrade in sunlight, when discarded.

Institute of Chemical Technology department of polymer and surface engineering head professor Jagtap said plastic is chemically inert and does not degrade for years.

"Indiscriminate use of the polymer resulting in litter affects the environment and pollutes the earth," Jagtap added.

Oxodegradable plastics, which can be recycled with normal plastics, degrade in the presence of ultraviolet rays and heat.