Team members pictured above: Sam Storts, Nan Hu, Emmanouil Chatzakis, Kurt Koelling, David Nagib, Osvaldo Campanella, Justin Diles, Katrina Cornish, Yael Vodovotz, Xiaoying Zhao
Plastic production has outgrown most other man-made materials, with packaging, agriculture, and construction accounting for ~ 60% of its use. More than 90% of the plastics are petroleum-based and non-biodegradable, and >80% end up in landfills, raising environmental concerns. Dependence on crude oil makes the plastic industry unsustainable and plastic markets vulnerable to oil price volatility. Therefore, BAIT (The Bioplastic Alternatives Interdisciplinary Team) seeks to create a new family of bio-based and biodegradable products by value-added use of agricultural and food processing waste streams, as alternatives to petroleum-based plastics prevalent in packaging, agricultural, and construction industries. The team includes a broad breadth of interdisciplinary faculty across Food Science, Horticulture and Crop Science, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry, Architecture, Material Science, and Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering.