After two years of research, experiments, and failed trials, 16-year-old Elif Bilgin developed a new process for turning banana peels into a non-decaying bioplastic, a more eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based plastics.
Of the process, she jokes, “but hey, even Thomas Edison said, ‘I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’”
In this Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation video, host Mo Rocca talks with Bilgin about her project. She also explains the concept in the presentation video below:
“The reason why I anticipated that the banana peel could be used in the production of plastic is that it contains starch which is the key ingredient in the production of bioplastic.”
In recognition of her persistence and discovery, she is Scientific American‘s 2013 Science in Action winner and winner of the Voter’s Choice Award for the Google Science Fair 2013.