On the 28th of March CuanTec was at Chapelhall primary to increase plastic pollution awareness among children.


It was truly an experience to talk with kids from ages 6 to 11 and see their knowledge on recycling and plastic pollution.
We prepared 3 different activities for them to do. Which allowed us to speak with them in smaller groups rather than giving an impersonal speech.

 

  • The first activity was to make them realise that plastic is suffocating our ocean.
    A game was set up, they had to distinguish plastic from sea-animals on a presentation.
    We then talked to the students about the danger of plastic for marine animals,how they think it is food because of how plastic look and smells. We then explained to them the problem of microplastic, which we find everywhere

 

  • The second activity was an “unlucky dip”.
    The boxes were full of garbage commonly found in the ocean. We made them guess what was in the boxes with one clue “it is something you find a lot in the ocean”. All the group found what it was. We then had a discussion on how plastic end up in the ocean, and the diverse ways plastic can finish its life, left in nature, in landfill or get a new life thanks to recycling.  When we asked them if they ever saw garbage left on the side of the road, they responded to the question unanimously, they always see garbage on the side of the road, this is something that is not normal and pushes us to work harder!

 

  • The third activity was to explain the danger of petroleum plastic, and show them how our plastic is different, what it is made of, langoustines and other edible ingredients. They got to see langoustines crabs, our plastic dissolving in front of their eyes in water.

 

We were happy to hear that most of them already knew where to put recyclable plastic, which bin to use, why they should never throw plastic in nature. It was amazing to see young children show such an interest in what we are doing and understand why we are doing it. They totally understand the consequences of throwing plastic in nature. It makes us hope that the new generation will be greener than we are, and when choices are to be made they will make the ones with the lowest environmental impact.

 A scientist walks into a Healthfood shop in Glasgow and makes a purchase, but whilst he is there he engages the store keeper in conversation about Chitosan, and where does their firm get it from (Holland and Barrett), the outcome appears to give India as an answer and the scientist, our CSO Ryan, says perhaps some day soon you’ll want to get it from us, a more environmentally friendly production version and local.

A few weeks later, a frustrated dairy farmer from Ayrshire, uses his social media reach to ask if anyone anywhere can help him locate a firm that could make a compostable, environmentally friendly, not petroleum plastic, single use milk bottle. He had been looking for 2 years and failed to find anything currently available, nor locate a firm willing to rise to the challenge.

The store-keep saw this message and suggested CuanTec. CuanTec got an email from Bryce at Mossguiel farm.

The rest is history about to be made.

CuanTec are willing to take on the challenge of making a compostable milk container….but we need your help to make that a reality.

 

We have all contributed to the plastic pollution that is covering our land and polluting our oceans. We can all make a difference to solve it. CuanTec have the knowledge and the ideas, but we need support financially to be able to expand our team, get additional equipment and put those ideas into action.

Please support our crowdfunder – coming soon…..

 

With many grateful thanks to all who have heard about the ambitions of CuanTec and believe we can make a difference.

 

Curious about how langoustines waste, normally ending up in landfil, becomes valuable products such as Chitin and chitosan via a sustainable process? Watch the video below:

 

 

Chemicals VS Biological
Deproteination
Low concentration solution of sodium hydroxide at medium temperature for a couple of hours stirring, therefore it uses harsh chemicals while heating and stirring the solution.

Happens in the fermentation using harmless bacteria at low temperature

Eliminating 100% the harsh chemical from the deproteination

Demineralisation
Made with a strong acidsolution, most of the time Hydrochloric acid due to its cheapness and high accessibility, it last up to 2 hours with constant stirring

Happens in two steps:

- during the fermentation using harmless bacteria, 

- then with a slightly more acidic solution than vinegar, at room temperature without stirring

Eliminating 100% the harsh chemical from the demineralisation

Deacetylation

A solution of high concentrated sodium hydroxide is used stirring for up to 24h at high temperatures.

Using a lot of hash chemicals and energy.

In the long run we will use a second fermentation to deacetylate our chitin, therefore achieving a process with no harsh chemicals.

Our current process is a mechanochemical process using 5 times less sodium hydroxide and at room temperature, taking 2 hours, reducing chemicals and energy used as well as time.

 

To know more about chitin and chitosan applications and uses go here.