Kiwi fisherman and brewer team up on bioplastic

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In New Zealand, a fisherman is working to create a biodegradable alternative to plastic using beer waste. Mohi Healey, a deckhand on a factory trawler, spent years researching biodegradable plastics before settling on polyhydroxyalkanoates as the bioplastic and brewers spent grains as feedstock.

“I think it’s just the way I’m wired, I’m always thinking and studying the world around me wondering what the next big thing needs to be. The crew… often joke that all I talk about is biodegradable plastic,” Healey tells Stuff.

Healey has also received $40,000 from Auckland brewer DB Export to further his commercialization efforts.  Currently out to sea, Healey will return in March and work with DB on commercialization plans. DB Export already has a project with Gull to produce “Brewtroleum,” a biofuel made from brewing byproducts, and has worked on turning empty beer bottles into a sand substitute to reduce beach erosion in New Zealand.