Making Environmentally Friendly Bioplastic from Mango Seed Waste

By: Yuyun Rohayati on 27 Sep 2021

One of the teams that successfully passed funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture in the Student Creativity Program (PKM) was a team led by Sarah Amelia Nur Wahidah Al Falah with the two membersChintya Nur Faridah and Destia Mega Al Hartawan, under the guidance of Dr. Mustika Nuramalia Handayani, S.TP., M.Pd.The team from the Agro-industrial Technology Education program of study constructed the idea of developing environmentally friendly, low-cost, and safe packaging materials after seeing the accumulation of plastic waste and food waste which give a negative impact on the environment.

Through the Riset Eksakta Student Creativity Program (PKM-RE), a bioplastic product based on mango seed waste was created with the addition of lemongrass essential oil as an antibacterial. Plastic waste is still an unresolved problem up to the present because people continue to use plastic packaging which is considered simpler. "Environmentally friendly plastics are becoming more popular, but what sets these bioplastics apart is that we use a starch extract from mango seed waste as the primary raw material. Then, as an antibacterial agent, we add essential oil extracted from lemongrass. raw materials that are simple to obtain but safe to use as food packaging materials," Sarah, the head of the PKM-RE team, stated.

Through this idea, the PKM-RE team is trying to introduce environmentally friendly and safe bioplastics to the community. In addition, Sarah and her team hope that Food waste can be converted into a product that provides numerous benefits while having no negative environmental impact. For the raw material, the mango seeds, we work with several juice sellers around Gegerkalong and also mango seed collectors," said Chintya, one of the team members. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus) is a herbal plant that is widely used as a flavour enhancer in food and traditional medicine. In addition, lemongrass oil has high antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Lemongrass has antibacterial activity, as indicated by an inhibition zone of 8 mm on the growth of E.Coli and a zone of 13 mm on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus at a concentration of 25% w/v.

This research has been successful in developing bioplastic products that have been tested to meet the highest plastic standards. The success of this research, of course, cannot be separated from the support of various parties, as well as continuous team coordination. Every week, evaluations are carried out to ensure that this research produces high-quality results. In this regard, Sarah hopes that the research could penetrate PIMNAS and encourage students to innovate and create something beneficial to the environment and society. In addition, the team also hopes that the bioplastic innovation based on mango seed waste can reduce the number of waste accumulation in Indonesia. (MNH)