A new plastic used to store food and water could be used for food and beverage containers that would be safer for people to ingest.
A team from the University of Michigan’s Department of Civil Engineering is developing a polymer that is similar to human waste and can be processed to produce plastics.
The team is working with a company called Sustainabond, which is a subsidiary of an international food safety consortium.
They have submitted their first proposal to the US Food and Drug Administration, but are awaiting regulatory approval.
The researchers say they hope to start commercial production of the polymer in the next five years.
It is the first polymer developed to be used as food and drink containers.
The material can be used to make polymers that are stronger than plastic and resistant to the elements and bacteria that cause food spoilage.
In addition, the researchers are working on creating a plastic that can be recycled, and which could be reused for food packaging.
In its application to the FDA, Sustainabaond says the polymer could be applied to food packaging for foods such as canned soups, pasta, fruit and meat, and other items that have already been used for packaging.
It also envisions using the polymer to make plastics for food-processing equipment and for medical and dental products.
But this new material isn’t just for food, according to the team.
The polymer can be applied as an adhesive for medical implants, which have been used as a means of making the material waterproof and secure.
The application to FDA calls for the polymer for food products, such as a bar of chocolate for making a bar, as well as for medical equipment, like a catheter or a pacemaker.
The FDA is reviewing the application and could issue a decision as soon as March 2018.
The group has submitted the proposal to SustainABond.