A newly discovered casein-based alternative is biodegradable, sustainable and even edible

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are developing an environmentally-friendly packaging made from milk proteins. The casein-based film offers a number of benefits over plastic packaging. It blocks oxygen to help prevent food spoilage and is biodegradable, sustainable and edible.

Plastic packaging isn’t very good at preventing spoilage, with some plastics suspected of leaching compounds into food. It is neither recyclable nor sustainable, due to being mainly petroleum-based. It also doesn’t degrade, creating tons of plastic waste in landfills each year.

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