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Genetic Engineering and Bioplastic

by Green Plastics


In a long and interesting article about the use of databases in genetic engineering, bioplastics get a special mention:

Toyoda is also a member of the RIKEN Biomass Engineering Program, which was initiated in April 2010. Through the program, Toyoda aims to improve the efficiency of producing bioplastic materials based on rational genome design methods for plants. Genome design methods and programs collected through GenoCon would also be used for that purpose.

I fear this will drive some environmentalists crazy, bringing together an idea they stereotypically love (the idea of green plastics) and an idea they stereotypically hate (genetic engineering).

But as a scientist, my question to you is: why are so many environmentalists so scared of genetic engineering? There are some very good ecological arguments for genetic engineering, and now we can add one more to the list:  the production of better, stronger, cheaper biodegradable plastics.



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