Plastic made with plants: This Oklahoma inventor is already working with a recipe to change the world

Great State
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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – There might still be people who know Sharina Perry and would wonder what she’s doing walking around inside a big plastics manufacturer, especially considering her previous, and entirely unrelated, work experience as a cable and internet provider.

“I have always believed that I can do whatever I set out to do,” she states.

But that’s exactly where we found her in late 2020, getting another plant tour from Poly Films Vice President Kevin McGehee on how they’re utilizing Sharina’s accidental invention, a new kind of plant-based plastic she hopes will change the world.

She tells us with a smile, “What I can tell you is what my patent attorneys told me. They said, ‘you put the big boys to shame with this one.'”

The finished product looks like normal plastic sheeting, but through Perry’s original interests, first in medicinal plants, then in plant fibers, and a kitchen chemist breakthrough with homemade straws, those interests spread out like extruded plastic from a fast machine.

Perry explains, “It’s the use of medicinal crops and plant-based materials.”

“We’re using the crops a farmer grows to make everyday items.”

McGehee’s plant is running flat out these days, day and night, seven days a week, making the kinds of extruded plastic sheets you see in bags and wrappers.

“So far, it’s working out,” he says, “It’s only gotten better.”

Part of that run uses Sharina’s plant-based recipes.

There are lots more tests to be done but Perry thinks her kind of plastic will break down in the environment faster than other plastics.

“It’s a natural bio-product,” she argues. “So it’s not there in a landfill.”

It’s too soon to know if her accidental invention will catch on enough to change the industry, but plastics themselves were an accidental invention.

Thinking up something to make them truly green would be just the solution for all of us.

For more information on Utopia Plastix, their website is here.

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