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Company conducts two-year experiment in tanks at local aquarium


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IDAHO FALLS — A company that is helping make plastics more planet-friendly is trying a two-year experiment at a local aquarium.

On Tuesday, a company founded in Idaho called BioLogiQ, came to the East Idaho Aquarium and placed three cages into different tanks full of aquatic life.

BioLogiQ has developed a new bioplastic made entirely from plants. It’s called NuPlastiQ, and it’s been engineered to biodegrade much faster than normal plastic, especially in the ocean. The company wants to show the community how it works in real ocean and river conditions.

“In the cages, we have a regular plastic, then we have plastic that’s embedded with our technology that helps reduce plastic pollution, then we have a piece of wood as well to note the differences over time as we are in these natural environments,” said Steven Sherman, the CEO of BioLogiQ. “There are some experiments that we are doing in the shark tank, there’s a stingray tank which is also saltwater and then there’s also the Amazon exhibit.”

It’s a unique study because studies like these are usually done in a closed laboratory setting and results are published later. This study is being done out in the tanks, where the public can see them up close.

“We feel that if more consumers like you demand that companies use more plant-based plastics like NuPlastiQ, we can solve the plastic pollution problem and clean up our lands and our oceans,” company officials said in a Powerpoint presentation.

The objectives of the company with the experiment are to demonstrate to the public that traditional plastic under realistic conditions won’t biodegrade/fragment very fast. They also want to educate the public about the importance of learning how plastics pollution in the ocean impacts everyone personally.

Sherman explained over 11 million tons of plastic pollution get dumped into the oceans every year.

There is a new mural created by BioLogiQ that says, “What can you do to keep plastics out of the ocean?” which is displayed inside one of the aquarium’s exhibits.

Mural that explains plastics. | Andrea Olson,

“(It) explains how the river systems in Idaho actually can affect the ocean so what we do here in Idaho is important. How we manage our waste, how we collect, how we recycle, how we do things,” Sherman said.

Sherman said the three cages will not affect the fish, sharks, or stingrays in the tanks at the aquarium.

According to its website, BioLogiQ is a “global planet-friendly bioplastics company offering commercial-ready plant-based biopolymer solutions to help build a world free of pollution caused by plastics.” Click here to learn more.

One of the experimental cages inside a tank at the East Idaho Aquarium. | Andrea Olson,
One of the experimental cages inside a tank at the East Idaho Aquarium. | Andrea Olson,