St. Lu­cian stu­dent makes strides in sav­ing our en­vi­ron­ment

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

We may have all heard th­ese terms at one point or an­other: en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, eco-friendly, na­ture-friendly, green. Th­ese are all terms used in ref­er­ence to re­duced, min­i­mal, or zero harm upon ecosys­tems or the en­vi­ron­ment. Sev­eral jour­nals have high­lighted the neg­a­tive im­pact of us­ing non-biodegrad­able prod­ucts on the en­vi­ron­ment but there is still a lot of work to be done in this area.

15-year-old Kee­gan Pa­trick from form 4 of the Saint Mary’s Col­lege has stepped up to this chal­lenge. Out of sev­eral par­tic­i­pants, he has emerged the win­ner on a na­tional level for the Sagi­cor 2014 Vi­sion­ar­ies Chal­lenge project. His project goes un­der the name Amylo-plas­tikos and its aim is to bring aware­ness to the en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lem of plas­tic us­age and to pro­vide a so­lu­tion through the pro­duc­tion of biodegrad­able plas­tics us­ing re­new­able re­sources.

Ac­cord­ing to Kee­gan, “I plan to pro­duce biodegrad­able plas­tics out of a re­new­able re­source. Plas­tics are typ­i­cally made of an ar­ti­fi­cial syn­thetic poly­mer. Their struc­tures are not nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring, so plas­tics are not biodegrad­able. But based on my re­search and un­der­stand­ing, the cor­re­la­tion be­tween the poly­mer struc­ture, prop­er­ties and nat­u­ral pro­cesses, I de­duce it best to make a starch-based poly­mer to re­place the pre­vi­ous poly­mers that were syn­thet­i­cally made.”

Kee­gan Pa­trick’s con­tri­bu­tion at such a ten­der age is com­mend­able. He will be rep­re­sent­ing St. Lu­cia dur­ing the Re­gional Awards on July 12, 2015 in Tampa, Florida where he will be com­pet­ing on an in­ter­na­tional stage.

There are sev­eral other par­tic­i­pants from other coun­tries with each can­di­date high­light­ing an area of nec­es­sary change. Per­sons are en­cour­aged to vote for a Peo­ple’s Choice Award win­ner by click­ing the link https://sagi­corvi­sion­ar­­pleschoice-award/. Vot­ing is open to res­i­dents of par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries only. The dead­line for vot­ing is 11:59 p.m. EST on May 17th, 2015.

Kee­gan Pa­trick (left) ex­plains his vi­sion

to an on­looker.

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