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A 16-year-old girl from Istanbul, Turkey spent two years perfecting a plastic created from banana peels, substituting fruit waste for the typical petroleum base.

On Thursday, Elif Bilgin’s idea paid off when Scientific American named her the winner of its $50,000 Science in Action prize, a stepping stone to the Google Science Fair for young inventors in California this September.

She envisions using the bio-plastic in the making insulation for electric cables and for cosmetic prostheses. One benefit is the reduction of the amount of pollution caused by standard petroleum derivatives. She was able to produce non-decaying bio-plastic using banana peels which can then be molded into daily uses.

“The method I designed is so simple, it is possible to say that one could actually do it at home,” writes Elif on her Google Science Fair page.

(READ the announcement from Scientific American)

Photo credit: mauren veras / Foter / CC

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