15-year-old inventor wins international award for biodegradable plastic bags
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - September 16, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Fifteen-year-old Amin Hataman, a student at the Fountain International School in San Juan City, Metro Manila, is now a certified international award-winning inventor of biodegradable plastic bags.

Last May, Hataman won a bronze medal in the 2015 International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering and Environment Project (I-SWEEP) Olympiad held in Houston, Texas.

Hataman won for inventing biodegradable plastic bags made from nata de coco, a byproduct of coconut, last year for a Science project requirement in their school.

The biodegradable plastic bags also won another international award for Hataman last year: a gold medal in the 2014 International Young Inventors Olympiad in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Hataman, son of Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is among nine young Filipinos being showcased by Wyeth Nutrition as exemplars of the young innovative Filipino spirit, which Wyeth hopes to promote and nurture further as the company launches this year the nationwide Search for Filipino Kid Innovators that will select its first crop of winners in 2016.

Hataman said that while thinking of a challenging Science project, he drew inspiration from the environment growing up in Mindanao.

“Growing up there, I developed this love for the environment,” Hataman said.

Hataman said that as a child, he noticed the common practice of people putting garbage inside plastic that is not biodegradable.

“I did some research on how plastic was actually doing a lot of damage to the environment,” Hataman said.

As he pursued research on biodegradable alternatives to plastic, he learned about the cellulose properties of nata de coco.

“There was this suggestion of nata de coco, because it has cellulose properties, which means that it could copy plastic that we use today, but it’s organic,” Hataman said.

“Right now, I’m actually already trying to patent this. In the future, if I go into business, I might be able to implement this,” Hataman said.

Hakan Ozkan, Fountain International School assistant director, said that Hataman’s science teacher had been impressed with the science project of the young Hataman so he submitted the invention to international invention contests.

The project garnered several notices and invitations for Hataman to join international inventors’ competitions.

Ozkan said Fountain International School started submitting excellent Science projects of their students to the I-SWEEP in 2008.

ACIRC AMIN HATAMAN ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENT PROJECT FILIPINO KID INNOVATORS FOUNTAIN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL HAKAN OZKAN HATAMAN INTERNATIONAL INTERNATIONAL SUSTAINABLE WORLD ENERGY INTERNATIONAL YOUNG INVENTORS OLYMPIAD LAST MAY
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