Teen Elif Bilgin makes plastic out of banana peels

16 year old Elif Bilgin from Turkey has won the 2nd annual Science in Action award for her project of making bio-plastic from banana peels.  Bloomberg carried this story:

On Thursday, June 27, Elif Bilgin, 16, from Turkey, was declared the winner of
the second annual Scientific American   Science in Action Award , powered by
the Google Science Fair. Bilgin won for her project, Going Bananas! Using
Banana Peels in the Production of Bio-Plastic as a Replacement for Traditional
Petroleum-Based Plastic . In addition to the $50,000 prize, Bilgin will have
access to a year's mentorship and is invited to Google's California
headquarters in September to compete in the 15-to-16-year-old age category in
the overall Google Science Fair.

"My project makes it possible to use banana peels, a waste material which is
thrown away almost every day, in the electrical insulation of cables," says
Bilgin. "This is both an extremely nature-friendly and cheap process, which
has the potential to decrease the amount of pollution created due to the use
of plastics, which contain petroleum derivatives."

Scientific American 's independent judging panel elected Bilgin from a pool of
15 Scientific American Science in Action Award finalists who were culled from
thousands of submissions from more than 120 countries for the 2013 Google
Science Fair. "Thomas Edison famously said, 'Genius is 1 percent inspiration
and 99 percent perspiration,'" says Mariette DiChristina, editor in chief of 
Scientific American and chief Google Science Fair judge. "He would have found
a kindred spirit in Elif Bilgin who spent two years toiling away on her
project to develop a bioplastic from discarded banana skins. We admire her
persistence and her wonderful work."

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