Seawater-degradable Plastics

October 2023September 2025

Project summary

Plastic debris have been identified as pollutants in the oceans due to their long lifetime and low degradability, killing more than 1 million seabirds and 10, 000 mammals every year. This project aims to develop high-value seawater-degradable plastics based on a biodegradable polymer produced by an innovative 3D printing technique. It is expected to reduce the marine plastic pollution and protect the oceans in Queensland. The innovative strategy will open a new market for plastic industry.

This project will develop a cost-effective seawater-degradable plastic material through an innovative synthetic approach based on a 3D printing technology. Successful development of this plastic material will reduce the marine plastic pollution and ultimately benefit marine environment management in Australia.

Project members

Project lead


Dr Ruirui Qiao

Group Leader & NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow
Qiao Group



Professor Thomas Davis

Senior Group Leader
Davis Group
Chair in Precision Nanomedicine

Dr Liwen Zhang

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Davis Group
Qiao Group