Sandra Pascoe Ortiz has developed a plastic out of cactus juice. Ortiz is a chemical engineering professor at the University of theValley of Atemajac in Zapopan, Mexico. She discovered that the sugars and gums found in the prickly pear cactus resemble chemicals found in plastic. Her plastic alternative only takes two to three months to break down in soil. In water it breaks down in about seven days. Using this plastic would reduce waste in oceans and landfills. It is also non-toxic and edible to animals. As ofSeptember 2019, Ortiz is still testing the material in her lab.