Everyone goes to the grocery store, and most of us opt to use plastic bags. However, those plastic bags can have a negative impact on Earth. 

One University of New Mexico student is looking to do something about that.

When Mostafa Peysokhan moved to the United States from Iran two and a half years ago, he said he was shocked at how many plastic bags we use on a daily basis.

Peysokhan wanted to do something about that, so he came up with an idea that could potentially change the impact of plastic bags on our world.

‘I’ve done a lot of research and I understand that the majority of this problem is just because of the surface to volume or the surface to mass ratio of the plastic bags is really big,” said Peysokhan.

Peysokhan designed a device that can compress up to 50 plastic bags by using heat and pressure, turning those plastic bags into a small–compact disk.

This reduces the space the plastic bags to a fourth of the volume so they can be safely recycled.

He also says this could save the lives of marine animals as well as reduce the amount of bags in landfills and garbage trucks being used.

He recently presented his idea during the Rainforest Student Pitch Competition, in which students had 90 seconds to impress judges with their invention.

He finished as a finalist, earning him $250 and valuable experience.

“I talked with a lot of people and it increased my self-confidence. I got familiar with ideas and I know in the United States how you should present your ideas, how to find an investor, how to find sponsors. That was really good for me,” said Peysokhan.

Peysokhan says after he completes his Ph.D., he will work on finding materials, designing the device more efficiently, and finding sponsors for a patent.

Peysokhan also says he designed the device to be cheap and compact, so people could one day use it in their homes.