‘Infinitely Recyclable’ Plastic Could Help Solve Our Waste Crisis

The world is drowning in plastic, and part of the reason is that it’s incredibly hard to recycle most of the waste we create. According to new research though, “infinitely recyclable” plastics present an economically viable alternative to the plastics we’re currently using.

The average person in the US generates roughly 100 kilograms of plastic waste a year, most of which goes straight to landfill. While a small proportion of this waste gets sent for recycling, less than 10 percent is reused more than once, and recycled plastic often has to be mixed with new plastic to maintain quality standards.

That’s because the process of melting and re-molding plastics significantly degrades its material properties. Many plastic products have also been augmented with all kinds of additives like pigments and flame retardants. These get mixed together when they’re melted down, further lowering the resulting plastic’s quality.

That has prompted researchers to try and design new plastics that are much easier to recycle. In 2019, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory unveiled a plastic that has the potential to be infinitely recyclable and can be used to make a wide range of different products.

At the time, the economic viability of the material was unknown. But now the team has carried out an extensive analysis that shows that despite high upfront costs, the plastic could quickly become competitive with conventional plastics and will get cheaper as time goes on.

Συνέχεια ανάγνωσης εδώ

Πηγή: singularityhub.com

Σχετικά Άρθρα