Skip to Content

Plastics

Microbes Take CO2 from Air to Make Plastic or Petrol

Written by , on August 9, 2019

University of Colorado, Boulder researchers have developed nanobio-hybrid organisms capable of taking carbon dioxide from the air and converting it into products such as biodegradable plastic, petrol, ammonia and biodiesel.  Read more »

New Plastic Can Be Recycled Repeatedly

Written by , on May 15, 2018

Scientists at Colorado State University have discovered a plastic polymer which, unlike typical petroleum plastics, can be recycled repeatedly without losing its quality and without the use of toxic chemicals or intensive lab procedures.  Read more »

Using Waste Plastic Bags to Double the Life of Lithium Sulfur Batteries

Written by , on May 10, 2018

Engineers at Purdue University have found a way to increase the life of lithium-sulfur batteries which has the added benefit of being a way to recycle plastic bags.  Read more »

Edible and Biodegradable Plastic from Seaweed

Written by , on January 4, 2018

An Indonesian company, Evoware, has developed a method of producing biodegradable packaging from seaweed.  Read more »

Adding Irradiated Waste Plastic Strengthens Cement

Written by , on November 21, 2017

Researchers at MIT have found that by exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation, then pulverizing the flakes into a fine powder, they could produce concrete that is up to 15% stronger than conventional concrete.  Read more »

Turning Plastics into Liquid Fuel

Written by , on June 26, 2016

The widespread use of large volumes of plastics has created serious environmental issues. Polyethylene and polypropylene make up more than 60% of the total plastic content of municipal solid waste. These plastics originate primarily from fossil fuels.
Scientists in the United States and China have now developed a method of efficiently turning these plastics back into useful fuels and chemical feedstocks.  Read more »

Recycling 100% of Plastic

Written by , on January 20, 2011

It is estimated that only about 12 percent of plastic sent to depots actually gets recycled. Because of problems such as glued-on paper labels and different types of plastic combined in one product, the rest goes to the landfill or is burnt. Scientists at the University of Warwick have now devised a system that could […]  Read more »

Pavement from Plastic Bottles

Written by , on November 22, 2010

Naji Khoury, an Assistant Professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, has developed a cement-like material, called "Plastisoil", made from discarded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles which is mixed with soil. The mixture is then blended with a coarse aggregate and heated. The result is a hard yet non-watertight substance, similar to porous asphalt. With traditional […]  Read more »

Styrofoam Substitute from Milk and Clay

Written by , on November 20, 2010

Styrofoam is made from petroleum and is said to make up 25% of landfills. We recently wrote about a biodegradable styrofoam substitute made from mushrooms (see Are Mushrooms the New Plastic?). Now, scientists have created another biodegradable styrofoam-like material using mostly milk and clay. The research began with an accidental discovery at Case Western Reserve […]  Read more »

The Majestic Plastic Bag

Written by , on August 20, 2010

The Californian environmental group Heal the Bay has released this BBC nature file-style mockumentary:  Read more »