This Norwegian start-up wants to build houses out of 100% recycled plastic

via WeForum.org

Using one of the world’s problems to solve another is the philosophy behind a Norwegian start-up’s mission to develop affordable housing from 100% recycled plastic.

Since 1950, more than nine billion tonnes of plastic have been produced globally, of which only 9% is recycled, according to building tech company Othalo, while almost a billion people live in slums.

Read the full story here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/un-africa-recycled-plastic-housing/

The Uneasy Afterlife of Our Dazzling Trash

via The New York Times

Every day, for the past 14 years, Bruce Bennett has received packages filled with CDs. Sometimes a few at a time and sometimes in packs of hundreds, shiny old discs arrive at his CD Recycling Center of America in Salem, N.H., a 300-foot blue trailer tucked behind a commercial strip, to ascend to the CD afterlife.

The CD recycling process requires Mr. Bennett, 55, to store a truckload, or approximately 44,000 pounds, of CDs in a warehouse before the discs can be granulated into raw polycarbonate plastic, resulting in a white and clear powdery material that glints and resembles large snowflake crystals stuck together.

Read the full story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/07/style/the-uneasy-afterlife-of-our-dazzling-trash.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Style

Coronavirus is causing a flurry of plastic waste. Campaigners fear it may be permanent

via CNN

Surgical masks, gloves, protective equipment, body bags — the Covid-19 crisis has spurred a rapid expansion in the production of desperately-needed plastic products, with governments racing to boost their stockpiles and regular citizens clamoring for their share of supplies.Related stories

Such production is necessary. But all that plastic ends up somewhere — and environmental campaigners fear it is just the tip of a looming iceberg, with the pandemic causing a number of serious challenges to their efforts to reduce plastic pollution.

Read the full story here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/04/world/coronavirus-plastic-waste-pollution-intl/index.html

E-car ‘Luca’: horsehair seats, ocean plastics chassis

via Recycling International

Students of the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands have unveiled a car made largely from recycled materials such as PET bottles and household waste.

‘We want to show that waste is a valuable material, even in complex applications like a car,’ says team member Matthijs van Wijk. The group of 22 students has worked on the project for 18 months and the result is a sporty electric car called ‘Luca’ made from materials such as flax and recycled plastic, most of which was fished from the ocean.

Read the full story here: https://recyclinginternational.com/e-scrap/e-car-luca-horsehair-seats-ocean-plastics-chassis/31688/

Research Turns Plastic Waste into Biodegradable Silk

via Plastics Today

Solutions to big problems can spring from little things. In research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, a microorganism that digests common petroleum-based plastic waste and yields a biodegradable plastic alternative represents a new solution to an on-going problem.

With the support of a substantial new National Science Foundation grant of $500,000 for the project, a team of engineers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will explore this potentially transformative idea entitled Microbial Upcycling of Petrochemical Polymer Waste into High Value Protein-Based Polymers for a Circular Economy.

Read the full story here: https://www.plasticstoday.com/materials-research/research-turns-plastic-waste-biodegradable-silk

Kickstart: About those convention plans …

via Plastics News

If you run, plan to exhibit at or want to attend a trade show or convention in 2021, you’re probably wondering just how seriously you should take your travel planning at this point.

It’s complicated, obviously. No one wants to be part of a superspreader event, and everyone wants to resume business as normal. It’s important to be able to meet customers, see new equipment and renew contacts.

Read the full story here: https://www.plasticsnews.com/blog/kickstart-about-those-convention-plans

Plastic Fuels: Do They Fix Waste Or Greenwash It?

via Forbes

Marketed as a solution to the environmental and waste problems the plastic industry is currently facing, recycled carbon fuels are problematic. And they will be at odds with Wednesday’s vote from the EU Parliament backing a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

briefing published by Zero Waste Europe shows that these fuels are produced by converting plastics back to their original fossil form. As they are burnt and carbon is released to the atmosphere, they are ultimately exacerbating climate change.

Read the full story here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/emanuelabarbiroglio/2020/10/08/the-pros-and-cons-of-plastic-to-fuels/#4508a3ce48cb

New enzyme cocktail digests plastic waste ‘six times faster’

via Circular

The scientists who re-engineered the plastic-eating enzyme PETase have now created an enzyme ‘cocktail’ which can digest plastic up to six times faster.

A second enzyme, found in the same waste dwelling bacterium that lives on a diet of plastic bottles, has been combined with PETase to speed up the breakdown of plastic.

Read the full story here: https://www.circularonline.co.uk/news/new-enzyme-cocktail-digests-plastic-waste-six-times-faster/

SeaChange uses plasma arc technology to save the oceans from plastic waste

via Inhabitat.com

SeaChange will outfit its ships with something called the Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM). The PEM uses plasma arc technology to zap plastic and other trash before it enters the ocean. Plastic is shredded before it enters the Plasma Arc Zone.

Instead of leaving harmful residues like conventional waste treatment methods, plasma arc technology uses high temperature and high electrical energy to heat waste, mostly by radiation. Organic material can be burned down into a combustible gas called syngas, which can be used as clean fuel for SeaChange’s ships. Inorganic components wind up as glassy slag. This reusable black glass is said to be nontoxic and safe for marine life.

Read the full story here: https://inhabitat.com/seachange-uses-plasma-arc-technology-to-save-the-oceans-from-plastic-waste/

Google’s new phone case is beautiful—and it’s made out of water bottles

via Fast Company

While we’re busy toting our reusable bags to the grocery and desperately recycling takeout containers, plastic is hiding in plain sight in everything from our computer cords to remote controls. Every year, 10 million tonnes of plastic goes into electronic products, very little of which is recycled.

Industrial designers at Google are trying to reverse this trend. They’ve been incorporating recycled plastic into their suite of products, including Nest mini speakers and Pixel phones, and this week, they launched a new Pixel phone case with a knitted texture, made from 70% recycled plastic.

Read the full story here: https://www.fastcompany.com/90537055/googles-new-phone-case-is-beautiful-and-its-made-out-of-water-bottles

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