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

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

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

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled

via NPR

Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry containers, yogurt cups.

None of this plastic will be turned into new plastic things. All of it is buried.

“To me that felt like it was a betrayal of the public trust,” she said. “I had been lying to people … unwittingly.”

Read the full story here: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/897692090/how-big-oil-misled-the-public-into-believing-plastic-would-be-recycled

An audio version of this story aired on NPR’s Planet Money

Kickstart: NPE? Already?

via Plastics News

[M]aking major plans for the first half of 2021 may be just a little difficult to imagine right now.

But the difficulties of 2020 may be exactly the reason to invest in NPE2021, according to organizers the Plastics Industry Association.

“Given the challenges of the past six months, it is vitally important for the plastics community to come together and support each other with a positive outlook to the future,” Tony Radoszewski, president and CEO of the association, said in a news release. “NPE2021 will be the place not only to highlight key contributions in the world’s response to the coronavirus but also to see what’s coming from businesses across an industry that will transform tomorrow.”

Read the full story here: https://www.plasticsnews.com/blog/kickstart-npe-already

Domino Plastics Company will be exhibiting in the South Hall at booth S24119.

Perspective: Plastics Industry Association CEO: Plastic saves lives

via Plastics News

In Pennsylvania, employees at a Braskem plant lived there for 28 days to make raw materials for PPE. In Tennessee, Eastman employees donated material to colleges and universities across the state, where engineers are using 3D printing technology to manufacture face shields for medical personnel.

Placon worked with engineers at the University of Wisconsin to adapt assembly lines and manufacture up to 5,000 face shields per hour for hospitals. Berry Global supplied free face shields to its Evansville, Ind., community. Across the country, Amcor has donated thousands of bottles to distillers producing hand sanitizer.

Read the full story here: https://www.plasticsnews.com/perspective/perspective-plastics-industry-association-ceo-plastic-saves-lives

Oceans’ plastic tide may be far larger than thought

Artificial fibres now go everywhere. The oceans’ plastic tide may reach their whole depth, entering marine life and people.

via Eco-Business

The world’s seas could be home to a vast reservoir of hitherto unidentified pollution, the growing burden of the oceans’ plastic tide.

Up to 21 million tonnes of tiny and invisible plastic fibres could be floating in the first 200 metres of the Atlantic Ocean alone. And as British research exposed the scale of the problem, American chemists revealed that for the first time they had found microplastic fibres incorporated within human organ tissues.

Read the full story here: https://www.eco-business.com/news/oceans-plastic-tide-may-be-far-larger-than-thought/

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