Scientists Found the ‘Achilles’ Heel’ That Could Destroy ‘Forever Chemicals’ for Good

Scientists Found the ‘Achilles’ Heel’ That Could Destroy ‘Forever Chemicals’ for Good

plastic waste

via Popular Mechanics

Scientists have been working on ways to destroy PFAS chemicals that permeate our environment, but no easy method exists. That’s because these standoffish compounds don’t react to anything—not biological or other chemical agents. They stick only to each other and resist being torn apart. Current methods require “very harsh conditions to decompose these compounds,” according to chemists at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Until now, how to break those PFAS bonds has been unclear.

Read the full story here: https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a40961089/how-to-destroy-forever-chemicals-for-good/

How This Determined Female Founder Is Taking on Big Plastic

How This Determined Female Founder Is Taking on Big Plastic

via Inc.com

plastic scrapWhile companies have touted the recyclability of their plastic products for years, plastic remains an environmental hazard. Less than 5 percent of flexible plastic packaging recycled by consumers ends up recycled in the world’s most advanced recycling markets, while only 2 percent is recycled globally, according to the Flexible Packaging Association. And of the 7 billion tons of plastic waste globally, less than 10 percent has ever been recycled, according to the U.N. Environmental Program. 

After learning the truth about plastics–most of which end up in landfills, waterways, or the ocean and do not break down for hundreds of years–Nissenbaum began researching compostable alternatives and found that some compostable bio-materials had been on the market for decades, particularly polylactic acid, or PLA. Usually made from corn, PLA is often used for utensils, straws, and various forms of rigid packaging. It’s compostable, but only under industrial-compost conditions.

Read the full story here: https://www.inc.com/christine-lagorio/how-this-determined-female-founder-is-taking-on-big-plastic.html

New type of metallic plastic can be sprayed on and made from chains of polymers

New type of metallic plastic can be sprayed on and made from chains of polymers

via Interesting Engineering

Scientists at the Anderson Laboratory at the University of Chicago have discovered a metallopolymer that can be made into various shapes, and remains stable in almost any environment.

A plastic material has been discovered that has metallic properties and remains stable when chilled, heated, left out in the air, or exposed to acid. Researchers are saying it could prove valuable in medical devices that are wearable, or other kinds of wearable electronics.

Read the full story here: https://interestingengineering.com/science/new-type-of-metallic-plastic-can-be-sprayed-on-and-made-from-chains-of-polymers

plastic material

Material Insights: Ukraine crisis drives resin price increases

From Razors to Soda Bottles, Consumer Goods Feel Resin-Cost Burn

via Bloomberg

Booming prices for resins, the building blocks for plastic, have already helped drive up the cost of making everyday products such as toys, bottles and face masks.

 polyethylene recycle

Now the fossil-fuel-derived ingredient could get even more expensive as Russia’s attack on Ukraine raises the risk of higher oil prices, potentially trickling down to what consumers pay for household and personal care products. Brent crude had already risen almost 48% in the last year.

Read the full story here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-02-25/from-razors-to-soda-bottles-consumer-goods-feel-resin-cost-burn

Efficient, Profitable Plastics Extrusion Begins with Materials Knowledge

via Plastics Today

All plastics have additives — some obvious, some invisible

First of all, no plastic is 100% pure when it goes into the extruder. All of them have additives — some are obvious, like colorants, and some are invisible, like light stabilizers that keep the Sun’s ultraviolet rays from breaking the molecules and discoloring or weakening the plastic.

HMM — how much matters — is my favorite acronym. I squirm when I hear the words “in it,” as in “it has sugar in it” or “there’s BPA in it.” I want to scream, “How much is in it?” but usually I don’t. Often the speaker wants/needs to avoid dealing with the actual amount. Additives are prime examples: We can’t know a compound is adequately protected from sunlight degradation (UV) without knowing what the additive is, how uniformly it’s mixed, and how much of it is in it.

Read the full story here: https://www.plasticstoday.com/extrusion-film-sheet/efficient-profitable-plastics-extrusion-begins-materials-knowledge