Plastics to outpace coal’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 -report

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The carbon-intensive production of plastics is on pace to emit more greenhouse gases than coal-fired power plants within this decade, undercutting global efforts to tackle climate change, a report released on Thursday said.

The report by Bennington College and Beyond Plastics projected that the plastic industry releases at least 232 million tons of greenhouse gases each year throughout its lifecycle from the drilling for oil and gas to fuel its facilities to incineration of plastic waste. That is the equivalent of 116 coal-fired power plants.

Read the full story here: https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/plastics-outpace-coals-greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-2030-report-2021-10-21/

plastic scrap recycling
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Bubble Curtain Technology Prevents Entry Of 500 Tonnes Of Plastic Waste In Yamuna River

via The Logical Indian

In a bid to address the growing menace of plastic pollution in the water bodies, Geocycle India—the in-house waste management arm of Ambuja Cements Limited and ACC Limited, has been doing enormous efforts to collect and co-process the plastic waste in the country. The company implemented bubble curtain technology in April 2021 to stop plastic from entering the river Yamuna in Agra. Now, it has successfully managed to thwart 500 tonnes of plastic waste leakage in the river within a span of just six months. The collected waste will now be processed within Ambuja and ACC plants, as per India CSR.

Read the full story here: https://thelogicalindian.com/responsiblebusiness/geocycle-indias-bubble-barrier-plastic-waste-yamuna-30936

Partnership to study chemically recycling plastics from ASR

via Recycling Today

plastic scrap recycling

Eastman, Kingsport, Tennessee, has announced that it is collaborating with Padnos and the United States Automotive Materials Partnership LLC (USAMP) on a concept feasibility study to recycle mixed plastic scrap recovered from automotive shredder residue (ASR). USAMP is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR).  

ASR consists of mixed plastic and other materials and currently end up in landfills or in waste-to-energy technologies. Under this initiative, Padnos, Holland, Michigan, will supply ASR as a feedstock for Eastman’s molecular recycling process. The company operates auto shredders in Holland and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Read the full story here: https://www.recyclingtoday.com/article/padnost-eastman-usamp-studing-chemically-recycling-asr/

Genetically engineered microbes convert waste plastic into vanillin

via Chemistry World

Scientists in the UK have genetically engineered Escherichia coli to transform plastic waste into vanillin. ‘Instead of simply recycling plastic waste into more plastic, what our system demonstrates for the first time is that you can use plastic as a feedstock for microbial cells and transform it into something with higher value and more industrial utility,’ says Stephen Wallace from the University of Edinburgh. The biotransformation ‘isn’t just replacing a current chemical process, it’s actually achieving something that can’t be done using modern synthetic methods.’

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of the most widely used types of plastic. Most existing recycling technologies degrade PET into its substituent monomers, ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid, then repurpose them in second-generation plastic materials. Wallace and Joanna Sadler, also at the University of Edinburgh, want to upcycle these monomers into alternative products.

Read the full story here: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/genetically-engineered-microbes-convert-waste-plastic-into-vanillin/4013767.article

plastic scrap

DOE invests $14.5M in plastics recycling R&D

via Waste Today Magazine

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Washington, has announced it plans to invest up to $14.5 million for research and development to cut waste and reduce the energy used to recycle single-use plastics such as plastic bags, wraps and films. This funding is part of the department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge.

According to a news release from the DOE, this funding directed toward plastics recycling technologies will advance the department’s work to address the challenges of plastic scrap recycling and support the Biden administration’s efforts to build a clean energy economy and ensure the U.S. reaches net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Read the full story here: https://www.wastetodaymagazine.com/article/department-energy-funding-plastics-innovation-challenge-update/

MSU Researchers Publish Study On Biomineralization Of Plastic Waste For Cement Mortar

via JDSupra

On April 13, 2021, Montana State University (MSU) researchers from its Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering published an article entitled “Biomineralization of Plastic Waste to Improve the Strength of Plastic-Reinforced Cement Mortar.” The study evaluates calcium carbonate biomineralization techniques applied to coat plastic waste and improve the compressive strength of plastic-reinforced mortar (PRM), a type of plastic-reinforced cementitious material (PRC).

Read the full sotry here: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/msu-researchers-publish-study-on-8199658/

On Bonfires outside Bucharest, Waste from Western Europe

via Balkan Insight

plastic scrap

Besides Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria have also become significant destinations for waste from Western Europe since China closed its doors. Much ends up being burned or buried, with dire consequences for the environment and public health.

On May 12, border officials in southern Romania stopped three trucks loaded with 59 tons of waste trying to enter from Bulgaria. The drivers’ paperwork did not entirely match the contents – steel, plastic and scrap metal – so the convoy was turned back.

Read the full story here: https://balkaninsight.com/2021/05/24/on-bonfires-outside-bucharest-waste-from-western-europe/

Pandemic mask mountain sets new recycling challenge

via Phys.org.

Researchers in Australia want to transform single-use COVID masks into road material. In the United States, the protective gear is recycled into benches. And in France, they are reborn as floor carpets for cars.

plastic scrap

Used to curb the spread of COVID-19, masks are exacerbating another pandemic: plastic pollution.

Read the full story here: https://phys.org/news/2021-05-pandemic-mask-mountain-recycling.html

Adding enzymes to bioplastics can make them disappear

via Popular Science

With so many different plastics entering the waterways that take hundreds of years to decompose, plastic pollution and microplastics are almost everywhere on the planet, from the air to the sea, in vast quantities. Compostable plastics, like corn-based plastic cups and straws, are sometimes touted as a viable solution, but without the infrastructure to properly turn them into compost, they can end up in a landfill

To keep our oceans from becoming even more plastic-filled, scientists are finding the keys to making plastics quickly decompose, and baking them into the plastic’s formula. Ting Xu, professor of materials science and engineering and chemistry at the University of California Berkeley, and her research group investigate biologically available solutions that will allow single-use plastic to biodegrade under easily attainable conditions. In a new study, they describe how they used an innovative polymer coating on enzymes that can be built-in to bioplastics to make them easier to compost at home. 

Read the full story here: https://www.popsci.com/story/environment/biodegradable-plastics-enzyme/

The Future Looks Bright for Infinitely Recyclable Plastic

via Berkeley Lab

Plastics are a part of nearly every product we use on a daily basis. The average person in the U.S. generates about 100 kg of plastic waste per year, most of which goes straight to a landfill. A team led by Corinne Scown, Brett Helms, Jay Keasling, and Kristin Persson at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) set out to change that.

Less than two years ago, Helms announced the invention of a new plastic that could tackle the waste crisis head on. Called poly(diketoenamine), or PDK, the material has all the convenient properties of traditional plastics while avoiding the environmental pitfalls, because unlike traditional plastics, PDKs can be recycled indefinitely with no loss in quality.

Read the full story here: https://newscenter.lbl.gov/2021/04/22/infinitely-recyclable-plastic/