‘Preventing more, picking up less.’ Proliferating plastic pollution sparks change in approach

via Phys.org

As plastic pollution soars—filling waterways, air, soil and living things with the material—some in St. Louis are joining efforts to confront the crisis through new approaches.

Experts hope the shifting strategies—which include harnessing crowd-sourced data to learn more about what kind of waste accumulates and where—could result in better policy interventions and ultimately help spark widespread reevaluation of who shoulders the burden of plastic waste. That means potentially pushing greater responsibility toward producers, instead of leaning on consumers to constantly clean up the mess as disposable, single-use plastic proliferates.

Read the full story here: https://phys.org/news/2021-06-proliferating-plastic-pollution-approach.html

It’s not just oceans: scientists find plastic is also polluting the air

via The Guardian

plastic pollution
Photo by Vitaly Vlasov on Pexels.com

For several years scientists were puzzled why Delhi was more susceptible to thick smogs than other polluted cities such as Beijing. New research links this to tiny chloride particles in the air that help water droplets to form. Globally, chloride particles are mainly found close to coasts, due to sea spray, but the air in Delhi and over inland India contains much more than expected.

At first, the sources were thought to be illegal factory units around Delhi that recycle electronics and those that use strong hydrochloric acid to clean and process metals. These are certainly part of the problem, but new measurements have revealed another source.

Read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/26/not-just-oceans-plastic-polluting-air-delhi-smog

Advanced recycling strategies needed to clean up plastic pollution problem, says expert

via Phys.org

Sustainability across the entire value chain—rather than advances in technology alone—is required to solve the United States’ plastic waste problems, according to a new brief from Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

The report by Rachel Meidl, fellow in energy and environment at the Baker Institute, argues that the U.S., which is one of the largest contributors to global pollution and has among the lowest recycling rates, needs to improve the quality of its plastics and the economics of collection, sorting and waste management.

Read the full story here: https://phys.org/news/2021-02-advanced-recycling-strategies-plastic-pollution.html

New plant-based plastics can be chemically recycled with near-perfect efficiency

via The Academic Times

German chemists have developed two sustainable plastic alternatives to high-density polyethylene that can be chemically recycled more easily and nearly 10 times as efficiently, thanks to “break points” engineered into their molecular structures.

Read the full story here: https://academictimes.com/new-plant-based-plastics-can-be-chemically-recycled-with-near-perfect-efficiency/

How a company is turning PET into durable asphalt

via Plastics Recycling News

A California company is using glycolysis to depolymerize PET scrap for use in an asphalt binder. The pavement it produces is stronger than traditional hot-mix asphalt.

TechniSoil Industrial has recently garnered widespread media attention because the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) used the company’s asphalt binder to repave a segment of highway last month. Asphalt binder is essentially the cement that holds aggregate together in pavement.

Read the full story here: https://resource-recycling.com/plastics/2020/08/19/how-a-company-is-turning-pet-into-durable-asphalt/

IKEA’s plan to give plastic and polyester a second life

via Toronto Sun

It was just a little more than a year ago that IKEA Canada announced it would phase out all single-use plastic straws in Canada, nine months ahead of its global commitment to eliminate all single-use
plastics from its product range and restaurants by January 1, 2020.

It should not be surprising that this announcement got a lot of play — people really do care about this topic — but at the same time, only a smaller part of the retailer’s sustainability plans.

Read the full story here: https://torontosun.com/life/homes/ikeas-plan-to-give-plastic-and-polyester-a-second-life

The Philippines Is Making Roads and Cement With Plastic Garbage

Via Bloomberg.com

Philippine companies like San Miguel Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. are using discarded shopping bags, sachet wrappers and plastic packaging to fire cement plants and build roads as the country embarks on an 8 trillion-peso ($157 billion) infrastructure push through 2022.

San Miguel has laid down its first road combining plastic scraps with asphalt, it said in November. The surface material, developed with Dow Chemical Co., used 900 kilograms (1,984 pounds) of plastic to pave a 1,500-square meter (16,145-square foot) test site near the capital.

Read the full story here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-23/the-philippines-is-making-roads-and-cement-with-plastic-garbage