Portable recycling machine could help deal with the plastic waste problem

portable recycling machine - plastic waste in water

A DIY recycling machine is small enough to travel in the back of a ute. A group of engineering students from one of Australia’s leading universities, Monash University, have created a portable recycling machine that can breakdown plastic bottles, bags, trays and containers and convert them into anything that can be made in a mold. The machine is small enough that it can fit on the back of a utility vehicle, commonly called a ute in Australia. The students took on the challenge to create the machine as part of…

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Scientists may have found a solution to plastic pollution

Japanese scientists have discovered bacteria that eat old plastic. Microbiologists in Japan have found a plastic-eating species of bacteria, which they uncovered after skimming through waste and soil samples at a plastic recycling plant. The newly discovered microbe eats one kind of plastic called polyethylene terephthalate, better known as PET. This form of plastic is the most abundant on Earth and is most commonly used in water and soda bottles, but can also be found in carpet, clothing fibers such as fleece, plastic jars, potato chip bags, and so on.…

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New solutions needed to combat growing marine plastic pollution crisis

Researchers say by mid century there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. According to a new report titled “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics” from the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, at the current growing rate of marine plastic pollution, there will be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish (by weight) by 2050. Eight million tons of plastic waste presently finds its way into the sea every year. To put that into greater perspective, this astronomical amount is equivalent…

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Recycling technology converts plastics into fuel

A three-month pilot project in California targeted plastics that are hard to recycle. Last summer, the city of Citrus Heights California took part in a recycling program called the Energy Bag Pilot Program, a project designed to redirect plastic products, such as candy wrappers, juice pouches, and plastic dinnerware that would otherwise end up in landfills, to an alternative energy facility that uses recycling technology to transform these plastics into synthetic crude oil. Residents used “energy bags” to collect non-recyclable plastics. The Energy Bag Pilot Program was the result of…

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Recycling technology sorts plastics at rapid speed

Researchers discover new process that boosts plastic waste recycling efficiency. Identifying and categorizing plastic materials can be a difficult process, but a new recycling technology developed by Ludwig Maximilians Universitat researchers in Munich, Germany, has sped up the plastic sorting process and made it more efficient so that a higher volume of plastic can be recycled and made into new items. A flash of light simplifies the sorting system. The system works using photoexcitation, which exposes plastic items to a brief flash of light. This causes the plastic to emit…

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