Plastic waste is adding to the ever-increasing greenhouse gases problem

greenhouse gases - Plastic waste on beach

New research from Hawaii reveals plastics release GHG emissions. Due to common plastics degrading in the environment emitting greenhouse gases (GHG), plastic waste is now an even bigger environmental problem. This discovery was recently made by researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). Exposure to ultraviolet light triggers the effect. The study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, reports that the most common plastics degrading in landfills and oceans emit the greenhouse gases methane and ethylene when they…

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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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Revolutionary Ocean Cleanup project could make the ocean self-cleaning

A young Dutch man has come up with an innovative plan to rid the ocean of plastic pollution. Boyan Slat, a 20-year old from the Netherlands, has come up with an ambitious plan and is leading one of the most ingenious ocean cleanup efforts the world has ever seen, which, if successful, would reduce the amount of plastic debris floating in the Pacific Ocean by half within ten years. The plan could rid the ocean of hundreds of millions of pounds of plastic garbage. According to the About Us section…

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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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Plastic waste could be an alternative fuel source of the future

A cement plant in Nova Scotia, Canada intends to generate energy from plastic. The Brookfield-based Lafarge cement facility is seeking approval from the Canadian province to use some plastic waste as an alternative fuel source to coal, which the plant believes will help lower greenhouse gas emissions and could also help reduce a buildup of plastics in landfills. According to a recent study, using plastics can lower CO2 emissions. The plant manager, Scarth MacDonnell, said that a study, which was recently conducted by Dalhousie University, stated that the use of…

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