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11 Mar 2010 03:03:01

Plastic recycling breakthrough could reduce landfill numbers

Plastic recycling breakthrough could reduce landfill numbers
Plastic could be recycled continually without any waste, after a breakthrough was made by scientists.

The material weakens so much on recycling that after its original use for packaging or containers, it is often sent to landfill.

Researchers from Stanford University and IBM used 'organic catalysts' to break down polyethylene terephthalate plastic to its building blocks, while maintaining its original strength – allowing it to be recycled once again as bottles and containers.

According to lead researcher Chandrasekhar Narayan, the discovery has already led to new projects which could result in recyclable plastics being on the market within the next two years.

The innovation could have a substantial impact on the UK government's recently-announced targets for reducing the five million tonnes of household packaging waste created in the UK annually.

Several household names committed to the government's second phase of a long-term plan to reduce packaging waste – potentially saving eight million tonnes from landfill by 2020.



Discussion Thread  

farm wrote:

12 Mar 2010

Think of the millions of jobs to be created to help sort out each piece of various types of plastic! The cost, compared to filling a canyon with waste, a small percentage of which is related to plastics, has to be carefully weighed.

It may be more effective to find ways to cut the birth rate or make people too poor to buy packaged goods!

12 Mar 2010

I know - how about instead of messing about with 'organic catalysts' to break down polyethylene terephthalate plastic to its building blocks we just reuse our own bottles. Like we used to in the 1940's http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/11/celebrate-zero-waste-day.php

14 Mar 2010

Of course re-using will reduce the problem. But of course re-using = retraining yobs - are you good at that ? Also there are many many things made of plastic which if they don't get binned straight-away, break and then get binned. Or simply get binned because many peple are morons with no thought for anything other than their imediate needs. Plastic ? stainless steel ? yuhWot ? - you taukin ta me ? Sling it !

Discussion Thread  


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