Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Plastic begets more of the same Plastic?

How much do you know about plastic, besides the fact that the material is in an incredible amount of substances that we use and see each and every day?

Well, here's an interesting tidbit to add to your knowledge base about one of the coolest and most difficult to deal with man-made materials: you can only recycle plastic ONE TIME.  Yep, one time.  That's it.

So, the fun people at IBM and Stanford University (the smart people and companies that run our country and then some) have discovered a new process to help catalyze the recycling process such that we might be able to recycle plastic continuously, rather than only once!

This is a HUGE FREAKING DEAL.  Why?  Because it would mean that we could create a continuous stream of recycling, and win a little but more of the waste battle.

They have a really good example in this here article:

Basically, the example is that your plastic water bottle (which I know none of you use anymore after my posting on eco water bottles) can be recycled and made again into another plastic water bottle, rather than into some low quality infrastructural material.

The thing is... this kind of stuff has supposedly been discovered in the past.  But maybe, IBM and Stanford won't lie this time?

Here's to hoping for a new generation of recyclable and malleable (organically that is) plastics to fuel our high consumption needs.

And on that note, buy less new things this week and see how good you might feel (you and your wallet)!



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