We Earthlings: Recycling Plastic #1

February 25, 2020 by  
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Did you know that recycling just one pound of plastic … The post We Earthlings: Recycling Plastic #1 appeared first on Earth911.com.

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We Earthlings: Recycling Plastic #1

New hope for plastic recycling with IBM’s VolCat technology

March 6, 2019 by  
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Think how much more material would be reused if plastic recycling didn’t entail washing, sorting and individual processing. Now, IBM researchers have developed a new chemical process called VolatileCatalyst that eliminates these steps. VolCat recycling grinds up plastics, adds a chemical catalyst and cooks them at temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius. The chemicals eat through polymer strands, producing a fine white powder ready to be made into new containers. By heating PET with ethylene glycol and the catalyst, lab workers depolymerize plastic . After distillation, filtration, purification and cooling, scientists eventually recover usable matter called a monomer—in this case the white powder. This process digests and cleans the ground plastic, separating contaminants like dyes, glue and food residue. Related: 6 places to find the best recycled building materials PET is an abbreviation for polyethylene terephthalate, the chemical name for polyester. This type of plastic is used to manufacture containers for two-liter bottles of soft drinks, water bottles, salad dressings, cooking oil, shampoo, liquid hand soap and carry-out food containers. It’s even found in carpet, clothing and tennis balls. DuPont chemists first synthesized PET in the 1940s, probably never guessing that 70 years later between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic would wind up in the ocean each year. Humans have produced more than 8 billion metric tons of plastic since its invention. About half of new plastic becomes trash each year. By 2050, some scientists project there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean . VolCat developers hope to reverse this destructive trend. According to the researchers’ statement, “In the next five years, plastic recycling advancements like VolCat could be adopted around the globe to combat global plastic waste . People at the grocery store buying a bottle of soda or container of strawberries will know that the plastic they’ve purchased won’t end up in the ocean, but instead will be repurposed and put back on the shelf.” + IBM Images via Shutterstock

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New hope for plastic recycling with IBM’s VolCat technology

Former businessman bicycles down the Thames River to stop plastic pollution

July 31, 2018 by  
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Dhruv Boruah, a former management consultant turned environmental hero is cleaning up the Thames River in London on a floating bicycle. The endeavor, named The Thames Project , is more about striking up conversations with passersby and raising awareness than it is about removing all of the plastic waste from the canals — an impossible feat for the one man show that is Boruah. The self-constructed rig, made up of a bamboo bicycle with yellow floats on either side, a rudder and a pedal-powered propeller in the front, has retrieved thousands of kilograms of plastic waste since beginning the project in 2017. “It’s a great conversation starter, and then I can tell them about my work, the plastic and how it all starts here in the canals,” he told CNN while on one of his “off-road cycling” missions. Related: A massive five-ton plastic waste whale breaches in a Bruges canal The 35-year-old philanthropist was impassioned by a yacht racing expedition from London to Rio de Janiero that left him thinking a lot about the dangers of plastic pollution . It was on this undertaking that Boruah had learned of the fortunate rescue of two turtles who were tangled in plastic in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. “Plastic is now in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat,” he explained. “You have to care because it’s about you, your health and the health of your children. Why are we destroying this planet for them?” Boruah’s bicycle nets are often filled with single-use plastic items such as styrofoam containers and water bottles. These get broken down into tiny microplastics over time that not only pollute the oceans, but also affect our air and food. When he is not striking up conversations with curious onlookers, Boruah is working with councils, businesses and communities to educate and encourage them to take action against plastic pollution. + The Thames Project Via CNN Images and video via Dhruv Boruah

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Former businessman bicycles down the Thames River to stop plastic pollution

Infographic: Plastic Recycling Codes

June 6, 2018 by  
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If you’re puzzling over the recycling codes on your plastics, … The post Infographic: Plastic Recycling Codes appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Infographic: Plastic Recycling Codes

Earthling Survey: Would You Pay More for Sustainable Products?

June 6, 2018 by  
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Express your opinion and help drive environmental change. Every week, … The post Earthling Survey: Would You Pay More for Sustainable Products? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earthling Survey: Would You Pay More for Sustainable Products?

How Haiti Turns Trash Into Opportunity

December 1, 2015 by  
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Recycling bins are on every corner in many major cities in the United States. We take for granted that we have access to recycling – plastic recycling, metal recycling, glass recycling, you name it. However, it’s not so easy to recycle in…

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How Haiti Turns Trash Into Opportunity

Whim Architects Launch Kickstarter Campaign to Build Self-Sustaining Island Homes from Pacific Plastic Garbage

November 15, 2012 by  
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Dutch studio Whim Architects has unveiled plans for a floating, self-sustaining home that would respond to rising sea level —and they hope to construct the island residence from plastic waste currently circling in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The architects are raising funds with a newly launched Kickstarter campaign , and they’re reaching out to plastic recycling experts and professionals to test out their design. Read the rest of Whim Architects Launch Kickstarter Campaign to Build Self-Sustaining Island Homes from Pacific Plastic Garbage Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Floating Houses , kickstarter project , plastic recycling , prototype housing , recycled building material , recycling sea waste , self-sufficient homes , whim architects

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Whim Architects Launch Kickstarter Campaign to Build Self-Sustaining Island Homes from Pacific Plastic Garbage

16-Year-Old Egyptian Scientist Finds Way to Turn Plastic Waste Into $78 Million of Biofuel!

July 19, 2012 by  
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Plastic waste photo from Shutterstock Egyptian teenagers are on a roll lately – if they’re not proposing the next-generation of space propulsion systems , then they’re figuring out how to use the country’s plastic waste for fuel! Sixteen-year-old Azza Abdel Hamid Falad has found that an inexpensive catalyst could be used to create $78 million worth of biofuel each year. Egypt’s plastic consumption is estimated to total one million tons per year , so Azza’s proposal could transform the country’s economy, allowing it to make money from recycled plastic. Read the rest of 16-Year-Old Egyptian Scientist Finds Way to Turn Plastic Waste Into $78 Million of Biofuel! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aluminosilicate , Azza Abdel Hamid Falad , biodiesel , biofuel , catalyst , egypt , egyptian teenager , plastic recycling

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16-Year-Old Egyptian Scientist Finds Way to Turn Plastic Waste Into $78 Million of Biofuel!

Coca-Cola Opens £15m Plant To Meet Plastic Recycling Targets

May 11, 2012 by  
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Drinks giant Coca-Cola Enterprises has opened a £15 million facility in the UK , in the hope of meeting their goal of making 25% of their products recycled Polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) by the end of the year. Plastic recycling has been a concern for businesses all around the world from supermarkets to electronic consumers, with the drinks manufacturing industry positioned as one of the biggest producers of plastic waste. Read the rest of Coca-Cola Opens £15m Plant To Meet Plastic Recycling Targets Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: coca-cola enterprises UK , coca-cola plant , coca-cola plastic recycling , eco plastics , eco plastics coca-cola , plastic bottle recycling , plastic recycling

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Coca-Cola Opens £15m Plant To Meet Plastic Recycling Targets

Spherical Underwater ‘Fish Tower’ Skyscraper Recycles Debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

March 5, 2012 by  
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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was the inspiration for the  Plastic Fish Tower , an orb-like underwater skyscraper that recently caught our eye as an honorable mention in eVolo’s 2012 skyscraper competition . The spherical structure was designed by the South Korean team of Kim Hongseop, Cho Hyunbeom, Yoom Sunhee and Yoom Hyungsoo, and it’s more than just a cool-looking futuristic building – it’s designed to suck in plastic from the massive pacific garbage patch and reprocess it, helping to slowly clear the debris which currently spans a whopping 8.1% of the sea. Read the rest of Spherical Underwater ‘Fish Tower’ Skyscraper Recycles Debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Cho Hyunbeom , eco design , evolo skyscraper competition , great pacific garbage patch , green design , Kim Hongseop , Plastic Fish Tower , plastic recycling , sustainable design , Yoom Hyungsoo , Yoom Sunhee

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Spherical Underwater ‘Fish Tower’ Skyscraper Recycles Debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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