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Plastics News

Renewable industrial chemicals from bioengineered bacteria

Escherichia coli bacteria have been manipulated into converting plants into renewable chemicals. The process of bioengineering can create materials suitable as jet fuel, pantyhose and plastic soda bottles.

Creating carbon nanotubes with everyday solvent

Carbon nanotubes can be usable as common plastics, according to new research. The study indicates that cresols - simple solvents – can disperse carbon nanotubes at very high concentrations.

Breakthrough polymer could lead to infinitely recyclable plastic

Our need for plastics has grown into a love affair that is now threatening to bury us. But scientists at a U.S. university have discovered a polymer that can be recycled over-and-over, making plastics eco-friendly.

Over 40 companies pledge to cut UK plastic pollution

More than 40 companies, including Britain’s biggest supermarkets, Coca-Cola, Nestle and Procter & Gamble, have bowed to growing pressure to tackle pollution by committing to cut plastic use over the next seven years.

Unilever unwraps plan for closed-loop food-grade plastic supply

London - Unilever announced on Wednesday it is partnering with start-up company Ioniqa and Indorama Ventures to develop technology capable of converting PET plastic waste into virgin-grade materials available for use in food packaging.

North Pacific garbage patch is 16 times bigger than we thought

Seventy-nine thousand tons of plastic debris, in the form of 1.8 trillion pieces, now occupies an area three times the size of France in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii, a scientific team reported on Thursday.

Krill could prove secret weapon in ocean plastics battle

Sydney - They might be at the bottom of the food chain, but krill could prove to be a secret weapon in the fight against the growing threat of plastic pollution in the world's oceans.

Then and now: Plastics remain important for smart homes

Disneyland’s Monsanto House of the Future was built almost fifty years ago. When it was demolished, with the wrecking ball bouncing off its plastic structure, plastics were key to the future state of homes. The materials remain so half a decade on.

Polymerization pilot to begin in The Netherlands

Amsterdam - A pilot project has begun in The Netherlands to accelerate polymerization. The idea is to develop pilot facilities to accelerate the development of biobased materials, designed to compete with fossil fuels.

Predatory bacteria used to release bioplastics

Researchers have come up with a novel method of extracting bioplastics from bacteria. This involves the use of another, predatory bacterium to extract the biologically created plastics from the producing bacteria.

Investigation launched on the impact of microplastics

London - Microplastic particles are consumed by marine life as a result of human pollution. In turn, the particles may pose a health risk to humans. This concern is sufficient to trigger a research study.

Are biodegradable plastics becoming nearer to reality?

Plastics are a major pollutant, primarily because the constituent particles do not break down. One of the areas heaviest hit are the oceans where plastic particles damage sea life. To avoid such hazards, researchers are developing biodegradable plastics.

Squeezing the most out of soaps and shower gels

An innovative new coating has transformed the use of soaps and shower gels. One of the frustrations faced by consumers is getting the remaining product out from the bottle. The new coating solves this problem.

Boyan Slat's dream of cleaning up the oceans becomes reality

The world's first prototype ocean barrier that could catch almost 80 percent of plastics floating on the Ocean's surface is set to be deployed this week, the marine litter initiative, Ocean Cleanup announced on Wednesday.

Ocean plastic cleanup device to launch as pilot project in 2016

Two years ago, Boyan Slat, a then 19-year-old Aerospace Engineering student at TU Delft in Holland, made the claim he could cleanup the oceans vast accumulation of plastics and other marine garbage in about five years.

Polymer pioneer scoops £1 million prize

London - Robert Langer, an engineer at MIT who significantly changed the way medicines get into the body, has been awarded £1 million for the Queen Elizabeth Prize.

Blocked EU paper could have banned pesticides worth billions

If a research paper done by the European Union that highlighted the risks of hormone-mimicking chemicals hadn't been blocked, as many as 31 pesticides worth billions of pounds may have been banned.

Plastics are advancing medical technology Special

Plastics help advance the safety and effectiveness of modern medicine. Moreover, plastics enable new advances that deliver more benefits to patients than ever before. To find out more, Digital Journal spoke with Canada's leading medical association.

Pig infertility in Spain could mean problems for humans too

Zaragoza - In 2010, there was a mysterious drop in pig fertility in various farms, located all over Spain. Since then, a Spanish scientist has investigated the situation and it seems her findings could have serious implications for us humans, too.

Op-Ed: Makati CBD enforces city-wide plastic ban

Makati - Makati Central Business District (CBD) is home to thousands of organizations and establishments. As the local government implements a city-wide plastic ban, how will this affect the countless workers and organizations in the area?

Is the plastic BPA a risk during pregnancy?

Pregnant mice that were exposed to the chemical used in many plastics - BPA - have offspring with behavioral abnormalities. This finding has re-opened the debate about the effect of this chemical on human health.

Project underway to create plastics from algae

A new type of bioplastic could be produced from algae. Technologists are considering whether such a plastic can be manufactured on an industrial scale.

Unseen dangers from the Japanese tsunami may linger for decades

The debris from the tsunami which struck eastern Japan two years ago today could still be washing up on the western seaboard of Canada and the United States decades from now with, as yet, unknown consequences for marine life.

Soybeans contained valuable chemical for making plastics

Based on new research, soybeans could be a source of a chemical for plastics, textiles, drugs, solvents and as a food additive. The chemical is called succinic acid.

Microbes and cooking oil make cheaper plastics

Scientists have developed a method for producing cheaper 'bioplastics' made from used cooking oil combined with certain microorganisms. This would not only lead to cheaper plastics, it would also help with environmental recycling.

Plastic chemical BPA won't be banned in U.S.

Washington - The chemical BPA, used to make plastics, has been banned in many countries due to its apparent ill-health effects. However, the FDA in the U.S. has decided that the chemical can continue to be used to make containers used for food and medicines.

Video: Girl with strange addiction can't stop eating plastics

Sacramento - An 18-year-old girl from Sacramento, California, has a strange addiction — eating plastics. According to Kailyn, she has eaten over 60,000 plastic items in the past 11 years.

David de Rothschild set to sail for Pacific garbage patch

Love of planet Earth and returning its oceans to as near pristine as possible is what drove David de Rothschild to build his catamaran, the Plastiki, made of soda bottles, and is scheduled to set sail this month.

Two turn mushrooms into insulation

Two students have created Greensulate, a strong, low-cost biomaterial that replaces the expensive, non-biodegradable plastics and styrofoam used in modern packaging and wall insulation.

Green Plastics Could Help Reduce Carbon Footprint

Results from a new University of Missouri study suggest that some of the largely petroleum-based plastic may soon be replaced by a non-polluting, renewable plastic made from plants.
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Plastics Image

Pyrowave modules in demonstration plant in Montreal. The left module contains the microwave reactor ...
Pyrowave modules in demonstration plant in Montreal. The left module contains the microwave reactor, and the right module contains the power and cooling systems.
Jocelyn Doucet
Eugene Chen’s lab at Colorado State University has developed a completely recyclable polymer.
Eugene Chen’s lab at Colorado State University has developed a completely recyclable polymer.
Colorado State University/Bill Cotton
Eugene Chen  professor of chemistry
Eugene Chen, professor of chemistry
Colorado State University
Almost 90 percent of seabirds have plastics in their intestines.
Almost 90 percent of seabirds have plastics in their intestines.
Ocean Revolution
Microplastic fibre inside sea pen polyp.
Microplastic fibre inside sea pen polyp.
Michelle Taylor/Nature
An ESA Basic Activities project is investigating the feasibility of measuring plastic litter found i...
An ESA Basic Activities project is investigating the feasibility of measuring plastic litter found in the ocean from orbit.
ESA/J. Veiga
A new plastic road for Eaglesfield  put down last year.
CC License: Attrition  No derivative work.
A new plastic road for Eaglesfield, put down last year. CC License: Attrition, No derivative work.
Here you can see the platform  conveyor belt and containment apparatus on the array.
Here you can see the platform, conveyor belt and containment apparatus on the array.
Boyan Slat/Twitter
One small part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an endless floating waste of plastic trash.
One small part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an endless floating waste of plastic trash.
Nick Simpson
Plastic litter in global oceans
Plastic litter in global oceans
A bowl of mealworms.
A bowl of mealworms.
Peter Halasz
How safe are your food storage containers?
How safe are your food storage containers?