NSF EPSCoR grant will advance manufacturing of renewable and recyclable plastics


Plastics are an indispensable part of today's society. These nimble polymers help keep foods fresh, cars safe, arteries clog-free and have countless other uses. But the benefits come at a cost. Each year millions of tons of discarded plastic pollute ecosystems, harm animals and exacerbate climate change.
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$25 million investment in polymer upcycling research to reduce plastics waste


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $25 million in funding for 10 research projects to build the scientific foundations for new technology solutions that reuse discarded plastics to make valuable products and reduce plastics waste.
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Bringing back the good name – a museum of plastic about plastic


In May 2021, another museum of a special kind was created in front of the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid: a Plastic Museum. It was not just a museum ABOUT plastic, but MADE OF plastic. The media response to the campaign of the EsPlásticos association was huge.
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Image: Roads are lifelines. © pexels-markus-spiske-967072

The road to the future? New ways with used plastics


Viewing used plastic not as waste but as a material can reduce the problem of littered oceans. One promising approach is its use in road construction.
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Michael Davies

Michael Davies


In this interview with K-MAG, Michael Davies explains what is particularly important until a circular economy can take hold, and what makes the Doverphos LGP12 stabilizer special.
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The BPF Launches Online Recycling Resource with PlasticsEurope & RECOUP


The British Plastics Federation (BPF), in conjunction with PlasticsEurope and RECOUP, has launched a new online recycling resource kit aimed at educating students about recycling plastics and the science of polymers.
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RECOUP win innovate UK funding for plastics recycling communications research


Charity, and leading plastics recycling organisation, RECOUP, have secured a grant from Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, to co-fund an industry-led communications and behaviour change research project in Kent.
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New method developed to solve plastics sustainability problem


Plastics sustainability has come a long way in recent years thanks in large part to scientific advances. But even as plastics become more and more environmentally friendly, the world continues to be polluted as many industries rely on them for their widely used products.
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3D printing plastic yourself: students educate themselves about plastics in workshops


Plastic is a part of our lives that cannot be easily eliminated and is much more than the plastic that floats in oceans. Precisely because plastic is such a versatile material, future generations must also be taught how to use and recycle it responsibly.
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Carbon dioxide as a raw material for plastics and other products


Carbon dioxide is one of the main drivers of climate change – which means that we need to reduce Carbon dioxide emissions in the future. Fraunhofer researchers are highlighting a possible way to lower these emissions: They use the greenhouse gas as a raw material, for instance to produce plastics.
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Circular Economy: using digital tools to produce high-quality recyclates


Only a small percentage of materials currently used in plastic processing are recyclates. Yet these secondary plastics are in no way of inferior quality to virgin material. The culprit is often a lack of data and poor communication between recyclers and plastic manufacturers. Digital solutions can help close material cycles in the plastics industry.
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Sensor-based symphony: sorting and recycling in perfect harmony


What can be recycled, and what can't? Sorting waste is a challenge – for both people and machines. TOMRA, pioneer in this field has introduced its new generation AUTOSORT in 2020 under the motto "Symphony of all sorts". This is intended to take the plastics industry a big step further towards sustainability.
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Röchling BioBoom: bioplastics make cars greener


Alongside many other industries, the automotive sector is also moving in the green direction. Electromobility is booming. However, plastics produced from non-renewable raw materials such as petroleum are also installed in e-cars. Röchling Automotive has recognized the need for bioplastics that meet the high requirements for automotive applications – and has developed BioBoom.
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Walmir Soller

Walmir Soller


While the Corona pandemic initially had a negative impact on almost all markets, the plastics industry benefited in the course of 2020 due to the increasing demand for personal protective equipment, to-go packaging for food and household items. The chemical company Braskem is also noticing this development in Brazil.
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Recycling robot could help solve soft plastic waste crisis


Despite an improvement in plastic recycling in recent years, landfill is a growing issue. Soft plastics like cling wrap and plastic bags are a major contributor to the problem, with 94 percent going to landfill in 2016-17.
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Added value for the environment: monitoring production, reducing rejects


Plastics and their diversity can exert a certain fascination. This was also the case for Nele Zerhusen: she was already captivated by this tpopic during her school days. A few years later, in her Bachelor's thesis, she researched how plastics can be further developed for the benefit of the environment. Her outstanding work was eventually honoured with the award of the German Rubber Society.
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Fraunhofer, SABIC, and Procter & Gamble join forces in closed-loop recycling pilot project


The Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Circular Plastics Economy CCPE and its Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT have developed an advanced recycling process for used plastics. The pilot project with SABIC and Procter & Gamble serves to demonstrate the feasibility of closed-loop recycling for single-use facemasks.
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Image: Plastikophobia; Copyright: Von Wong

Benjamin Von Wong: "I make your impact unforgettable."


We love plastic. It is versatile, lightweight, durable – and sustainable, as long as it gets recycled or reused. Carelessly discarded in nature, (disposable) plastic products not only give the material a bad image, but above all lead to massive environmental problems. This is precisely the issue that Canadian artist Benjamin Von Wong has addressed.
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Mardianto Adiguno, Aegis Packaging Pte Ltd

Mardianto Adiguno


"Do Right. Do Good. Do Well." Stated goal of Aegis Packaging is to protect our environment – and they do it with their recyclable packaging. The high-barrier coating is designed to keep oxygen and contaminants out of the food packaged with them, thus increasing their shelf life. The Singapore-based company is rethinking plastic packaging in the direction of a circular economy.
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South Tangerang, Indonesia. © Tom Fisk, pexels.com

Sustainable packaging: towards a circular economy in the Asian market


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Asphalt with a pinch of rubber


Swiss drivers wear out countless tires. Instead of incinerating them, they could be reused locally: The asphalt of various countries has long contained rubber from used tires. Empa and its partners from industry are adopting this idea for potential applications in Switzerland.
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Cleaning up the polluted edge of the world: Lindner and Comberplast recycle fishing nets


Presented at K 2019 in Düsseldorf and now used to clean up the edge of the world: Lindner Recyclingtech’s Micromat 1500. Circular economy pioneer Comberplast has been using the machine to successfully shred old fishing nets and ropes collected from the coast of Patagonia.
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VYTAL: the first digital reusable system for Take Away


Today, the kitchen stays cold: if you don't feel like cooking, you simply have something delivered. However, the meals often come in disposable packaging that only has a short lifespan. This bothered the founders of VYTAL, who developed a deposit-free reusable system. They prove that plastic and sustainability are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
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Today's waste becomes tomorrow's resource: "Waste4Future" paves new ways for plastics recycling


A sustainable society with climate-neutral processes requires significant adjustments in the value chains, which are only possible through innovations. Seven Fraunhofer Institutes are pooling their expertise in the lighthouse project Waste4Future to develop new solutions for this goal, from the raw material base to material flows and process engineering right to the end of a product's life cycle.
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Fraunhofer researchers develop recyclable, fiber-reinforced material made from 100 percent bio-based polylactic acid


The Fraunhofer IAP wants to develop a composite material that consists entirely of bio-based polylactic acid (PLA) and is significantly easier to recycle than conventional fiber composites.
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Earth Day 2021: plastics industry vs. climate change


April 22 is Earth Day. "Restore Our Earth" is the international motto of the action day in 2021. The plastics industry in particular can and must do its part to end environmental pollution and restore the earth to health. Since it was founded over 50 years ago, Earth Day has grown to become a worldwide environmental action day in around 200 countries.
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PRISM – a data platform for the circular economy


In mid-December, U.S. IT company IBM announced it had joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. Together, they are designing the PRISM platform – a unified ecosystem of NGOs, the plastic value chain participants, communities, regulators, and any organization looking to deploy and improve waste management decisions and programs.
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A mild way to upcycle plastics used in bottles into fuel and other high-value products


Plastic is ubiquitous in people's lives. Yet, when plastic-containing items have fulfilled their missions, only a small amount is recycled into new products, which are often of lower quality compared to the original material. And, transforming this waste into high-value chemicals requires substantial energy.
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Catalyst transforms plastic waste to valuable ingredients at low temperature


For the first time, researchers have used a novel catalyst process to recycle a type of plastic found in everything from grocery bags and food packaging to toys and electronics into liquid fuels and wax.
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Photo: PantherMedia / Nikola Obradovic

The pandemic will not stop the circular economy


In the current crisis the sustainable use of resources is not centre stage. The top priority now is to do everything to overcome it. However, the pandemic also shows that the use of plastics must be improved if the world is not to be inundated by waste.
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Sustainable Polyurethanes in your shoebox


People around the world want embrace sustainability – a new mindset that also affects the fashion industry. But how can you make shoes that have been made with lots of plastic in recent decades more sustainable? Covestro is a world-leading supplier of high-quality polyurethane and teamed up with the Brazilian shoe manufacturer Calçados Beira Rio to put its best foot forward and create a solution.
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Milliken & Company announces acquisition of Zebra-chem


Milliken & Company, a global diversified manufacturer with more than a century and a half of materials science expertise, has formally acquired Zebra-chem GmbH, a global chemicals company known for its peroxide and blowing agent masterbatches.
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A strong alliance to end "Marine Litter"


The pollution caused by debris and trash that ends up in oceans, seas, or other large bodies of water ("marine litter") is a challenge, experts around the world are working hard to address. It is undeniably a global concern we must tackle. The plastics industry takes an active role in getting to the bottom of the problem and creating solutions. It pays special attention to "microplastics".
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Raw material recycling in view


Dealing with used plastics is difficult, especially when they end up in the environment in an uncontrolled way. Neither regulations nor existing waste disposal and recycling measures seem to be able to get a grip on the problem. However, new raw material and chemical recycling processes come just at the right time.
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Eliminating microplastics in wastewater directly at the source


At the Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Professor Patrick Drogui’s research team has developed a process for the electrolytic treatment of wastewater that degrades microplastics at the source.
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The 17 Global Goals 2030 for Sustainable Development (SDGs 2030).

Plastics – Key Materials for Sustainable Development


Interview and Abstract by Reinhold W. Lang Institute for Polymeric Materials and Testing Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz, Austria
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Face composed of plastic cubes

Identification of off-odours in polymers


There are limits to the use of olfactorily contaminated plastics for the production of fresh materials. Odorous contamination of them needs to be minimised so that they are suitable for manufacturing new plastic products. A combination of analytical and sensor technology can help to identify olfactory contaminants and to check the efficiency and effectiveness of cleaning processes.
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Plastics make the mannequins’ world go round!


Display mannequin manufacturers have not only been creative in terms of design. Resource-saving operations have also ranked very high on their agendas for years. There has been in-depth research in developing materials and processes and plastics continue to play a leading role.
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Upcycling spongy plastic foams from shoes, mattresses and insulation


Researchers have developed a new method for upcycling polyurethane foams, the spongy material found in mattresses, insulation, furniture cushions and shoes.
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Alastair Curtis, Chief Design officer at Logitech

Alastair Curtis


Interview with Alastair Curtis, chief design officer at Logitech, where he is responsible for the designs of all business teams and brands.
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Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer of Philips

Sean Carney


Interview with Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer of Philips. Leading a team of more than 400 designers, he has created empathic and data-connected solutions with added value for millions of users – medical professionals and their patients.
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