Since the 1950s, plastics have become an indispensable part of modern life. Despite the ubiquity, adaptability, and usefulness of plastic products, plastic production and consumption has created a waste crisis. In 2019, 368 million tons of plastics were produced globally, 79% of which ended up in landfills or leeched into the environment.
Standard plastics are produced from petrochemicals, and they are typically processed and molded via methods ranging from extrusion to thermoforming. These processes usually involve expensive machinery, harsh conditions, and high temperatures that require large amounts of energy. Current research is shifting toward more sustainable plastics, which can be sourced from renewable resources and are more easily reused and recycled.
At the Univ. of Göttingen in Germany, scientists are using cellulose, the most abundant natural polymer on Earth, to fabricate eco-friendly plastic. Notably, the material can be molded using water alone, and is referred to as a hydroplastic. Thus, not only is the hydroplastic produced from sustainable cellulose, it is also generated in a way that...
Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine? It’s easy to request permission to reuse content. Simply click here to connect instantly to licensing services, where you can choose from a list of options regarding how you would like to reuse the desired content and complete the transaction.