Current Plastics News and Events

Current Plastics News and Events, Plastics News Articles.
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Sheep show the contamination by microplastics in the agricultural soils of Murcia
A team from the Diverfarming project has found microplastics in 92% of the faeces of sheep fed in intensive agricultural zones of Murcia that they analysed (2020-11-25)

Microplastics in the death zone
Researchers from the University of Plymouth's International Marine Litter Research Unit have identified the highest recorded microplastics ever found on Earth - at an altitude of more than 8,000 metres, close to the summit of Mount Everest. (2020-11-20)

New solvent-based recycling process could cut down on millions of tons of plastic waste
Multilayer plastic materials are ubiquitous in food and medical supply packaging, particularly since layering polymers can give those films specific properties, like heat resistance or oxygen and moisture control. But despite their utility, those ever-present plastics are impossible to recycle using conventional methods. (2020-11-20)

Surprises in 'active' aging
Aging is a process that affects not only living beings. Many materials, like plastics and glasses, also age -- ie they change slowly as their particles try to pack better. Biological materials, such as living tissue, show similar behaviour to glasses except that the particles are actual cells with their own propulsion. Researchers at Göttingen University used computer simulations to explore the aging behaviour of these ''living'' glassy systems. Research was published in Physical Review Letters. (2020-11-18)

New green materials could power smart devices using ambient light
Researchers have developed environmentally friendly materials that could harvest enough energy from indoor light to power wireless smart devices. (2020-11-13)

Catalyzing a zero-carbon world by harvesting energy from living cells
Scientists from Nagoya University have achieved a breakthrough in converting energy-deficient metabolites to a biorenewable resource thanks to a versatile catalyst. (2020-11-12)

Tough, strong and heat-endure: Bioinspired material to oust plastics
Being tougher, stronger and more adaptive to heat, a new bioinspired material is here to overtake petroleum-based plastics, thanks to researchers' work on an easy and scalable manufacture method. (2020-11-08)

Plastics and rising CO2 levels could pose combined threat to marine environment
An international team of scientists found that after three weeks of being submerged in the ocean, the bacterial diversity on plastic bottles was twice as great as on samples collected from the surrounding seawater (2020-11-06)

Tel Aviv University says 'environmentally-friendly' tableware harms marine animals
A new Tel Aviv University study compares the effects of two types of disposable dishes on the marine environment -- regular plastic disposable dishes and more expensive bioplastic disposable dishes certified by various international organizations -- and determines that the bioplastic dishes had a similar effect on marine animals as regular plastic dishes. (2020-11-04)

Intelligent cameras enhance human perception
A team of FAU researchers has developed an intelligent camera that achieves not only high spatial and temporal but also spectral resolution. The camera has a wide range of applications that can improve environmental protection and resource conservation measures as well as autonomous driving or modern agriculture. (2020-11-02)

Well oriented
Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most widely used plastics in the world. By controlling the spatial orientation of the propylene building blocks and additional polar components, it should be possible to create a new generation of attractive, engineered, specialty plastics, with improved wettability or enhanced degradability, based on PP. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Japanese scientists have introduced the basis for a new class of palladium catalysts for such polymerizations. (2020-10-30)

New study reveals United States a top source of plastic pollution in coastal environments
The United States ranks as high as third among countries contributing to coastal plastic pollution when taking into account its scrap plastic exports as well as the latest figures on illegal dumping and littering in the country. (2020-10-30)

Mythbusting: 5 common misperceptions surrounding the environmental impacts of single-use plastics
Stand in the soda pop aisle at the supermarket, surrounded by rows of brightly colored plastic bottles and metal cans, and it's easy to conclude that the main environmental problem here is an overabundance of single-use containers: If we simply recycled more of them, we'd go a long way toward minimizing impacts. (2020-10-26)

Microplastics in groundwater (and our drinking water) present unknown risk
Microplastics (plastics <5mm) and their negative health impacts have been studied in oceans, rivers, and even soils, and scientists are beginning to grapple with the myriad human health impacts their presence might have. One understudied, but critical, link in the cycle is groundwater, which is often a source of drinking water. (2020-10-26)

Marine biology -- Sponges as biomonitors of micropollution
Sponges are filter feeders that live on particulate matter -- but they can also ingest microscopic fragments of plastics and other pollutants of anthropogenic origin. They can therefore serve as useful bioindicators of the health of marine ecosystems. (2020-10-23)

Bioplastics no safer than other plastics
Bioplastics contain substances that are as toxic as those in ordinary plastics. (2020-10-23)

Closing the plastic loop
Researchers develop a one-pot, low temperature catalytic method to turn polyethylene polymers into alkylaromatic molecules. (2020-10-22)

New method for upcycling polyethylene creates value from plastic waste
Using a unique catalyst to molecularly deconstruct polyethylene, the most commonly used form of plastic, researchers present a solvent-free way to transform it into higher-value, widely used chemical compounds. (2020-10-22)

The highest heat-resistant plastic ever is developed from biomass
The use of biomass-derived plastics is one of the prime concerns to establish a sustainable society, which is incorporated as one of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the use of most of the biomass-derived plastics is limited due to their low heat resistance. Collaborative research between JAIST and U-Tokyo has successfully developed the white-biotechnological conversion from cellulosic biomass into the aromatic polymers having the highest thermodegradation of all the plastics reported ever. (2020-10-21)

High levels of microplastics released from infant feeding bottles during formula prep
New research shows that high levels of microplastics (MPs) are released from infant-feeding bottles (IFBs) during formula preparation. The research also indicates a strong relationship between heat and MP release, such that warmer liquids (formula or water used to sterilise bottles) result in far greater release of MPs. The work underlines the need for appropriate mitigation strategies and new plastic technologies. (2020-10-19)

A first-of-its-kind catalyst mimics natural processes to break down plastics
A team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has developed a first-of-its-kind catalyst that is able to process polyolefin plastics, types of polymers widely used in things like plastic grocery bags, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, toys, and food containers. (2020-10-19)

Does science have a plastic problem? Microbiologists take steps to reducing plastic waste
A research group based at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, developed an approach to reduce plastic waste produced by their lab. They have shared their approach in the journal Access Microbiology, with the hope that other labs will follow suit. (2020-10-15)

Study confirms plastics threat to south pacific seabirds
Plastic gathered from remote corners of the South Pacific Ocean, including nesting areas of New Zealand albatrosses, has confirmed the global threat of plastic pollution to seabirds. (2020-10-14)

Detecting SARS-CoV-2 in the environment
Researchers have outlined an approach to characterize and develop an effective environmental monitoring methodology for SARS CoV-2 virus, that can be used to better understand viral persistence in built environments. The investigators from 7 institutions published their research this week in mSystems, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. (2020-10-07)

Plastic-eating enzyme 'cocktail' heralds new hope for plastic waste
The UK-US team who re-engineered the plastic-eating enzyme PETase have now created an enzyme 'cocktail' which can digest plastic up to six times faster. (2020-09-28)

A better alternative to Phthalates?
In collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) analyzed urine samples from pregnant women to look for the presence of DINCH, which is short for di(isononyl)cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate. They found concentrations of DINCH in most of the urine samples but no evidence of effects in lab assays on two hormones, progesterone and estrogen. (2020-09-25)

FSU researchers help develop sustainable polymers
Researchers at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering have made new discoveries on the effects of temperature on sustainable polymers. Their findings may help the industry to produce plastics that are better for the environment. (2020-09-25)

Scientists sound alarm on plastic pollution
A new study shows that despite global commitments to address plastic pollution, growth in plastic waste, or 'plastics emissions' continues to outpace reduction. What's more, the study shows that even if governments around the world adhere to their ambitious commitments to curb plastic pollution, annual plastic emissions may increase more than six-fold by 2030. (2020-09-17)

Researchers discover new photoactivation mechanism for polymer production
A team of researchers has demonstrated a way to use low-energy, visible light to produce polymer gel objects from pure monomer solutions. The work not only poses a potential solution to current challenges in producing these materials, it also sheds further light on the ways in which low energy photons can combine to produce high energy excited states. (2020-09-16)

A chemist from RUDN developed a green catalyst for pharmaceutical and industrial chemistry
Many production facilities (e.g. plastic manufacturers, pharma companies, and others) use nanocatalysts that contain palladium--an expensive component that is not sustainably produced. A chemist from RUDN University found a way to reduce palladium consumption and to make its manufacture more eco-friendly. He developed a catalyst based on a substance that comes from plant waste. Using his invention, manufacturers could cut palladium consumption in half. Moreover, new catalysts can be reused multiple times without any decrease in efficiency (2020-09-04)

Making more of methane
Looking closely at the chemical process that transforms methane into useful products could help unveil more efficient ways to use natural gas. (2020-09-02)

Saving marine life: Novel method quantifies the effects of plastic on marine wildlife
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology together with their international collaborators developed a novel quantitative method to quantify the effects of plastic on marine animals. This method successfully shows that plastic ingestion by sea turtles might be causing population declines, despite a lack of strong effects on individual turtles. (2020-08-31)

Planetary ball-milling helps protect our planet from plastics pollution
Researchers at Osaka University have developed supramolecular polymeric materials that combine rapid self-healing with high toughness by using the efficient molecular mixing method of planetary ball-milling. These materials retain their unique properties even after recycling, thus extending their functional lifespan. In a time of overabundant waste plastics, prolonging their usage is an eco-friendly solution. Moreover, their artificial skin-like behavior holds great potential for application to the fields of robotics and cars. (2020-08-26)

Plastics, waste and recycling: It's not just a packaging problem
Discussions of the growing plastic waste problem often focus on reducing the volume of single-use plastic packaging items such as bags, bottles, tubs and films. (2020-08-25)

Micro- and nanoplastics detectable in human tissues
Plastic pollution is a global problem. Even when plastic bags or water bottles break down, tiny fragments can still contaminate the environment. Animals and humans can ingest the particles, with uncertain health consequences. Now, scientists report that they are among the first to examine micro- and nanoplastics in human organs and tissues. The researchers will present their results today at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo. (2020-08-17)

Sustainable biosynthetic transparent films for plastic substitute
A team lead by Prof. YU Shuhong from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) report an ultra-strong, ultra-tough and transparent nacre-inspired nanocomposite film, which is constructed from sustainable ingredients by living bacteria. (2020-08-14)

'Critical' questions over disease risks from ocean plastics
Key knowledge gaps exist in our understanding of how ocean microplastics transport bacteria and viruses -- and whether this affects the health of humans and animals, researchers say. (2020-08-13)

Seafood study finds plastic in all samples
A study of five different seafoods has found traces of plastic in every sample tested. (2020-08-12)

Coffee stains inspire optimal printing technique for electronics
Using an alcohol mixture, researchers modified how ink droplets dry, enabling cheap industrial-scale printing of electronic devices at unprecedented scales. (2020-08-12)

New science behind algae-based flip-flops
Sustainable flip-flops: A team of UC San Diego researchers has formulated polyurethane foams made from algae oil to meet commercial specifications for midsole shoes and the foot-bed of flip-flops. The results of their study are published in Bioresource Technology Reports and describe the team's successful development of these sustainable, consumer-ready and biodegradable materials. (2020-08-06)

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