New Recyclable Polymer Can Be Reused Infinitely

By: | May 15th, 2018

Recyclable polymer

Image courtesy Bill Cotton/Colorado State University

Did you know that more than 300 million tons of plastics are produced every year?

No doubt, plastic is strong, long-lasting, inexpensive, durable, lightweight, and extremely useful. But, it’s terrible for our environment.

Recycling plastic reduces its impact, but the problem is that most plastics can only be recycled a few times.

To solve this issue, scientists at Colorado State University have developed a type of recyclable polymer that can be used over and over again, without intensive procedures in a laboratory or using toxic chemicals.

This new recyclable polymer could prove to be a sustainable alternative to plastics

According to researchers, this new material is strong, heat-resistant, durable, and lightweight, while still being as versatile as plastic. The only difference is that this new polymer is waste-free and is far easier to recycle, as its monomers can be polymerized using small amounts of a catalyst without using any solvents. Moreover, the procedure can be achieved in a matter of minutes at room temperature.

The lead researcher on the project, Eugene Chen, said, “The polymers can be chemically recycled and reused, in principle, infinitely.”

“It would be our dream to see this chemically recyclable polymer technology materialize in the marketplace.”

Let’s hope that this new polymer will one day replace plastics and help cut back on the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfill and oceans.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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