A new process can mop up 25% of planet’s plastic waste

Feb 13, 2019, 7:02 AM EST
(Source: Simone Smith/flickr)
(Source: Simone Smith/flickr)

A new chemical conversion process, suggested by researchers at Purdue University, can turn polyolefins – a class of plastics constituting nearly 25 percent of the global plastic waste – into something the world would welcome with open arms – clean fuel.

The technology could give a renewed fillip to the recycling industry, which has unfortunately, managed to recover and reprocess just 9 percent of more than 8.3 billion tons of plastics over the last 65 years, writes First Post.

The new conversion process yields oil, which carries a range of useful ingredients, including paraffins, cyclics, aromatics and olefins, opening up new possibilities for recycling industry to create varying blendstocks and operate profitably, notes New Atlas.

Given that the process promises commercial viability, which has been a perennial challenge for recycling operations, it could help the world stem the tide of 5 to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste tossed into the oceans every year.