Since the early 20th century humanity has created 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic. Just imagine all the plastic we have produced weighs the same as 25,000 Empire State Buildings! Scientists and innovators worldwide are working hard on solving plastic pollution.
A sweet sollution?
Scientists from the Centre of Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) at the University of Bath have successfully created a plastic that doesn’t use harmful chemicals and is biodegradable. The main two ingredients are sugar and carbon dioxide.
The process creates a tough type of plastic which can be used to make drinks bottles, lenses for glasses and in scratch-resistant coatings for phones, CDs and DVDs. This plastic will be fully biodegradeble and will not be adding more to our mountains of plastic waste.
Another major advantage of using sugar and carbon dioxide to make plastic is the absence of the highly toxic chemicals that are usually used in the manufacturing process. Often plastic which is used for making drink bottles or food containers contains bisphenol-A (BPA). And the danger of BPA is that it can leach into drink and food from their packaging. Danger of BPA can cause harm to reproductive problems, and can be a cause of diabetes and autism.
The scientists at the University of Bath have made a perfect formula for non toxic plastic.
“Our process uses carbon dioxide instead of the highly toxic chemical phosgene, and produces a plastic that is free from BPA,” said Dr Antoine Buchard, Whorrod Research Fellow at the University of Bath’s Department of Chemistry.
“So not only is the plastic safer, but the manufacturing process is cleaner too.”
Source: World Economic Forum