Although the first plastic-based synthetic polymer was
created in 1907, improvements in chemical technology led to an explosion of new
forms of plastics only after the First World War. And ever since, plastics have
been an integral part of our lives. Today’s challenges for the material
include minimizing our dependence on petroleum (many plastics are petroleum
based,) creating bio-degradable plastics and inventing effective ways of
recycling existing plastic.
MBA Polymers tackles the last issue. “If it has a cord, we’ll recycle it,” is their creed. Their patented technology breaks down all of our tech-junk (printers, computers, cell phones, etc) and then sorts the plastics from the non-plastics. Plastics are converted into commercial-grade pellets and sold to manufacturers to make new products with, saving landfills from billions of pounds of non-biodegradable plastics.
Corporate eco-innovators GE show two of their plastics that are both sustainable and profitable. NORYL, flame retardant wire-coating resin is both recyclable and halogen-free. The material has helped consumer electronics and automotive industries meet new legal requirements such as the European Union’s ISO 14020 and ISO 14024 and EcoMark in Japan. Also, from the GE shop comes LEXAN SLX a thin plastic film that produces a high-gloss finish that is scratch and chemical resistant. The material is expected to be used in the auto industry as a paint replacement resulting in lower Volotile Organic Chemical (VOC) emissions.
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