Erich Lawson, Industrial Revolution, Plastics, Recycling, Innovation, Disruption, Microplastics, Plastic Bags,  waste management, resources, circular economy, change, linear economy, ocean plastics, ocean pollution, waste, trash, garbage

Erich Lawson

This post is a contribution by Erich Lawson. Erich is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipments can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting his blog Northern California Compactors, Inc blog. Enjoy it.

“Despite several efforts across the globe to create awareness against the usage of plastic bags and their horrible effects on our environment, they continue to contaminate every ecosystem, be it on land or in water.

However, there are some brilliant breakthroughs which are changing the dynamics of recycling plastic bags. Here are 5 such impactful innovations which should be propagated far and wide to combat the hazardous effects of waste generated from plastic bags:

Fuelling Sustainable Solutions

Thanks to some effectual technological inventions, used plastic bags can now be used to produce various types of fuels. The waste plastic bags are heated in an environment devoid of oxygen, are melted and then vaporized into gases. The gases then undergo cooling and condensation processes which turn them into diverse products. Such plastic-to-fuel technologies don’t use combustion. Various fuels such as diesel, gasoline, synthetic crude or refined fuels for residential usage, etc., can be obtained by employing specific technologies. Fuels thus obtained are useful in powering anything from cars to planes. Besides, they are more environment-friendly as compared to their traditional counter parts, because the plastics have low sulfur content. Communities situated on islands and near tourist places known for beaches can especially benefit from this innovative way of recycling plastic bags. It can help them combat the high prices of traditionally produced fuels and lesser landfill options, by enabling them to produce fuel locally.

Roads which Lead to a Better Tomorrow

A path-breaking invention paved way for plastic paths. A variety of plastic waste such as carry bags, cups, packaging material for chocolates, chips and biscuits is shredded with the help of a shredding machine and is processed with bituminous mixes. The resulting mix is used for constructing roads which are eco-friendly and durable. Besides no toxic gases are released, thus making the process of construction also environment-friendly. These ‘plastic roads’ are highly durable.

there are some brilliant breakthroughs which are changing the dynamics of recycling plastic bags

Building blocks of Future

An ingenious way has been developed to reuse plastic for making concrete bricks. Plastic which otherwise would land up in landfills is granulated and blended with cement mix, and the concrete made from this environment-friendly mixture has similar strength to its traditional counterpart. This concrete is then used to create bricks. The process ensures that the plastic does not need to be recycled or dumped in landfills, and eliminates financial and environmental expense of traditionally mined virgin aggregate.

Meaningful Membranes

Imagine using something as useless as waste plastic bags to create one of the toughest materials – carbon nanotubes. A method has been developed to reuse plastic bags, by vaporizing them in a furnace, followed by layering the isolated carbon molecules onto the membranes. The carbon nanotubes membranes thus created are hundred folds stronger and six times lighter in weight as opposed to steel. They are used for making a wide range of products – absolutely anything from sensing devices and electronics to turbines. This method offers double benefits as compared to the earlier discovered methods. It is more efficient and costs relatively less.

Decking it the green way

It’s one of the fastest growing trends on the market. It involves an amazing process which utilizes recycled plastic such as food storage bags, shopping bags, newspaper sleeves, and wood which comes from by-products of lumber industry in the form of sawdust, chips and wood fiber to make building materials. Pigments and preservatives are often added to this mix. Decks developed with this method are immune to insects and mold and don’t require sealing, staining, board replacement and sanding like wood decks.

Such innovations are mostly replete with exciting possibilities of application in various verticals. However, only dedicated and continual efforts to explore and expand more such innovations can ensure that waste plastic bags don’t choke the existence of mankind.”


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