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Tag Archives: research

OECD says plastic pollution will grow faster than recycling rate

Published: June 8, 2022
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Plastic marine debris on a beach.

An OECD report anticipates marine debris will increase significantly in volume over the next several decades. | Santiparp Wattanaporn/Shutterstock

Globally, discarded plastic levels could nearly triple by 2060, with about half of the plastic ending up in landfill and less than a fifth recycled, an OECD report projected.

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Mixed auto plastics turned into circular graphene

Published: June 2, 2022
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Front end of a red Ford F-150 truck.

Researchers at Rice University turned milled-together bumpers, gaskets, carpets, mats, seating and door casings from Ford F-150 pickup trucks into graphene. | mynewturtle/Shutterstock

An experiment by Rice University and Ford turned mixed plastic from old vehicles into graphene, which was then used in a polyurethane foam for new vehicles.

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EPA seeking industry help in shaping new grants

Published: May 25, 2022
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US EPA building exterior in Washington, D.C.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last year provides about $350 million to the U.S. EPA over several years to fund recycling infrastructure and education grants. | RozenskiP/Shutterstock

The U.S. EPA is working to build several grant programs from the ground up thanks to an influx of money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and it is reaching out to stakeholders to make sure the programs will meet industry needs.

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McKinsey weighs in on chemical recycling potential

Published: May 18, 2022
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Research charts on table with pen.

The report discusses investments that would need to occur in terms of scrap plastic collection and sorting, existing impediments to scaling up chemical recycling and more. | David Gyung/Shutterstock

If $40 billion were invested in chemical recycling technologies and certain constraints were resolved, chemical recycling processes could satisfy 4-8% of total polymer demand by 2030, according to a new analysis.

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Federal study finds 86% of US plastic landfilled in 2019

Published: May 4, 2022
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Landfill scene with machinery and material.

Federal researchers found study also found that only about 5% of discarded plastic in the U.S. was recycled in 2019, while 86% was left in landfills and 9% was burned to generate electricity. | Huguette Roe/Shutterstock

A study from the U.S. Department of Energy estimated the amount of plastic discarded in the U.S. in 2019 was 44 million metric tons, higher than other estimates.

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ExxonMobil, others roll out chemical recycling updates

Published: April 26, 2022
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Exxon Mobil corporate sign and landscaping.

Packaging companies recently announced they will purchase recycled resin produced through ExxonMobil’s chemical recycling technology. | Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

Multiple companies announced they will be increasing their use of chemically recycled plastics in pursuit of their recycled-content goals, and a consumer goods group said it supports chemical recycling.

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Recycling startup tackles laboratory plastics

Published: April 13, 2022
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GreenLabs Recycling collection boxes.

GreenLabs Recycling recently hit 100,000 pounds of plastic recycled since it began collecting material in 2019. | Courtesy of GreenLabs Recycling

More than 20 million plastic pipette tip boxes are shipped to the greater Boston area each year, and the vast majority are not recycled. GreenLabs Recycling is working to change that.

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Researchers emphasize need to reduce flexible packaging

Published: April 13, 2022
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Plastic packaging closeup.

Overall, worldwide recycling rates for both single-polymer and multi-material plastic flexible packaging is negligible. | pedphoto36p/Shutterstock

Single-use flexible plastic packaging has been the fastest-growing packaging type. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation says the opposite should be happening.

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