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Plastics

Automotive

Captured CO2 to make Ford foam easier on the environment

As emissions regulations get tighter, there's a lot of focus on making engines more efficient, but engines aren't the only part of a car that are bad for the environment. The plastics and foams spread throughout the cabin are dirty to manufacture as well, so Ford is trying to tackle the problem by using captured CO2 in foam and plastic components.Read More

3D Printing

PolySmooth and Polysher take the edge(s) off 3D printing

While people are understandably pretty excited about what can be done with consumer 3D printers, one thing has to be admitted – the objects created by most of those printers tend to have a fairly rough, layered look to them. Polishing them by hand is one option, but Chinese startup Polymaker is now offering an alternative: a new printing material that essentially "self-polishes" when placed in an accompanying machine.Read More

Environment

Eggs to help bring bioplastics out of their shell

Confucious say, "the green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm." The same concept applies to packaging materials, which must protect their contents from the rough and tumble of transport without breaking. Petroleum-based plastics that can take centuries to break down remain the go-to material for such applications, but researchers have found that adding broken eggshells to a bioplastic mix results in a biodegradable material with the strength and flexibility required for packaging purposes.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Research says BPA replacement in plastics not safer

The BPA-free trend started after studies found a link between bisphenol A (BPA) and health issues such as early puberty and prostate cancers. After that, products with bisphenol S (BPS) started cropping up as a safer alternative. But now a UCLA-led study suggests that BPS can be just as harmful as BPA, causing faster embryonic development and disruption of the reproductive system in animals.


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Environment

Ocean Cleanup project to test its first trash-catching barriers in Dutch waters

Scooping up all the plastic waste in the world's oceans would be a massive undertaking given that scientists estimate there's around 5 trillion pieces of it currently bobbing about in the water. But the Ocean Cleanup project believes it is up to the challenge and has today announced plans for the first real-world test of its rubbish collection barriers off the coast of The Netherlands.Read More

Environment

Ocean-friendly Seabin sucks up surrounding sea trash

The mounting plastic waste in the world's oceans has been the subject of of some pretty bold environmental undertakings, perhaps none more so than the Ocean Cleanup Project aiming to eradicate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Seabin Project represents a smaller-scale approach, but it is noble in its aspirations all the same. Installation in ports and marinas sees this ocean-friendly trash can suck up the surrounding debris and even remove oil from the water.Read More

Environment

New production process makes PLA bioplastic cheaper and greener

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable bioplastic that is already used to produce a variety of everyday items, such as cups, trays, bowls and vegetable wrapping foil. Unfortunately, the current PLA production process is expensive and produces waste. Researchers at the KU Leuven Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis in Belgium have now developed a new production technique that is cheaper and greener and makes PLA a more attractive alternative to petroleum-based plastics.Read More

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