by Mat Dirjish
Researchers at the University of California Berkeley and Intropic Materials believe they have a solution to the 300 million plus tons of plastic produced and discarded annually. The team took the $25,000 first prize in the Create the Future Contest for their development of biodegradable, self-destructing plastic.
The research team attacked the problem from the inside out by embedding enzymes in the plastics during manufacturing that, once triggered, cause the plastics to self-destruct and completely degrade in days. All that’s left behind are small molecules that are useable for composting or to make new plastics.
Interestingly, there are claims that self-destructing plastic has been around for a while. Several articles claim scientists developed self-destructing plastic about 50 years ago. If this technology interests you, further reading is available:
- Excerpt from the August 7, 1971 issue of Science News: 50 years ago, scientists developed self-destructing plastic
- News Without Politics article: Scientists developed self-destructing plastic 50 Years ago
This makes one wonder, if this technology has been available for 50 years, why do we have a such a huge plastic pollution problem? Oh well. For more details, pay a visit to the Create the Future website.
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