One strategy for combating the climate effects of producing so much plastic is shifting from oil-based materials to bioplastics made from plants. While these plant-based products are better for the environment than their petroleum-based counterparts, they still create waste, and making the switch won’t solve the problem of plastic waste on its own. What we need are robust systems for recycling bioplastics in an environmentally friendly way.
New research by Daisuke Aoki at the Department of Chemical Science and Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and colleagues demonstrates a process by which bioplastics can be broken down into an efficient fertilizer for growing plants. Their results were published in the journal Green Chemistry. The process turns bioplastics into fertilizer, which can be used to grow plants for food or to make more plastics, the whole process is circular.
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