It is no secret that innovation is key to enforcing sustainability in our world today. As we explore new and exciting ways of using green innovations to reduce our environmental impact, we can start to see the potential of our ever-evolving technology to create a cleaner future.
The ubiquitous nature of plastic waste is causing an unprecedented environmental crisis. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2050 our oceans will contain more plastic than fish. Every year 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans, and marine life suffers with 1 million seabirds, 100,000 mammals, and turtles dying from plastic pollution yearly. Plastic particles have been found in the food chain and linked to health conditions, making human health a concern.
Insights into what technological innovation is doing for plastic recycling is imperative to analyse.
Waste Chakra is an Indian-based company that has created a decentralized plastic pyrolysis machine. This machine runs on solar power and requires only 1 kg of plastic as its minimum requirement which makes it useful for small and medium-sized recycling businesses. The thermal degradation process helps to break down hydrocarbon plastic waste, allowing these recyclers to further process them into alternate fuel sources.
The combination of depolymerization and repolymerization through enzymatic solutions enables plastic waste to be re-used in the production of high-quality plastics, while also reducing fossil fuel usage. AI-assisted systems, such as MADSCAN, improve the mechanical recycling process and facilitate automated sorting with picker robots. Companies like Recycllux use blockchain-based reward systems that incentivize customers to discover and recycle waste, particularly marine plastic. Selective solvent dissolution technologies, such as those offered by ReSolved Technologies, can strip away dyes or additives from plastic waste and reduce landfill accumulation. Such forward progress gives us hope for a greener future.