‘Sporks in space’: Bothell firm brings recycling to final frontier

Read the full story at Herald.net.

Can recycling be successfully launched in outer space?

Tethers Unlimited, Inc., a Bothell-based aerospace technology company, plans to find out when its recycling/3D printing system is tested aboard the International Space Station.

The company has been awarded a NASA contract to develop and deliver a Positrusion Recycler to sterilize and recycle plastic waste such as packaging materials, utensils, trays and food storage containers into high-quality 3D filament.

We Need a Global Treaty on Plastics. Here’s What It Should Look Like.

Read the full story at Ensia.

A number of initiatives have recognized the need to address plastic pollution more decisively, including the United Nations’Sustainable Development Goals. In the Leaders’ Declarationfrom its 2015 summit, the G7 committed to “combat marine litter.” The U.N. Environment Programme has published several reports on the environmental impact of plastics, launched a number of initiatives against marine litter, and passed a resolution on microplastics and marine litter at its latest U.N. Environment Assembly in May 2016. Although the resolution recognizes plastic pollution as “a rapidly increasing serious issue of global concern that needs an urgent global response,” thus far these initiatives have done little to solve the problem.

8 Maps Show Plastic’s Impact on the World’s Oceans — And What’s Being Done About It

Read the full story at Ensia.

The world’s oceans are awash in plastic pollution, and as these maps and charts show, the situation is poised to worsen unless drastic changes take place.

Researchers Study Whether Renewable Is Always Better

Read the full story from Carnegie Mellon University.

Making plastics from plants is a growing trend. It’s renewable, but is it better?

A recent study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers examines the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of three plant-based plastics at each stage of production compared with that of their common fossil fuel-based counterparts.

The study by Daniel Posen, Paulina Jaramillo and Michael Griffin in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP), was published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology.

The study is novel in the way it treats uncertainty and looks at emissions over the life cycle of plastics. The researchers used a technique called life cycle assessment that analyzes emissions at each stage in the life of a product: resource extraction to manufacturing, to use of the product and end of life.