Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health.

Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres.

Revitalizing Plastics Recycling Symposium and Annual Meeting

September 12, 2017
I-Hotel & Conference Center, Champaign, IL
Register here.

Recycling experts will share their expertise and highlight the potential for making a difference in the future of the recycling industry.

Speakers include:

  • Brian Plotner, University of Illinois Student Majoring in Public Health
    Research Study on Plastics Recycling in Illinois
  • Max Babits, Project Analyst, RRS
    Materials Recovery for the Future
  • Ken Santowski, President, Chicago Logistic Service
    Recovering Polystyrene (Styrofoam)
  • Tanner Smith, Corporate Development Analyst, Delta Plastics
    Agricultural Plastics Recycling
  • BK Sharma, Senior Research Scientist, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, division of Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Champaign (UIUC).

Two Live Demonstrations

On-site pyrolysis tour

While some recycled plastics have a high value, others merely end up in a landfill.  However this can be avoided.  With plastics to oil technology even the most brittle, hard-to-recycle plastics could become a valued commodity.  Plastics to oil converts plastic back to the oil where it originated and can be sold to refineries to produce gasoline or diesel.  This demonstration with pyrolysis equipment on-site will show you how you can participate in making a difference in the future of plastics recycling.

Optional expanded polystyrene densifier tour

Recycling of expanded polystyrene is possible with a densifier.  See this technology in action.  Take a tour of Dart Container Urbana Plant’s expanded polystyrene recycling operation & densifier.  Facility has a 24/7 drop-off so bring your recyclable Styrofoam.

A variety of recycling gurus will share their expertise and highlight the potential for making a difference in the future of the recycling industry.

Study: Anaerobic digestion could reduce microplastics in sludge

Read the full story from Waste Dive.

  • A new study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, has found that anaerobic digestion may reduce the amount of microplastics left in in sewage sludge, as reported in Recycling Portal.
  • The study looked at seven wastewater treatment plants in Ireland, which used one of three treatment processes: anaerobic digestion (AD), thermal drying or lime stabilization. The study found that lime stabilization resulted in “significantly higher abundances” of microplastics in even smaller particle sizes, suggesting that lime treatment sheared the plastic. Samples treated with AD, however, had a lower abundance of microplastics, suggesting that AD could be useful in removing microplastics from wastewater sludge.
  • While the findings are compelling, it is worth noting that the scope of the study is limited, because of the small sample size and lack of pre-treatment testing.

Plastic Is Everywhere And Recycling Isn’t The End Of It

Read the full story from NPR.

Few inventions in modern history have been as successful as plastic. It’s in vehicles and building materials and most of our electronic devices. We wrap stuff in it and even wear it.

Now a research team has tallied up how much plastic has been produced and where much of it has gone. Turns out, it’s literally almost everywhere.

Now: Play Jenga With Ocean Plastic

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

The Plastic Bank, on the other hand, is tackling the human angle. It provides a living wage to individuals in developing countries who are willing to clean up the plastic on their beaches. The refuse is then funneled to companies that recycle it into products sold across the globe.

One of the companies that has been working to develop a supply chain is Pokonobe Associates, the maker of the Jenga game. The company has discovered that commercial plastic fishing nets provide ideal material for making Jenga’s light-weight stackable blocks. But there’s another motivator to its interest: It hopes that by creating a means to recycle fishing nets into toys, it can educate consumers about the importance of stopping ocean pollution.