Chemical recycling: ‘A small but significant part of addressing the plastics puzzle’
Chemical recycling may not be a perfect solution to the plastic waste problem, but in certain scenarios, it’s the best answer we have. Ignacio Gavilan, sustainability director at The Consumer Goods Forum, tells us more. Unlike mechanical recycling, chemical recycling changes the plastic’s molecular structure, breaking it down into its building blocks and transforming them into valuable secondary raw materials. These can then be used to produce new chemicals and plastics. Chemical recycling has the potential to recycle post-consumer flexible plastic packaging materials and other mixed, degraded or contaminated polyethylene and polypropylene-based plastic waste that is hard to recycle today – turning it into materials suitable for use in new food-grade plastic that meets European regulations.
How composting can solve our methane and plastic problem
Back in 1996, one of California’s oldest waste collection companies, Recology, began collecting food scraps from San Francisco’s central market to compost. Now, the company’s green composting bins are ubiquitous on the streets of the city, which has composted more than 2 million tons of food and other waste. Recology and the city of San Francisco stand out for accepting one of the largest varieties of items for compost, including compostable packaging and almost all types of food scraps. With about one-third of all food in the United States going to waste, composting could and should play a bigger role in municipal waste systems across the country.
Spray-on coating could replace plastic wrap
A biodegradable, spray-on coating that can shrink-wrap food like steak and avocados could replace ubiquitous plastic wrap, researchers say. A new biodegradable, plant-based, spray-on coating may offer an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic food wrap and containers, researchers say. The coating can guard food against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms and transportation damage. The scalable process could potentially reduce the adverse environmental impact of plastic food packaging as well as protect human health.