Researchers hope to use tree sap to create ’eco’ plastic
2013-02-22 0:00

By Cheryl Santa Maria | TheWeatherNetwork.com

Researchers at the University of South Carolina are hoping to develop safer plastics out of the sap of evergreen trees.

Plastic is everywhere -- from food packaging, to children’s toys, to computer keyboards and mouses, it’s hard to imagine a world without it.

It’s estimated that 1 billion tons of plastic has been discarded since the 1950s. Research suggests it will take up to 500 years for some forms of the material to biodegrade.

While it can be recycled, most winds up in the landfill: according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, only 8 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2010 in the U.S. actually made it to the recycling plants.

Now, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina is hoping to make this omnipresent material a little bit safer for the environment.

Chuanbing Tang is working to develop a new form of plastic derived from the sap of evergreen trees, instead of oil.

“Most plastics from non-renewable resources are generally not biodegradable,” Tang said in a statement.

“With a polymer framework derived from renewable sources, we’re able to make materials that should break down more readily in the environment.”

Tang collaborated with the Chinese Academy of Forestry to identify tree resins that could be used to make plastics.

There’s no word on when the material will be ready for commercial production, but the research can be read online in Macromolecular Rapid Communications.

Article from: theweathernetwork.com



Related Articles
The Numbers on Plastic Bottles: What do Plastic Recycling Symbols Mean?
New Skin? A Plastic That Heals Itself, Conducts Electricity, and is Sensitive To Touch
Man Invents Machine To Convert Plastic Into Oil
Scientists Creating New Materials...with Viruses?


Latest News from our Front Page

41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
2015-05-23 7:31
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech" 1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person? 2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes Do ...
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
2015-05-23 7:36
FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
2015-05-23 7:13
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
2015-05-23 6:43
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations. A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
Circumcision battle: Mom seeks release from jail after federal lawsuit is dismissed
2015-05-23 3:22
West Boynton mother on Wednesday gave up trying to get a federal judge to stop her 4 1/2-year-old son from being circumcised as his father wishes — a battle that also led to her arrest May 14 on a state court warrant. An attorney for Heather Hironimus, who lost similar legal challenges in two state courts, notified U.S. District Judge Kenneth ...
More News »