It’s no secret that human beings use way too much plastic. Everywhere you turn, there’s more plastic: water bottles, food containers, and so, so much more.
You would think all of the recycling we do would prevent plastic from piling up all around the world. Unfortunately, if that is your thought process, you’re wrong.
Single use plastics, such as PET, are often fully recyclable. However, hundreds of tons of this plastic ends up in landfills or worse– the ocean.
Less than 15 percent of PET bottles are recycled because it is much less valuable the second time around. Instead, they’re often dumped in landfills or burnt for energy.
This is a problem because the plastics take centuries to decompose– not exactly environmentally friendly. Luckily, there may be a practical solution on the horizon, and it’s genius.
Many countries use cars as their main mode of transportation. Believe it or not, these plastics can come in handy in making cars, so those bottles can be properly recycled into something useful!
Scientists have discovered a process that breaks down these single-use plastics into something called monomers. Once broken down, they add these to a type of plant fiber solution.
The plant solution and the monomers react to form “unsaturated polyester,” a stronger material that, once mixed with a reactive diluent (a chemical that hardens the mixture), fiberglass reinforced plastic is born.
This reinforced plastic is strong enough to make car parts, wind turbines, and so much more. What’s not to love about that?
If you’re in the mood for a little crafting, check out the video below. You can make a mini car out of the bottles!