Researchers have found a way to make sure plastic waste doesn’t linger on our planet for long and actually splits and degrades in just a week when exposed to sunlight and oxygen.
According To the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology have developed an eco-friendly plastic that decomposes in non-toxic materials, leaving behind zero environmentally damaging traces of plastic.
This adaptable plastic is made up of organic polymers and will remain in its original form until the sunlight contacts. When exposed to sunlight and oxygen, it starts reacting with oxygen present in the air and starts decomposing into harmless material. This whole process is completed within a week. In the process, it also releases a byproduct, naturally occurring succinic acid. However, researchers are of the belief that this can be reused commercially in pharmaceuticals or food.
With its unique molecular structure, this novel plastic won’t really be perfect for soda bottles or shopping bags as it remains stable only in the dark without oxygen.
it can be used in the making of electronics, smartphones, tablets, or desktop computers where it starts to decompose after being considered junk and result in lesser e-waste.
It is to be noted that every year used electronic appliances create tons of electronic waste. According to the United Nations report, the global E-waste monitor 2020, last year 5billion 36 million tons of E-waste has been produced which can’t be destroyed.
Researchers are working on ways to make this plastic usable. However, they state that commercial availability of this is still years away.
The research has been published in the Journal of American Society.