Printer Friendly

Technology: melt in the sun plastic.

The problem with a plastic shopping bag is that it never actually goes away. Plastic is forever, and that's an ecological nightmare. Now Pretoria University and a Johannesburg company put some light on the issue--sunlight, in fact. They have developed technology that makes plastic dissolve when it is exposed to sunlight.

Evergreen Environmental's MD, Felix de Kleijn, says the secret ingredient is an additive that causes plastic to degrade into water and carbon dioxide after about two weeks' exposure to sunlight and oxygen.

Says Dr Walter Focke, director of the Institute of Applied Materials at the university, the photodegradable bags "are a breakthrough when compared to ordinary plastic ones." Evergreen is the technology's licence holder while the university will receive royalties when the process is commercialised.

Environmental agencies have also given the technology the thumbs-up. "I think the plastics are fantastic," reports Ian Dunstan of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, after putting the material through a three-month trial.
COPYRIGHT 2004 IC Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Products & Processes
Publication:African Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Mar 1, 2004
Words:161
Previous Article:Drug check: handy spiked-drink testers.
Next Article:Websites: how to promote your city.
Topics:


Related Articles
First technical details on some next-generation polyolefins.
PC/ABS & ABS grades offer enhanced processability.
New check-valve option of all-electric presses. (Keeping Up with Injection Molding).
Get to know lasers and their roles in plastics.
Engineering polymers in nonwovens: Higher performing grades of ETPs, such as linear polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and polybutylene sulfide (PBT) offer...
Clean out machines fast. (Materials).
Automotive PC glazing system makes debut at NPE. (In Brief).
PPS role shapes up in thermoforming.
NPE 2006 adds rubber pavilion.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters