New technology can recycle all plastics, say scientists

Researchers in Sweden claim to have developed technology which will enable the recycling of all plastic waste back into new plastic products.

The group at Chalmers University of Technology, says the process can break down any plastic waste to a molecular level and the resulting gases can then be transformed back into new plastics – of the same quality as the original. 

According to the group, the new process could “transform today's plastic factories into recycling refineries, within the framework of their existing infrastructure”.

Henrik Thunman, the group's leader and professor of energy technology at Chalmers University, said the resilience of plastic was an asset. “The fact that it does not degrade makes it possible for circular usage, creating a true value for used plastic, and therefore an economic impetus to collect it.

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