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  • Writer's pictureStrawman

The world's plastic waste problem might just be solved by your fellow Singaporean

Scientist has found a way to recycle unwanted plastic bottles and other wastes, turning it into a life-saving material.

Have you ever wonder what can you do with the unwanted plastic straws or empty bottle from the Coca-Cola you have just finish? Now there might be a better way to put it to good use. Channel News Asia reported that NUS scientist managed to turn the plastic waste that was suppose to end up in oceans and landfills into a highly insulating and absorbent material called aerogel.

Aerogels were used to insulate the Mars Pathfinder rover in the 1990s, have existed since the 1930s. However, this is the first time an aerogel has been made from PET, the same plastic used for water and soft drink bottles.

Other than the use for Mars Pathfinder rover, aerogels are also being applied in items that we can relate too. Example, heat and sound insulation in buildings; lining for fire-retardant coats and carbon dioxide absorption masks that could be used during a fire and use to clean up oil spills.

The PET aerogel would cost about 50 cents to manufacture, with one recycled bottle producing one sheet, while the most common type of commercially available aerogel (silica aerogel), sells for about S$40 per sheet (A4 size).

Although scientist have discovered an environmentally-friendly way to rid off the plastic waste that we produced, we as an individual have to part to do in keeping our environment clean and green as well. Reduce, reuse, recycle or switching to a much more eco-friendly product will better preserved our mother earth.

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