According to a recent report by Efe, according to data from the European Plastics Industry Manufacturers Association, 29.
1 million tons of plastic waste were generated in Europe in 2018, of which 17.
8 million tons were packaging waste.
42% of this packaging waste was recycled and the rest was incinerated.
Experts from the University of Alicante in Spain, Andrea Cabañez-Gill and Andres Fuana Fonte, spent a year and a half developing the new method, which has great potential for application
The two researchers point out that the reuse of household plastic waste is limited by the high levels of food or cleaning product waste absorbed in its polymer matrix, which is a source of pollution and unpleasant odors
They emphasize that these odorants are volatile organic compounds that cannot currently be disposed of by conventional washing or conventional mechanical recycling
Therefore, they argue, "it is necessary to recycle these household plastic wastes in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner for later use as raw materials, thereby reducing their presence in landfills, reducing production costs and increasing the added value of products"
According to the report, the new system devised by the "Waste, Energy, Environmental Measurement and Nanotechnology" research group of the two experts eliminates these unpleasant odors by extracting volatile organic compounds using water vapor
The report pointed out that the system consists of several stages
Cabañez-Gill said that the more complex the structure of plastics, the more difficult it is to recycle, so there is an urgent need to design plastics with simpler structures
The new method was patented a few months ago, and five companies, including a multinational, have already expressed considerable interest, the report said