Scientist at Cornell University and the University of Minnesota have discovered a way to combine polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics together without compromising durability. Usually incapable of creating a homogeneous mix, PE and PP plastics are limited in terms of what they can be recycled into together. However, using multi-block polymers, the team created a structurally strong plastic alloy that could potentially make it easier for manufacturers to recycle these two types of plastic waste.
"It would essentially reduce the overall cost of modifying polyolefins and significantly increase the amount of polypropylene and polyethylene that gets recycled because the formulations can be made at a lower cost," says Ernie Simpson, global vice-president of research and development at TerraCycle.
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