A type of plastic that easily decomposes completely after just a week has been successfully made by researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology – China.
In a recent study, scientists from Huazhong University of Science and Technology – China accidentally invented a completely new type of plastic. This special plastic can decompose completely after only a week in an environment with light and oxygen. This can be considered as a new development in the fight against plastic waste of all humanity.
Plastic waste – a problem of all humanity
In fact, the primary aim of this work is an advanced type of chemical sensor in the form of a polymer coated film, which changes color depending on the pH level of the environment. The bonds of this material are so unique that its original deep red color quickly fades as it breaks apart after days of exposure to sunlight. This phenomenon has led scientists to change direction and accidentally successfully create a plastic that is able to decompose “speedy”.
When exposed to sunlight and oxygen, this plastic completely decomposes within a week, leaving no trace in the surrounding environment. During decomposition, it also releases a by-product – natural succinic acid. The substance is believed by scientists to have potential for commercial use in the pharmaceutical or food industries.
Because it easily decomposes in sunlight, this new type of plastic is not really suitable for making everyday items like water bottles or shopping bags. However, this could be a new, environmentally friendly solution for electronic components where there is no light and little exposure to ambient air. In this environment, components made from the new type of plastic can last for many years, contributing to reducing the source of plastic waste from the potential electronics industry.