By Doug Woodring and Steve Russell
- Published on September 24, 2015 by Livescience
We all know plastics deliver many benefits that make modern life possible. They help keep our foods fresher longer, reduce the weight of our cars so we use less fuel, insulate our homes so we use less energy, and keep countless medical supplies safe and sterile. While some plastics are recycled, far too many are not — and end up buried in landfills or littered where they can enter delicate marine ecosystems.
But new technologies that can harness the fuel content in non-recycled plastics could help remedy this. These technologies work as part of an integrated approach to managing waste geared toward creating value from trash — an approach dubbed sustainable materials management.