A team of scientists from the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia has developed a new kind of plastic that they claim can be recycled an infinite number of times. Most plastics are non-biodegradable, leading to millions of tons of plastic waste collecting in landfills and oceans.
As most of these plastics degrade when melted and broken down, they are not suitable for recycling. According to the study published in the journal Science Advances, the new plastic, called PBTL, is made from chemical building blocks called bicyclic thiolactones. No matter how many times PBTL is recycled, it maintains its original qualities.
The researchers believe that PBTL could be used to make car parts or construction materials and help reduce millions of tons of plastic that pollute the environment every year.
The new plastic is prepared using a bridged bicyclic thiolactone monomer from a bio-based olefin carboxylic acid. To test its durability, the researchers recycled a batch by melting it down at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours in the presence of a catalyst, reported Daily Mail.