By Jade Small | The Mind Unleashed
The first plastic created by Leo Hendrik Baekeland in 1907 was based on synthetic polymer made from phenol and formaldehyde. Since then plastic has been used to create just about anything you could think of. It is cheap to manufacture and affordable to buy and replace. It is also used for almost all products we use and throw away without a second thought.
As populations grew, the use of plastics grew as did plastic waste—one of the biggest threats to humanity, animals, and the environment.
While scientist and experts try to find solutions to non-recyclable plastic waste, we’re running out of landfill sites and continue to poison our air by incinerating plastic waste and choking our oceans. Thankfully forward thinking companies are finding ways of reusing plastic waste while many others are focusing on finding biodegradable alternatives to replace plastics altogether.
As an example of recycling waste plastic, UK company MacRebur has developed a product by recycling plastic bottles to improve the quality, durability, and cost of asphalt roads.
While working with a charity in southern India that helps people working on landfill sites find items for possible re-use for selling or reusing, MacRebur CEO Toby McCartney was intrigued when he saw “pickers” using retrieved plastics to fill potholes. They melted the bottles onto the road by pouring diesel on it and setting it alight, resulting in an effective, quick, and low cost road repair.