It is hard to believe that the first plastics were invented less than two hundred years ago. Since then, plastic has spread to incorporate all industries world wide, and this has improved and sustained industries whilst creating opportunities. Historic innovations in plastics allowed medicines to be stored safely and fresh produce to survive much longer on shelves, but the progress doesn’t end there. Chemists and polymer scientists the world over are still developing new plastics and finding ways to improve existing plastics become more efficient in production and reduce their environmental impact. In this article, we will cover a few of the most recent innovations in plastics.
One exciting area of polymer research that hasn’t been getting enough attention recently is in the field of photovoltaic polymers. The result of this research is the creation of plastics that are able to perform the function of solar panels, absorbing energy from the sun and transforming it into usable electricity. These polymers are an exciting area of research because they may reduce the dependence on rare earth metals and expensive components currently used in solar cells, greatly reducing their overall weight and cost in the years to come.
Plastic pollution is no longer just a topic for environmental specialists, but for all of us. One of the biggest reasons for this problem is that so many commonly produced plastics used for single use packaging products are produced from petroleum feedstocks and are unable to be broken down by biological systems. One of the first plastics; Parkesine, was produced from cellulose, a polymer of glucose that forms the cell walls in plant cells. Cellulose based polymers have been making a comeback in recent years because they carry a plethora of bacteria and microorganisms which can digest this material, therefore reducing the accumulation of waste in the biosphere.
Photo Reversible Polymerisation
Photo reversible polymerisation is a field of polymer research that looks at creating polymers in an entirely recyclable fashion. The process for creating the plastic depends upon using molecules that bind together under one particular wavelength of light to make an object. The process is reversible because another wave length of light causes the bonds between the molecules to break and return to their original form. While this research is ongoing, the implications of it reaching a successful and distributable process is a type of plastic that is theoretically infinitely recyclable.
Need Sustainable Plastic Solutions?
Dolphin Plastics & Packaging is a leading flexible packaging manufacturer based in Queensland. We are committed to producing sustainable plastic packaging solutions for organisations in a variety of industries across Queensland and down the east coast of Australia.
To find out more about how we can help you, call Dolphin Plastics & Packaging today on (07) 5610 5278 or contact us online.