The challenges of incorporating recycled content in plastics
The discovery of plastics has led to the development of diverse, flexible and cost-effective materials that have influenced all areas of our lives, and made previously unattainable products more economical and available to all. However, in the last few decades, the reputation of plastics has been tarnished by the environmental threat predominantly associated with single-use, disposable products that cover landfills and pollute our oceans. With only 9% of global plastic waste being recycled, it is estimated that 1.3 billion tonnes will be present in the environment by 2040.
As society moves toward a more sustainable future, research is focusing on improving the recyclability of plastics. This includes addressing issues that often hinder recyclability, including malodors, discoloration, and deterioration in mechanical properties caused by microbial growth.
In an exclusive presentation for the British Plastics Federation, Olga Hoy, Product Development Engineer at Microban International, details the benefits of incorporating antimicrobial additives into recycled plastics.