New plastic that could be fully recycled created

Updated: few hours ago

Washington, May 14 (PTI) Scientists say they have created a next-generation plastic that can be fully recycled into new materials of any colour, shape, or form, without loss of performance or quality.

As plastics contain various additives, like dyes, fillers, or flame retardants, very few plastics can be recycled without loss in performance or aesthetics, said researchers at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Even the most recyclable plastic, PET -- or polyethylene terephthalate -- is only recycled at a rate of 20-30 per cent, with the rest typically going to incinerators or landfills, where the carbon-rich material takes centuries to decompose.

Now, a team of researchers at Berkeley Lab has designed a recyclable plastic that, like a Lego playset, can be disassembled into its constituent parts at the molecular level.