By now it’s well documented that those tiny plastic microbeads used in face scrubs and toothpastes are contaminating lakes and oceans at an alarming rate. Starting next month they’ll be officially banned in the US for personal care products, but oily faces rejoice, eco-friendly replacements are already in the works.
We strive to make robots in our own likeness because, as far as we can tell, humans are best adapted to deal with our world. And thanks to researchers at MIT, who’ve found a way to use cheap, nylon plastic as an artificial muscle, we’re now one step closer to creating artificial humans—and opulent fantasy theme parks.
Back before computers were ubiquitous, salespeople had a hard time showing their customers what stuff looked like, especially big stuff. Sure, there were photographs and drawings, but for a full three-dimensional effect, you needed a physical model. That’s where Topping, Inc. came in.
When you play a game of billiards, you’re usually hoping to hear the satisfying clack of the balls. You’re probably not hoping to hear a sound like gunfire as your cue ball connects with the eight ball. But if you got your hands on some of the earliest plastic billiard balls, that was a chance you took.
We might all need to buy new baby bottles. A new study by researchers at the University of Calgary has show for the first time that a widely used BPA substitute called BPS could have the same harmful health effects as the chemical we ditched. BPA-free might not mean squat.
Plastic has become a ubiquitous part of life, though we rarely think about its impact on the environment and our health. This beautifully crafted four-minute film shows the various problems associated with plastic, along with possible solutions.
Strong, durable materials are hard to recycle—they're designed to stand up to abuse. But research chemists at an IBM laboratory just published their discovery of a never-before-seen family of polymers that's super strong, self-healing, lightweight, and easy to recycle. And it was discovered completely by accident.
As a nation, the United States consumes a whopping 8 billion chickens every year, and this results in a few mountains' worth of chicken feathers in pure waste. But no more, some entrepreneurs say: chicken feathers could be the future of plastic.
By George Dvorsky and Joseph Bennington-Castro. The chemicals contained in plastics can be quite harmful. But given that "plastic" can mean a wide variety of substances, it's difficult to know which ones are bad for us. Here’s everything you need to know about plastic and an its impact on your health.
Ever heard of phthalates? They're a class of chemicals used to soften plastics found in everything from household containers to medical supplies, and to stabilize colors and fragrances in cosmetics like lipstick and perfume.
Earlier this week, scientists announced the development of an entirely new genre of plastic that heals itself when it's scratched or cut, and bleeds like human skin — but researchers say you're more likely to find these next-gen materials wrapped around a car bumper than you are a freshly minted 800 Series.
Canadian company JBI is setting the recycling industry on fire with its new Plastic2Oil plants that promise to convert non-recyclable plastics into fuel.
Soda's bad for you, but plastics—especially the petroleum-based PET plastics used widely for bottles—are bad for everyone. Thankfully, after millions of dollars and years of research, Pepsi thinks it's cracked the code on a 100% plant-based PET bottle.
I throw out more expired food than I like to admit, but half the time, it's because I can't remember when I bought it, and can't tell if it's spoiled or not. This new, "intelligent" plastic could fix that.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, as its close friends call it, is a chemical used to create plastics. It's included in a ton of great stuff—water bottles, tooth fillings, sports equipment—because it's cheap and shatterproof. It also kills sperm.
Four months after boasting of vacuums made from recycled sea junk, Electrolux now has five colorful cleaners to show off. They're made from 70 per cent recycled plastics, with each cleaner's design representing the ocean the rubbish came from.
There’s one kinda big problem with SunChips’ new 100% compostable bag: It’s noisy as Hell. An Air Force pilot says it’s louder than the cockpit of his jet, and this video test pegs it at a potentially damaging 95 decibels.
Earlier this week, IBM researchers announced a discovery that could lead to plastics made from plants instead of petroleum. The new plastics will be more energy efficient, more versatile, and infinitely recyclable (until we move to our space colony).
This nature photography by Chris Jordan isn't for the faint of heart. The series of decomposing bird carcasses faithfully documents the impact of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on albatross chicks in the Midway Atoll.
Imagine concrete that's two-thirds granulated plastic, but is as strong as the stuff currently in use. Architect/engineer Henry Miller figured out how to make it, not just on paper, but in a couple of real-life structures.