Takeaways:

  • A group of chemists at the University of North Carolina have discovered a method to break down plastics and to create a new material that will be tougher, stronger and potentially more valuable than the original.
  • Through a series of experiments on different materials, the chemists found by pulling hydrogen atoms from polyolefin, they could expand the life of single use plastics into high-value plastic known as ionome.
  •  “We hope this method could drive an economic incentive to recycle plastic, literally turning trash into treasure” said Frank Leibfarth, assistant professor of chemistry in the UNC College of Arts & Sciences.

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