New plastic recycling technology doesn’t use water and reduces energy use by half

Written by: Lisa Stelzner

Primary Source: Daily Dose of Science Blog

90% of all types of plastic, including styrofoam, can now be recycled using half the energy formerly required and not using any water!  Traditionally, plastic was recycled by washing plastic, grinding it, heating it and cooling it with water, which wasted a lot of water and energy. The new technology makes higher-quality plastic pellets, the machinery takes up less space, and the process will eventually use a more environmentally-friendly detergent instead of lye.  The plastic is now cooled through contact with a special type of wall.

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Lisa Stelzner
I'm a plant biology PhD student studying monarch butterflies in Michigan, but I'm interested in lots of other types of science, too. I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs.