New Polymer Could Change The Way We Recycle

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    A team at Cornell University is aiming to revolutionize recycling by changing the chemical makeup of plastic. Geoffery Coates, professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and his team worked with a group from the University of Minnesota to create a new polymer, which essentially leads to a tougher, more sustainable material.

    Of the 78 million tons of plastic used for packaging annually, only 2% actually gets recycled and reused in a similar manner, according to the Ellen MacAurthur Foundation. The vast majority of these materials end up elsewhere. Nearly one-third seeps back into the environment, 14% is used for waste incineration and energy recovery, and 40% is thrown away as trash in landfills.

    Due to the nature of the plastic, the packaging materials aren’t able to be re-purpos