Executive Briefings

Fueling the Plastic Trash-to-Cash Pipeline

While some plastics are recycled, far too many are not - and end up buried in landfills or littered where they can enter delicate marine ecosystems.

But new technologies that can harness the fuel content in non-recycled plastics could help remedy this. These technologies work as part of an integrated approach to managing waste geared toward creating value from trash - an approach dubbed sustainable materials management.

So why do plastics have an intrinsic value as a fuel source? Plastics are created primarily from energy feedstocks, typically natural gas or oil (mostly natural gas in the United States). The hydrocarbons that make up plastics are embodied in the material itself, essentially making plastics a form of stored energy, which can be turned into a liquid fuel source. 

It makes sense that people are asking how to keep more of this valuable fuel in play, even after plastics are used, and how to keep it out of landfills.

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But new technologies that can harness the fuel content in non-recycled plastics could help remedy this. These technologies work as part of an integrated approach to managing waste geared toward creating value from trash - an approach dubbed sustainable materials management.

So why do plastics have an intrinsic value as a fuel source? Plastics are created primarily from energy feedstocks, typically natural gas or oil (mostly natural gas in the United States). The hydrocarbons that make up plastics are embodied in the material itself, essentially making plastics a form of stored energy, which can be turned into a liquid fuel source. 

It makes sense that people are asking how to keep more of this valuable fuel in play, even after plastics are used, and how to keep it out of landfills.

Read Full Article