New catalytic process turns plastic bags into adhesives

By Around the Web

(PHYS.ORG) – While many cities and eight states have banned single-use plastics, bags and other polyethylene packaging still clog landfills and pollute rivers and oceans.

One major problem with recycling polyethylene, which makes up one-third of all plastic production worldwide, is economic: Recycled bags end up in low-value products, such as decks and construction material, providing little incentive to reuse the waste.

A new chemical process developed at the University of California, Berkeley, converts polyethylene plastic into a strong and more valuable adhesive and could change that calculus.

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