5 Jul 2016

Smart Floss of Plastic-Pollution


Ankit Singh

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My mobile died this morning…RIP my favorite mobile, but sorry also, because I am gonna dump you in my trash bin just after writing this emotional dose. Oops, my favorite CD just broke or scratched in my DVD player, so their destination is now only in the trash bin. We update this status oftenly as a FB post or WhatsApp status along with a picture of tethered phone/CD, to garner more views, and in return we get all the sympathetic tone messages and some even cross the limits by giving virtual wreathe as a reply. Most of us adopt the same habit, whenever we want to get rid of unwanted CD or an old smartphone, we usually dump them in the trash or in some rare cases, dead mobile phone keeps on lying in an unknown corner of our room. It’s human nature, whenever a gadget becomes technically dead, we never carry them along with us, since they become an ugly piece to complement our personality.

It’s an undeniable truth, sometimes to make a pace with the upcoming technology or at times, to get rid of the dead technical pieces, we let them to be décor of trash bin, but unknowingly, we create severe damage to our environment, NO, I don’t want to sound like a typical environmentalist, dying to acquire a Nobel prize, but the reason why I brought up this ubiquitous issue with you today, has a different reason today. I know somehow my first Para has already incurred some sort of guilt within few out there, and rest our cursing me and think me as a publicity monger. So hold your horses and let there be a halt on your ever growing negative thought process..neither am a contender for the Nobel prize nor am a social climber, but have a valid reason to discuss the environment today.

I agree with most of you, what other way can be, but research scientists with IBM have discovered a recycling process to help to convert our old smartphones and CDs into non-toxic, high-strength plastics. Isn’t it news to feel glad? Certainly, what’s done cannot be undone, but what is about to happen can be controlled at least.

According to a press statement by IBM, every year the world generates more than 2.7 million tons of a plastic, known as polycarbonates, to create common household items, such as CDs, baby bottles, eyeglass lenses and smartphones. Over time, polycarbonates decompose and leach BPA, a chemical which potentially damaging effects on the brain.

Recently IBM scientists from the company’s Almaden lab in San Jose, California, have discovered a new, one-step chemical process that converts polycarbonates into plastics safe for water purification, fiber optics and medical equipment. IBM Researchers added a fluoride reactant and heat to old CDs to create this new plastic. The new plastic has temperature and chemical resistance superior to the original substance.

“Polycarbonates are common plastics in our society – especially in consumer electronics in the form of LED screens, smartphones and Blue-rays, as well as everyday eyeglass lenses, kitchen utensils and household storage gear,” said Gavin O Jones, PhD, research staff member, IBM Research – Almaden (San Jose, Calif.).

So from now on you can keep your old smartphones and broken or discarded CDs a little safer, so eventually these pieces would turn a usable plastic gear to be used in your home daily and you would be your MOMMY’s favorite…

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