The wily ways of the biggest petrochemical companies have been a concern since we started this platform, and when something seems like big news, but turns not to be so big, we share what we find. We have previously shared a story or two about sugar’s potential as an energy source, but in its recent edition The Economist weighs in on what may be sugar’s bigger than big potential:
Thanks to National Public Radio (USA) for this new appreciation for an otherwise underappreciated creature:
People around the world use more than a trillion plastic bags every year. They’re made of a notoriously resilient kind of plastic called polyethylene that can take decades to break down.
But a humble worm may hold the key to biodegrading them. Continue reading
There’s some cause to celebrate from a couple findings published recently in two journals, Nature and Animal Conservation, related to plastics, though of very different sorts. The first paper deals with a new method of plastic production using carbon dioxide and agricultural waste rather than petroleum as the raw input for PET plastic, and the second article studies the feasibility of introducing biodegradable fishing nets to replace nylon ones.
Yes, Plastics. That ubiquitous, universal petroleum product that no one but a Hottentot can pass a day without touching.
It’s impossible to conceive of a world completely devoid of plastics, but we certainly can conceive of alternatives to at least some of its uses. Forums such as Fortune’s Brainstorm Green bring together innovators and day dreamers with tangible results.