Academic Khokhlov outlines strategies to combat microplastics 12:26

Among the ways to combat microplastics, recycling or complete destruction of polymers, MV Lomonosov, head of the Department of Polymers and Crystals Physics at Moscow State University, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Khokhlov.

Microplastics are pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm. They can concentrate harmful substances in the water. This contaminated microplastic is then eaten by fish, through which it enters the human body. In the future, this could have a significant impact on human health.

“To solve this problem, we need to learn how to recycle the polymers we already have. In principle, using biodegradable additives in the polymers used is one of the ways to minimize the problem with the pollution of the planet,” he said.

Another way is to recycle polymers. If sorted carefully, some polymers can be recycled, for example using 3D printing. The printer creates only the part needed and uses the remaining material for the next part.

However, plastic cannot be recycled permanently and will eventually end up in landfill.

“Then it must either be incinerated and pollute the atmosphere, or be sent to a landfill and pollute the aquatic environment. But now there are good catalysts that, when burned, neutralize the most harmful compounds. There are even incinerators in Europe that do not pollute the atmosphere at all. But still, the main part goes either to the ocean, or to rivers in general, or to a landfill. And in the dumps, one way or another, it penetrates the soil, enters the groundwater, and eventually again into water bodies, ”Khokhlov concluded.

Read more about why artificial polymers are so common and how dangerous they are for the environment – in report “socialbites.ca”.



Source: Gazeta

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