Littering with new plastic might not harm dolphins, sea turtles
March 28, 2007
"There are many groups working on biodegradable plastics, but we're one of a few working on plastics that degrade in seawater," says study leader Robson F. Storey, a professor of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). "We're moving toward making plastics more sustainable, especially those that are used at sea."
"Conventional plastics can take years to break down and may result in byproducts that are harmful to the environment and toxic to marine organisms, conditions that make their disposal at sea hazardous," explained a release from USM. "The new plastics are capable of degrading in as few as 20 days and result in natural byproducts that are nontoxic."
The researchers say the plastics are nearing commercialization, but need to overcome legal hurdles that currently prevent the disposal of plastics at sea. Additional environmental testing is also required.
This article is based on press materials from the American Chemical Society
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