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German Scientists Transformed Plastic Into Diamonds, A Novel Feat That Presents A Unique Opportunity For Recycling Plastic Waste 

swalker3696 - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purpose only, not the actual diamonds

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), there are now approximately thirty million tons of plastic waste in the world’s oceans and seas.

On top of that, an additional one hundred and nine million tons of plastic waste have accumulated in rivers around the globe.

And even though countless companies and organizations are working on recycling or upcycling this harmful environmental pollutant, only nine percent of plastic waste actually ends up being recycled.

In fact, only fifteen percent is collected for recycling. Then, forty percent of those plastics are disposed of as residues.

“Another nineteen percent is incinerated, fifty percent ends up in landfill, and twenty-two percent evades waste management systems and goes into uncontrolled dumpsites, is burned in open pits or ends up in terrestrial or aquatic environments, especially in poorer countries,” the OECD reported earlier this year.

So clearly, something has got to give. Sure, companies from Adidas and Patagonia are working on using this plastic waste in environmentally-sound ways. But the majority of plastic waste is still left to litter the world.

Well, a major scientific advancement made by German scientists in September may be the key to transforming plastic waste into something so valuable that both mega-companies and consumers will not be able to pass up– diamonds.

Researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf were able to blast cheap plastic waste with extremely powerful lasers. And in the process, they made two novel discoveries.

First, the plastic turned from virtually worthless waste into tiny “nanodiamonds.” Second, a byproduct of this compression reaction confirmed that a different and exotic type of water exists.

swalker3696 – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purpose only, not the actual diamonds

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