Greenhouse gases linked to degrading plastic

03 September 2018

According to researchers several greenhouse gases are emitted as common plastics degrade in the environment. The study reports the unexpected discovery of the universal production of greenhouse gases methane and ethylene by the most common plastics when exposed to sunlight.
The researchers tested polycarbonate, acrylic, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polystyrene, high-density polyethylene and low-density polyethylene (LDPE)—materials used to make various plastic goods. Polyethylene, used in shopping bags, was found to be the most prolific emitter of both gases. An article about the research is published in PLOS One (News Item University of Hawaiʻi, 1 August 2018).
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