Materials and technologies - November 2019

09 December 2019

Packaging from fish offcuts and packaging from waste maize
University of Sussex student Lucy Hughes has been announced the winner of the international James Dyson Award 2019. She used fish offcuts to create MarinaTex, a translucent and flexible sheet material that could be used in a wide range of single-use packaging.
Experts from Bangor University have developed a range of food packing materials made out of grass in partnership with UK supermarket Waitrose. They are now collaborating with Makerere University, Uganda to use waste maize (called stover) to create biodegradable food packaging.

Q&A on oxo-degradable plastics
What are oxo-degradable plastics? Are oxo-degradable plastics bioplastics? Can ecological goals be achieved with the use of oxo-degradable plastics? These and other questions are answered in the IK Questions and Answers document (in English and in German, 215 kB). The document has recently been updated by IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen (in German).

Converting CO2, water, and renewable energy into ethylene
Researchers from the University of Toronto and Caltech have designed a new and improved system for efficiently converting CO2, water, and renewable energy into ethylene under neutral conditions. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Nature.

New technology for live seafood transportation storage
Researchers from the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology have developed new technology for live seafood transportation storage. The technology is based on a physiochemical approach for water treatment.

New NL platform for materials and workshop on circular value chains
TNO (in Dutch) reports the launch of a new NL platform for materials: (in Dutch). The aim of this national platform is to promote the exchange of knowledge, cooperation and coordination in the field of materials research.
On 29 October, CEN and CENELEC held a workshop to explore how standardisation can support the transition to a fully functioning circular economy. The workshop focussed on circular value-chains for plastic, wood, concrete and metal. The presentations are publicly available.

Prices for plastics
Dutch trade magazine Vraag en Aanbod publishes a weekly overview of the prices for plastics (in Dutch). The prices given are estimated averages between the gross prices published in the trade journals and the net prices.
An IHS Markit presentation and resulting debate at the EU Plastics Caps and Closures Conference on 18 November 2019 described the virgin plastic market as slowing down, whereas the rPlastic market is buoyant.

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