Concerns Raised Over Billions of Face Masks Adding to Plastic Wastes

Findings from a new study show that every month, over 129 billion face masks generally made from plastic microfibers, are added to existing plastic wastes.The number equates to a rate of 3 million masks per minute of plastic pollution. According to study authors Professors Zhiyong Jason Ren and Elvis Genbo Xu, the next emerging problem is the potential environmental threats posed by the massive amount of improperly disposed face masks.

The Problem with Disposable Face Mask Plastics : They are Non-Biodegradable

Although the current global health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic requires the widespread use of disposable face masks, the need for guidelines on proper mask disposal and recycling has been overlooked.

Considering that disposable face masks are made from non-biodegradable plastic materials, they will weather and fragment while in landfills, and then break down into microscopic particles in just a span of a few weeks. If neglected, they will break further into nano-plastic residues that are very harmful to the environment.

While plastic bottles are also mass produced in the same scale as face masks, the difference is that plastic bottles have guidelines for disposal and recycling. As it is, discarded face masks are simply disposed along with other solid wastes. If not addressed, the nanoplastics they produce will end up in different protected environments, in oceans and freshwater systems.

According to the researchers, they are troubled by the lack of information about mask degradation in nature; but they know that these masks can release and amsss biological substances and harmful chemicals. This includes pathogenic microorganisms, bisphenol A, and heavy metals which can indirectly impact humans, plants, and animals.

What the Study Authors are Putting Forward as Immediate Solutions

Nonetheless, professors Ren and Xu gave suggestions for tackling the emerging problem. The first is to allocate trash cans specifically for masks, which if instituted as a guideline must be strictly implemented and standardized.

The other suggestion is for manufacturers to produce biodegradable face masks, while replacing the plastics in the existing disposable masks with reusable materials like cotton.

Professor Elvis Genbo Xu is an Environmental Toxicologist at the University of Southern Denmark, while Zhiyong Jason Ren is a professor at Princeton University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The Best Eco-Friendly Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are presently in the hands of the greater part the total populace and nowadays they are unmistakably something beyond an approach to make calls. They’re a strong apparatus for environmentalism, they can carry us closer to untamed life, and they perform such a significant number of capacities that we’ve come to depend on.

Yet, indeed, a mobile device is likewise an electronic device that requires non-renewable energy sources and some measure of risky materials to make, so when searching for another mobile phone, it’s in every case great to remember the planet as well. By 2017, it’s evaluated that 400 million green mobile phones, or those made with in any event 50 percent reused content, will be transported and Sprint declared for the current year that it will start requiring all PDAs that it offers to satisfy guidelines set by UL Environment, which measure naturally delicate materials, vitality the executives, assembling and tasks, effect on well being and condition, item execution, bundling and item stewardship.

iPhone

The iPhone, alongside different cell phones, makes it to this rundown in view of the stunning benefits of the gadget. Consider it: the iPhone is your mobile phone, iPod, camera, electronic organizer, tablet, GPS gadget, adding machine thus, a lot more. Truth be told, the more uses you find for your cell phone, the more naturally agreeable it becomes in light of the fact that each time you combine your device needs into the applications and capacities contained on your cell phone, the less fringe gadgets you need.

Using your iPhone or any type of mobile device, you can easily transfer your files easily with the use of smart switch. This is made possible because of the continuous advancement in technology

Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate

Samsung has essentially been the lord of green mobile phones, turning out with new models every year. The Galaxy Exhilarate is an Android cell phone that is made with 80 percent post-customer squander material and accompanies a progressively effective charger. It appeared at CES this year and increase sales in June through AT&T. The telephone gets green bonuses for being for the most part made of reused materials and in light of the fact that, as an Android telephone, it can replace such huge numbers of different devices like the iPhone recorded previously.

New Low Cost and Efficient Denim Recycling Process Devised by ACS Chemical Researchers

Researchers at the American Chemical Society (ACS) have come up with a low-cost method that can efficiently convert discarded denims into viscose-like fibers, to be woven as new fabric.

Their newly devised textile recycling process can lessen the large contributions of discarded denim, and other kinds of cotton-based apparels to the wastes that go yearly into landfills. At the same time, it can lessen the demand for cotton, which requires substantial use of land and resources.

Now more than ever, with the growing population and the quickness by which changing fashion turns clothing items into wastes, an efficient and inexpensive method of textile recycling is of utmost importance. Although the current advocacy is for the promotion of circular economy, where wastes can be recycled as new products, the cost it takes to recycle wastes is now an emerging issue.

The ACS Fiber to Fiber Wet Spun Process for Recycling Denim into Cotton

Nolene Byrne and colleagues Beini Zeng, Yibo Ma, and Xungai Wang, ground into powder three types of textile samples: a multi-colored T-shirt, a blue denim fabric and a pair of red denim pants. They then dissolved the powdered cloths in a mixture of ionic liquid, methylimidazolium acetate and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to produce cellulose.

The cellulose will then be spun into fibers that will subsequently be woven into new fabrics. In a previous experiment, they found out that ionic liquid or salt in liquid form, was not as effective. The high viscosity of the solution made the cellulose more difficult to work on. In addition, ionic liquid is more expensive. .

In another experiment, the researchers used DMSO as co-solvent. Reducing the salt solution or ionic liquid, while using DMSO as co-solvent proved more efficient. Since viscosity was reduced, the process of spinning the resulting cellulose into new fibers became easier. In this process, the recycled waste fabric was able to retain its original color.

Furthering their experiment, the ACS researchers pre-treated the powdered textiles with a solution of sodium hydroxide. The resulting cellulose attained a white color, which means this particular process, can also produce white viscose fibers that can be spun into white textile.

Although other methods of recycling denim to produce new textile have been introduced, the processes involved are not as cost efficient.

Application of this newfound textile recycling process therefore, will allow textile manufacturers to use discarded denim and other cotton-based garments as raw materials. Aside from greatly reducing the volume of wastes contributed by discarded clothes, the new method can also reduce the amount of land and resources needed to grow cotton.