Materials Good News Stories

I’ve been collecting a handful of good news stories around materials for a rainy day. These are not crazy, wild stories, but accessible innovations that are commercially available. They’re not thrilling like silk from a hagfish, but they are real, which is very important.

Are Vacuum Cleaners the Measure of Success?

Image from MBA Polymers Website: Example vacuum cleaner using EvoSource™ ABS 4136. The example is boring, but I think that is a success of the material.

TED talks like this one from Capt. Charles Moore have me convinced that recycled plastic is mostly a myth. His research has suggested that exactly “diddly squat” percent of plastic is recycled. While that sounds a little harsh, it’s probably not far from the truth. Ever since my rant about upcycling in nature I have been looking for examples where plastic is not only recycled, but is also used at a high quality. MBA Polymers is a company that has an impressive sourcing program for collecting high grade polymers that can be produced at a level that replaces virgin materials. The products they are being used for are not earth shattering; vacuum cleaners and desk top stationary items, but perhaps that is actually the point. When “high-end” recycled plastic is used for standard items, maybe that means the material is doing it’s job and doesn’t require a fancy design statement to make it legitimate.

Plastic Toys that Return to the Beach?

Image from website: Beach toy that will return to being sand, sort of.

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