Driving industrial innovation would eliminate plastic waste

Driving industrial innovation would eliminate plastic waste


Faced with the dire consequences of plastic pollution, consumers around the world reject disposable items and commit to sustainable lifestyles. Likewise, governments act against this situation, for example, more than 50 countries are members of the “Clean Seas” campaign of the United Nations, one of the largest movements against pollution. However, such a situation would be greatly diminished by boosting industrial innovation, as it would eliminate plastic waste.

Every year the United States produces 239 million tons of garbage (12% of the world’s waste) and generates serious environmental problems. In an effort to drive innovation and eliminate plastic waste, researchers from the University of Missouri are working with the Department of Transportation to create a mixture of plastic asphalt pavement waste for possible use on American highways.

Along these lines, asphalt and plastic are chemically similar because they come from oil, so they can be mixed, experts say. They are not perfectly compatible, but they are similar enough that engineers and chemists can work together and find a viable solution.

In Mexico the panorama is similar, according to the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, the country generates 53.1 million tons of garbage per year. Of this amount, only 14% is recycled, therefore, and to mitigate the situation, there is, on the one hand, the National Association of Plastic Industries of Mexico.

This association seeks to promote innovation to eliminate plastic waste that takes place during industrial processes; as well as guiding companies on actions that help to avoid the generation of plastic waste. With this he hopes, the Mexican industry advances towards a new plastic economy and the pollution of seas is avoided. Its program to promote industrial innovation and eliminate plastic waste in Mexico has the participation of fifty companies.

On the other hand, some projects in Mexico to promote innovation to eliminate plastic waste are already underway. Similar to the United States, these are in the construction sector, on the one hand there is the Acapulco Bay Bridge designed by the company BNRK Arquitectura.

The objective of this innovation is to make it habitable, stop the pollution of the beaches and give the city a lung, as it will have a huge green roof of more than 400 square meters. Likewise, the GSI Tower in Cancun is under development, designed by the Sanzpont Arquitectura studio, it will be a mega sustainable building. It will have two bodies of 20 floors each and the ability to stay cool without the need for air conditioners thanks to a structure built with alucobond in the shape of scales.

According to a World Bank report entitled “Waste 2.0: A Global Overview of Solid Waste Management to 2050” if no action is taken, by 2050 waste will increase significantly. Specifically, they will grow 70% compared to the current ones (8,300 million now, 34,000 million tons in 2050), a situation that endangers millions of species and even humanity itself. Such a situation can be avoided through awareness campaigns, government actions, by consumers themselves, but also by promoting industrial innovation that would eliminate plastic waste by companies.