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      Biodegradation of Different Types of Plastics by Tenebrio molitor Insect

      , , , , ,
      Polymers
      MDPI AG

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          Abstract

          Looking for new, sustainable ways to utilize plastics is still a very pertinent topic considering the amount of plastics produced in the world. One of the newest and intriguing possibility is the use of insects in biodegradation of plastics, which can be named entomoremediation. The aim of this work was to demonstrate the ability of the insect Tenebrio molitor to biodegrade different, real plastic waste. The types of plastic waste used were: remains of thermal building insulation polystyrene foam (PS), two types of polyurethane (kitchen sponge as PU1 and commercial thermal insulation foam as PU2), and polyethylene foam (PE), which has been used as packaging material. After 58 days, the efficiency of mass reduction for all of the investigated plastics was 46.5%, 41.0%, 53.2%, and 69.7% for PS, PU1, PU2, and PE, respectively (with a dose of 0.0052 g of each plastic per 1 mealworm larvae). Both larvae and imago were active plastic eaters. However, in order to shorten the duration of the experiment and increase the specific consumption rate, the two forms of the insect should not be combined together in one container.

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          Marine pollution. Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean.

          Plastic debris in the marine environment is widely documented, but the quantity of plastic entering the ocean from waste generated on land is unknown. By linking worldwide data on solid waste, population density, and economic status, we estimated the mass of land-based plastic waste entering the ocean. We calculate that 275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste was generated in 192 coastal countries in 2010, with 4.8 to 12.7 million MT entering the ocean. Population size and the quality of waste management systems largely determine which countries contribute the greatest mass of uncaptured waste available to become plastic marine debris. Without waste management infrastructure improvements, the cumulative quantity of plastic waste available to enter the ocean from land is predicted to increase by an order of magnitude by 2025.
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            A review on pyrolysis of plastic wastes

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
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                Journal
                POLYCK
                Polymers
                Polymers
                MDPI AG
                2073-4360
                October 2021
                October 13 2021
                : 13
                : 20
                : 3508
                Article
                10.3390/polym13203508
                231dbb80-7f15-4668-b167-f73504cf6f63
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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