It's no secret that plastic is the greatest environmental threat to us and our planet when it comes to the most toxic and long-term decomposing materials. And that is why a team of talented scientists from Deakin University in the USA today presented the results of their new research on the possibility of using the so-called “recycling cotton” instead of plastic – being a kind of environmentally friendly and biodegradable plastic substitute. It is worth noting that under the concept of recycling cotton, specialists understand not only the fibers of the cotton that is not used in the production, but also those particles that remain after separation of the cotton seeds from the fibers.
According to statistics, more than 29 million tons of such cotton is produced and utilized annually in the world – for the reason that it simply cannot be used in standard industrial and other tasks. However, having carefully examined the properties and possibilities of such cotton garbage, a team of specialists from Deakin University came to the conclusion that it could well work out as the best alternative to plastic.
Thus, specialists created a special systemic process for separating the fibers of such cotton using special solvents and came to the creation of ultra-flexible and at the same time durable synthetic cotton fibers that are easily formed into a film. As preliminary results showed, in its degree of elasticity and tension, such a cotton film is very similar to ordinary plastic, but unlike it, it can dissolve much faster and safer for the environment in the soil – which automatically makes the material much more interesting for use as a replacement for plastic .
However, at this point in time, the team of experts is also considering some other methods and possibilities for disposing of unnecessary cotton, and is also trying to further stabilize the particles of such artificial cotton in order to create even more complex and durable structures. If they manage to complete this, then most likely the material will actually spread as a replacement for plastic.