It is no secret that plastic is the greatest environmental threat for us and our planet when it comes to the most toxic and long-decomposing materials. And that is why a team of talented scientists from the University of Deakin in the United States today presented the results of its new research on the possibility of using the so-called “recycling cotton” instead of plastic – representing something like an environmentally friendly and degradable plastic substitute. It should be noted that specialists understand not only the fibers themselves that are not used in the production of cotton, but also those particles that remain after the separation of 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, carefully examining the properties and capabilities of such cotton waste, a team of specialists from the University of Deakin came to the conclusion that it may well fit in as the best alternative to plastic.
Thus, the specialists created a special systemic process of separating the fibers of such cotton with the use of special solvents and came up with the creation of ultra-flexible and at the same time strong synthetic cotton fibers that are easily formed into a film. As preliminary results showed, in their degree of elasticity and tension, such a cotton film is very similar to ordinary plastic, but unlike it, it can dissolve in the soil much faster and safer for the environment – which automatically makes the material much more interesting for use as a plastic substitute. .
However, at this point in time, the team of specialists is also considering some other ways 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 the material is likely to actually spread as a substitute for plastic.