INNOVATION: Turning dirty bottles into brand new plastic.

06. January 2020 | Waste, Material, Plastics | via

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The researchers use a catalyst to “selectively digest” PET plastic inside the reactor. (Credit: Connie Zhou/IBM)

According to an article on, an IBM lab in Silicon Valley developed a new process that will disassemble, lets say a cotton-polyester blend T-shirt, into a ball of pure cotton and a white powder that can be made directly into pure plastic. Fill the device with dirty plastic bottles and containers and something similar happens: In minutes, you have a pile of white powder–clean plastic material that a manufacturer could use instead of virgin feedstock made from petroleum.