Researchers from North Dakota State University (NDSU) have discovered a way to make a new type of plastic that breaks down and degrades when exposed to a specific kind of light, which reduces it back to molecules.
The scientists, whose work has been published in Angewandte Chemie, used fructose to create a molecular solution, which they turned into plastic.
They exposed the polymer to ultraviolet light at a certain wavelength for three hours, which reduced the plastic back to molecules.
“Real sustainability involves breaking it back into building blocks. We have shown that we can break it down into the building blocks and re-make the polymer,” said Mukund Sibi, one of the key researchers on the team and professor at NDSU.