Today’s Solutions: December 08, 2023

When Miranda Wang visited the Serangoon landfill in Indonesia, she realized the true scope of plastic pollution and the devastating toll it takes on the environment and the residents of developing countries that receive millions of pounds of dumped plastic waste from other countries each year. Inspired to solve this crisis, Wang and co-founder Jeanny Yao started NovoLoop, a circular company that turns plastic waste into repurposed goods.

NovoLoop collects polyethylene, the world’s most common plastic waste, from recycling centers that would otherwise dump it in a landfill, and uses it to make thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), a material commonly used in footwear, jackets, and other everyday goods. 

Through a chemical process called accelerated thermal oxidative decomposition, the plastic is washed, shredded, and broken down into chemical building blocks which are then synthesized into performance materials. In Wang’s words, “We make products that are more valuable than the plastic waste from which they came.”

NovoLoop’s TPU meets the quality standards of virgin materials and is cost-competitive in the market, but its production has a 45 percent lower carbon footprint than conventional production methods. 

NovoLoop recognizes that redesigned packaging and consumer choices can have an impact on plastic waste, but when it comes to large industries like agriculture and shipping, removing plastic from the equation is going to be an uphill battle. Their upcycled plastic solves this issue by offering an alternative that actually removes waste from landfills and doesn’t require oil as an input. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Listen to this fascinating piece of ambient music composed by stars

Though we can’t hear them, stars propagate some incredibly soothing soundscapes through the vacuum of space. And for the first time, music composed from ...

Read More

Reduce home food waste part II: The fridge

Food waste continues to be a huge problem all over the world. Luckily, according to the experts, you can help improve the global food ...

Read More

Pufferfish-inspired houses help lake village adapt to sea-level rise

We decided to dust off this older article with an incredible solution to sea-level rise.  Situated entirely on water, the lake village of Ganvie ...

Read More

MIT researchers develop cost-effective battery made of common materials

The environmental benefits of using electricity rather than fossil fuels to power our world goes without saying— however, the process of electrifying everything has ...

Read More