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This Company is Using Plastic Waste to Make Roads That Are 60% Stronger Than Traditional Ones

Plastic waste is one of the biggest threats to humanity, animals, and the environment.

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Plastic Waste Roads
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(TMU) — The first plastic created by Leo Hendrik Baekeland in 1907 was based on synthetic polymer made from phenol and formaldehyde. Since then plastic has been used to create just about anything you could think of. It is cheap to manufacture and affordable to buy and replace. It is also used for almost all products we use and throw away without a second thought.

As populations grew, the use of plastics grew as did plastic waste—one of the biggest threats to humanity, animals, and the environment.

While scientist and experts try to find solutions to non-recyclable plastic waste, we’re running out of landfill sites and continue to poison our air by incinerating plastic waste and choking our oceans. Thankfully forward thinking companies are finding ways of reusing plastic waste while many others are focusing on finding biodegradable alternatives to replace plastics altogether.

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#Repost @nargis_magazine с @kimcy929_repost • • • • • • 🇷🇺 Шотландский стартап MacRebur начал строительство пластиковых дорог. Чтобы изготовить материал для таких дорог, работники добавляют переработанный пластик в асфальтовую смесь. Прочность на 60% выше, чем у обычного асфальта, а срок службы больше в 10 раз. А ещё это отличный способ использования пластиковых отходов, которые в итоге попадают в моря и океаны. Дорогу по такой технологии уже построили в графстве Камбрия на северо-западе Англии. А вы бы хотели такие дороги в Баку? . 🇦🇿 MacRebur Şotlandiya startup'ı plastik yolların inşasına başlayıb. Belə yolların inşasında istifadə olunacaq materialı istehsal etmək üçün işçilər asfalt qarışığına təkrar emal edilmiş plastik əlavə edirlər. Belə yolların möhkəmliyi adi asfaltdan 60% daha daha yüksəkdir, istifadə müddəti isə 10 dəfə çoxdur. Həm də bu dəniz və okeanlarda atılan plastik tullantılardan səmərəli istifadə etmək üçün çox yaxşı vasitədir. Belə texnologiya ilə yol artıq İngiltərənin şimal-qərbində Kambriya qraflığında inşa edilib. Bəs Bakıda belə yolların olmasını istərdinizmi? . #nargismagazine #macrebur

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As an example of recycling waste plastic, UK company MacRebur has developed a product by recycling plastic bottles to improve the quality, durability, and cost of asphalt roads.

While working with a charity in southern India that helps people working on landfill sites find items for possible re-use for selling or reusing, MacRebur CEO Toby McCartney was intrigued when he saw “pickers” using retrieved plastics to fill potholes. They melted the bottles onto the road by pouring diesel on it and setting it alight, resulting in an effective, quick, and low cost road repair.

From that basic idea the MacRebur team worked on finding the ideal mix of waste plastics to granulate and add into the making of asphalt roads. After years of tests and trials all over the world, MacRebur created three formulas of waste plastic and asphalt, all of which meet various worldwide road standards and have been rigorously tested against standard asphalt, bitumen, and Polymer Modified Bitumen.

MacRebur asphalt not only boosts the lifespan of roads, it also has a smaller carbon footprint by the reduced amount of fossil fuel used in the manufacturing process.

McCartney said:

“We went through about five-to-six hundred different designs of different polymers that we were mixing in before we found one that actually worked.”

Only plastic labelled as waste—which includes black plastic—is used and it must melt at a specific temperature. Roads made with the plastic additive should last longer, be more flexible, and withstand damage from heat, cold, and everyday use better.

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Eco-friendly solutions to problems can be found in many different industries and sectors. Transportation, infrastructure and engineering have become increasingly important to tackling environmental issues, as these all have considerable impacts on the environment. 🔹 Introducing MacRebur, a company that has decided to use the plastic pollution problem to tackle issues with our roads and surfaces. They create and improve roads, car parks and driveways using non-recyclable waste plastic intended for landfill – for example, one kilometre of road uses the equivalent of 684,000 bottles, or 1.8 million single-use plastic bags. Using up this plastic to improve roads and fill in potholes is a brilliant way to turn plastic pollution into a solution. 🔸 For more information about the work they do, check out macrebur.com

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According to McCartney, plastic roads are 60% stronger than traditional roads and lab tests project they may last up to three times longer. Of course, only the test of time will determine if they actually meet the estimated lifespan.

McCartney added:

“We are wanting to solve two world problems. On one side we call it the waste plastic epidemic, and on the other side the poor quality of roads that we have to drive on today.”

The MacRebur mixture is also suitable for motorways, airport runways, race tracks, and car parks.

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animals

Scientists Thrilled by Discovery of Rare, Mammoth 400-Year-Old Coral

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A massive 400-year-old hard coral discovered on the Great Barrier Reef has scientists expressing their sense of surprise and excitement.

Named Muga dambhi by the Manbarra people, the Indigenous group who have traditionally taken care of the land, the “exceptionally large” brown and cream-colored coral is located off the coast of Goolboodi or Orpheus Island in the Great Barrier Reef.

It is believed that the coral was spawned some 421 to 438 years ago, meaning that its age predates the arrival of Captain James Cook and the advent of colonization in Australia, notes the Guardian.

The spectacular coral is about 35 feet wide and over 17 feet high, and is double the size of the nearest coral.

Scientists and members of the community participating in a marine science course discovered the specimen earlier this year.

While not the largest coral in the world, the huge find is of major significance to the local ecosystem, according to Adam Smith, an adjunct professor at James Cook University who wrote the field note on the find.

“It’s like a block of apartments,” Smith said. “It attracts other species. There’s other corals, there’s fish, there’s other animals around that use it for shelter or for feeding, so it’s pretty important for them.”

“It’s a bit like finding a giant redwood tree in the middle of a botanic gardens,” he added.

It is likely that the coral hasn’t been discovered for such a long time due to its location in a relatively remote and unvisited portion of a Marine National Park zone that enjoys a high degree of protection.

“Over the last 20 or 30 years, no one has noticed, or observed, or thought it newsworthy enough to share photos, or document, or do research on this giant coral,” Smith said.

The coral is in remarkable condition, with over 70 percent of its surface covered in live coral, coral rock and microalgae. No disease, bleaching or recently deceased coral has been recorded on the specimen.

“The cumulative impact of almost 100 bleaching events and up to 80 major cyclones over a period of four centuries, plus declining nearshore water quality contextualise the high resilience of this Porites coral,” the field note added.

The specific coral has been given the name Muga dhambi, meaning big coral, out of respect for the Indigenous knowledge, language, and culture of the Manbarra Traditional Owners.

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Environment

Greenland Ice Washed Away as Summit Sees Rain for First Time in Recorded History

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For the first time in recorded history, torrential downpours of rain have struck Greenland’s icy summit nearly two miles above sea level.

Greenland, an environmentally sensitive island, is typically known for its majestic ice sheet and snowy climate, but this is fast changing due to a massive melt taking place this summer.

However, the typical snowfall has been replaced in recent years not simply by a few showers, but by heavy rainfall. The torrential downpour last week was so huge, in fact, that it washed away a terrifying amount of ice across some 337,000 square miles of the ice shelf’s surface, reports Earther.

Temperatures at the ice shelf had simultaneously warmed to a significant degree, with the summit reaching 33 degrees Fahrenheit – within a degree above freezing and the third time that the shelf has surpassed freezing temperatures this decade.

The fact that rain is falling on ice rather than snow is also significant because it is melting ice across much of southern Greenland, which already saw huge melting events last month, while hastening rising sea levels that threaten to submerge whole coastal cities and communities.

To make matters worse, any new ice formed by the freezing rainwater will not last long. The ice shelf currently existing on Greenland was formed by the compression of snow over innumerable years, which shines bright white and reflects sunlight away rather than absorbing it, as ice from frozen rain does.

The huge scale of the melt and accompanying rainfall illustrate the growing peril of rapidly warming climate conditions across the globe.

“This event by itself does not have a huge impact, but it’s indicative of the increasing extent, duration, and intensity of melting on Greenland,” wrote Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado. “Like the heat wave in the [U.S. Pacific] northwest, it’s something that’s hard to imagine without the influence of global climate change.”

“Greenland, like the rest of the world, is changing,” Scambos told the Washington Post. “We now see three melting events in a decade in Greenland — and before 1990, that happened about once every 150 years. And now rainfall: in an area where rain never fell.”

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Environment

South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash

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What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?

It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.

The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.

The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.

“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”

The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.

Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.

Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.

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