Unlike conventional plastics, the monomers of PDK plastic could be recovered and freed from any compounded additives simply by dunking the material in a highly acidic solution. (Credit: Peter Christensen et al./Berkeley Lab)
Plastic gets its much-needed makeover - interesting science news

Like a Lego set, researchers have designed a recyclable plastic which can be broken down into its individual parts at the molecular level and the it can be put back together into any other shape, texture and color multiple time. All this without a loss of performance or quality.

The new material is called polydiketoenamine (PDK). Unlike the conventional plastic currently used, PDK can be broken down into its individual components by simply putting it in a highly acidic solution. This acid also separates PDK from the chemical additives which gives it a brand fresh look.

This take recycling to the next level because the current plastic’s most recyclable component PET is only recycled at the rate of 20-30% and the rest of it goes into landfills to lie around for hundreds of years.

Read the full story: DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Scientific publication: Nature Chemistry

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