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Issue 23
, 2010
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Plastics derived from plants may solve waste crisis

Source: Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Date: , 2010

Researchers at IBM on Tuesday said that they have discovered a way to make an Earth-friendly plastic from plants that could replace petroleum-based products, which are tough on the environment. The breakthrough promises biodegradable plastics made in a way that saves on energy, according to Chandrasekhar "Spike" Narayan, a manager of science and technology at IBM's Almaden Research Center in Northern California.

Almaden and Stanford University researchers said that the discovery could herald an era of sustainability for a plastics industry rife with seemingly eternal products notorious for cramming landfills and littering the planet. "This discovery and new approach using organic catalysts could lead to well-defined, biodegradable molecules made from renewable resources in an environmentally responsible way," IBM said. One of the world's biggest technology firms, IBM is working with scientists at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia to put the discovery to work, especially in the recycling of plastics used in food and beverage containers. "Plant plastics for things such as car parts could be made at lower costs than petroleum-based plastics while materials of soda bottle quality are "competitive," according to