A research team from the University of California Berkeley are tackling the problem of plastic waste from the inside out, by embedding enzymes in the plastics during manufacturing that, once triggered, cause the plastics to self-destruct and completely degrade in days. All that's left behind are small molecules that can be composted or used to make new plastics.
This breakthrough technology has been awarded the Grand Prize of $25,000 in the 2021 "Create the Future" Design Contest, produced by SAE Media Group.
Address the Challenge of Plastic Waste
Engineers and students from 55 countries submitted new product ideas to the contest, which was established in 2002 to recognize and reward engineering innovations that benefit humanity, the environment, and the economy.
"I'm really honored
," said Aaron Hall co-inventor and founder of Intropic Materials. "At Intropic, we're making self-destructing plastics to address the challenge of plastic waste. By bringing together the natural bio machines and these synthetic materials, we can help to bring to fruition a truly circular bioeconomy."
"COMSOL is grateful for the opportunity to support innovators and their important work through the Create the Future Design Contest
," said Bernt Nilsson, Senior VP of Marketing with COMSOL, Inc. "A better tomorrow is possible only if we keep an open mind and give new ideas a chance to flourish. This is exactly what the Create the Future Design Contest is doing. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all participants for the many great and truly innovative ideas that will help bring a brighter future."
"We are ecstatic to see the amazing ingenuity behind this year's group of Create the Future entries,"
says Kevin Hess, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Mouser Electronics. "Mouser offers its sincere congratulations to the winners and commends the entrants for their creative designs."Source: University of California Berkeley