The 21st Climate Change Conference convened in Paris on 30 November, and will go on until 11 December. World leaders are gathering to discuss the consequences of anthropogenic climate change and what can be done to slow down the heating of the planet. Scientists agree that one major contribution to global warming is the release of carbon into the atmosphere. Various plans will be on the conference table to reduce this amount. Amongst them, perhaps, will be one incredible technological breakthrough: carbon negative plastics.
Previous approaches to the problems caused by the build-up of atmospheric carbon have tended to focus on the reduction of emissions. It is important that companies continue to reduce their emissions (or offset them by planting trees that naturally store carbon) but what should be done about all the extra carbon that has already been pumped into the atmosphere? One company in California, Newlight, have a developed a system for making a "long chain thermoplastic polymer molecule" out of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon extracted from the air.
Newlight's product, christened AirCarbon, has been independently verified as being carbon negative over its entire life cycle. More carbon is absorbed in the manufacture of this plastic than is released by the energy powering the manufacturing process and all associated processes such as transport and packaging.
A Step in the Right Direction
AirCarbon on its own is not a solution to the warming of the planet caused by too much carbon in the atmosphere. However, this product and similar carbon negative technologies (such as a carbon negative cement that is currently in development) would make a contribution to the fight against global warming. There is some small hope for optimism that we can keep global temperatures below a 2°C increase by the end of the century. It is essential that the world leaders meeting in Paris take action. An investment in developing carbon negative plastics is one step that would cost relatively little, but could have a big impact.
Doing Our Bit
At Coda Plastics, we pride ourselves on our sustainable approach to plastics. We recycle waste from other companies and use it in the manufacture of our own innovative plastic products.
If you have a design you would like to see implemented in plastic and want to be certain that the company you use has an environmentally considerate approach, call us now on 01692 501020.