We, humans, are using more goods and resources than we can produce and than Earth can offer us. And new, innovative and more eco-friendly ways, how to reuse and recycle the waste from these goods need to be developed as well. So, further, we will list a few of these new innovations that are aimed at bettering our eco-system.
Swedish textile company RE:Newcell and scientists from Royal Institute of technology have teamed up and introduced recycling process that turns old clothing peace’s into a fiber material, which then can be used when manufacturing new clothes. With this clothing recycling method we can prolong usage of resources we already have on hand, because instead of throwing away old clothing items, we can create new ones from them, saving natural resources, such as cotton. Tests have already proven that the materials, to which the recycled fibers are added, are more sustainable, durable and comfortable. And no chemicals are added in this manufacturing process, making the new clothing also natural and eco-friendly.
Battery components made from old tires and Replacing Coal with Waste Tires in Steel Manufacturing
As the number of cars in use has increased rapidly and continues to grow, the number of old and used tires increases as well. Many innovative ways are already applied to recycling of these tires, for example, crushing old tires into small fractions and using them in making of sidewalks or for playground flooring, however, new recycling methods still need to be introduced, since the number of old, used tires is growing quickly. Luckily, scientists have found that carbon from old tires can be used as a replacement for electrodes in lithium ion batteries, therefore lowering the number of old tires that are stockpiled and illegally dumped. On top of that, another interesting discovery is replacing coal with old tires in steel manufacturing. Steel has to be put through high heat when manufactured, however, coal as a natural resource is rapidly reducing. So an Australian scientist has developed systems, which allows the old rubber to be used instead of coal. And although we know that burning rubber releases poisonous gasses into the atmosphere, this new steel producing method can still be considered environmentally friendly.
Using Wi-Fi to Lower the Carbon Footprint of Waste Haulers
We all know that at a certain day of the week or month our garbage is going to be taken out. The same is with commonly used trash bins around cities. Waste haulers have certain schedules which they follow, despite whether or the trash bin being full or not. A Finnish company has come up with a new system, to know when the garbage bins are full and need to be taken out. This system uses Wi-Fi and wireless sensors on the bins, which indicate when the bins need emptying. Therefore it can save money, gas and time for waste haulers, because routes could be made accordingly to necessity, optimizing the use of resources and lowering the garbage truck carbon footprint.
Turning Cigarette Filters into Highly Efficient Supercapacitor Electrodes
As if smoking already is not one of the biggest problems worldwide, cigarette buds, which contains different harmful toxins such as tar, are one of the most littered items worldwide. But scientists have recently been exploring this problem and come up with a solution – making cigarette filters into supercapacitor electrodes, which are used in chargeable batteries. Not only it would minimize litter from cigarette filters but it would also lessen chemicals used when making batteries.
Reverse Vending Machines That Pay You for Your Recyclables
Lastly, a British company has created fun and profitable way, how everyone can recycle. They created recycling vending machines, which pay you for recycling different materials. But it is not all, they have even gone as far as created a system that allows you to donate your earning to eco-friendly charities.
Although only a few innovations in recycling have been mentioned here, every day scientists all over the world are working on making our lifestyles more eco-friendly. We just have to wait and see what they have in store for us in the future.