Erasable Plastic

Plastic waterbottle floating underwater in ocean.

Plastic ocean trash…Now you see it! Now you don’t?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with The Loh Down on Science.

More than twelve million tons of plastic gets lost in the ocean every year! That’s the weight of almost SIXTY THOUSAND blue whales! Can’t we make some of that plastic waste – DISAPPEAR??

Bryce Lipinski and colleagues at Cornell University are on it. They’ve created PPO, a special plastic that breaks down quicker under UV light. UV light is found in sunlight, gives you a tan, and shines on the ocean every day!

Researchers made a PPO fishing net and tested it against the current nylon nets. Is the new net as strong?.

Yes! AND after a month of light exposure, seventy five percent of the plastic is gone!

Now that’s good news! The plastic is strong enough to be used in fishing WITHOUT adding to plastic pollution in the ocean! Researchers hope to see future fishing nets made from this disappearing plastic.

Here comes the sun – our big, bright plastic eraser!