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Question: Do you ever think there will be a type of plastic that can melt or dissolve in the acidic sea water? would this ever be popular?
Asked by sophie.fireblade.x to Anastasia on 20 Nov 2019.
answered on 20 Nov 2019:
This is not my field of study but it sounds like a very interesting idea! Looks like materials/environmental science is calling you and I’m looking forward to see what you come up with in the future.
Anna commented on 20 Nov 2019:
This is not my zone, but I am a materials scientist who mostly works on plastic, I saw this question in the sidebar, & I thought I could provide some information! Yes, this type of plastic is definitely possible: there are already various different plastics that will break apart naturally in the environment over time, or can be broken down by composting. But there are a couple of problems. (1) if a plastic can melt or dissolve in nature, it might start melting or dissolving while we’re still trying to use it, and this would be bad. So we need to try and fine-tune the plastics so that they last long enough for us to use them, but not so long that they stick around for hundreds of years destroying the environment. (2) these plastics are often more expensive than traditional plastics that don’t break down, which means people will be tempted to use the cheap ones that cause more damage to the environment 🙁
We need more materials scientists to work on these problems, so if this is something that interests you, I highly encourage you to keep studying it!
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Adam commented on 21 Nov 2019:
Anna’s answer down below is fantastic!
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