A report from the Carbon Tracker Initiative has revealed a new, sustainable way to make plastic from the carbon in the air.
The report, which was released on Tuesday, says a new method for recycling carbon from natural gas is one of the solutions that could cut CO2 emissions from the manufacture of plastics.
“The main advantage of this approach is the ability to reuse plastic materials for other uses,” it said.
“The main downside is that it can only be made with a fraction of the energy used in conventional processes.”
Researchers from the Carnegie Institution of Washington said in the report that the new approach can produce plastic materials from natural gases in “sub-zero temperatures”.
The researchers also said that the technique is “very robust, has minimal energy requirements and is extremely efficient”.
The report found that the technology is able to make materials from less than one per cent of the CO2 that is emitted in the US.
“This approach offers a significant advantage over conventional methods of manufacturing plastic from fossil fuels,” the researchers wrote.
“In the near term, it could be used to reduce the amount of CO2 produced in the United States and globally, while also reducing the need for fossil fuels.”
The Carbon Tracker Institute (CTI) is a non-profit, independent research organisation which is dedicated to finding solutions to climate change and promoting economic growth and environmental stewardship.