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Have We Entered the Era of Sous Vide?

If So, Plastics Make it Possible We keep hearing about it. Celebrity chefs are embracing it. The New York Times has written multiple articles about it. Even Starbucks has joined the trend. It’s sous vide. But just what the heck is it? For those of you not yet versed in the magic of sous vide,...

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7 Facts about Plastics and the Environment that May Surprise You

Hi, Professor Plastics here. We all know that plastics are part of our everyday lives, from air bags and seat belts that help save the lives of our loved ones… to zipper bags that help keep our kids’ lunches fresh. But even though we rely on them every day, sometimes plastics can surprise us....

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What Can a Jar of Peanuts Teach Us About the Environment?

Do Plastics Have Lower/Higher Impact on Environment than Alternatives? What happened when Planter’s switched from glass to plastic for its roasted peanuts jar? (Other than Professor Plastics doing my weird happy dance?) Well, the new label announced: “84% less packaging than glass jar by...

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4 Remarkable New Healthcare Innovations Made Possible by Plastics

Healthcare innovations continually amaze me, particularly those enabled by plastics. Advances in medical technology touch all of us, from preemie babies to senior citizens. Two basic advances alone—sterile plastic packaging and disposable medical items—have helped prevent countless infections, o...

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Polycarbonate: Quite the Daredevil

Quick quiz: Is “bullet-proof” glass made with glass or plastics? The answer: yes. Typically, it’s made with both. And the type of plastic often used? Tough polycarbonate. I like to think that the major types of plastics have their own personalities. Polypropylene is sort of a superhero. HDPE...

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New Facility: Could This Be the Future of Plastics Recycling?

You know I’m a big fan of plastics recycling. So I like to take the opportunity every year to celebrate America Recycles Day on November 15. This year, I’m really excited about a new initiative that may well be a harbinger of things to come in plastics recycling. A very large plastics recycling ...

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Tiny Houses—Big Energy Savings with Plastics

Question: How big is the average American house? Answer: Pretty big and getting bigger, hovering around an average 2,700 square feet in 2015. That’s nearly the square footage of a tennis court … the doubles tennis court. (On my humble professor’s salary, my house feels more like the size of a...

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Highlights of Low-Density Polyethylene

Quick, what’s the difference between low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE)? Yes, this will be on the quiz… To help you answer that question, I covered HDPE plastic in a previous article, so you can bone up on that polymer if you need to. And I’ll cover LDPE...

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What are Bioplastics?

The term “bioplastics” seems to cause almost as much confusion as the term “biodegradable.” So what are bioplastics—and what, exactly, does the “bio” in bioplastics refer to? Bio … bio … hmmm. The history of plastics? No. Biotechnology? No. The “bio” in bioplastics actually has...

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