Researchers from The University of British Columbia have found that plastic bottles could help to contain lead pollution in landfills, alongside various other pollutants. Their research has sparked hope that plastic waste from bottles can potentially be better managed in the future and have some beneficial use, rather than only being negative.
During their research, their findings indicated that the PET could be used to form a "water-resistant layer" that can help to prevent pollutants from leaking out of the landfill and potentially harm both wildlife, humans, and the environment.
Doctoral student Alok Chandra explains: "Our results show great potential, but there is still some work to be done before we will integrate the PET waste into landfill soil stabilization management." Likewise, he also adds that "One way we can manage plastic waste is through integrating it into geotechnical construction," explains doctoral student Alok Chandra. "By finding new ways to use these discarded plastics, we can divert them from landfills and use them to stabilize cover materials within landfills."
However, that's not the only potential fix that there could be for plastic bottles in the future. Alongside this new research, researchers from the University of Manchester are also in the process of developing engineered plastic-eating cells that could help to reduce plastic waste.