Even the most advanced recycling techniques fail to recycle every element of the rubbish we generate. Often recyclers are left with an unpleasant pile of dark rank smelling scrap yard shredder waste or "fluff" that refuses to transform into anything intrinsically useful. But now researchers at the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick have found a way of using this unpleasant residue to form the basic structure of everyday plastic containers and components.
Dr Gordon Smith and his team have been using a process called in mould coating to simultaneously mould and "paint" plastic components in one simple quick unified process. Normally they would use an ordinary fresh plastic raw materials for the inside structure of plastic components created by this process but they hit upon the idea that they could also take this waste fluff and seal it inside the coated components, as part of the inner structure, as they were made. The final products can be painted to almost any colour and used in everything from car components to washing up liquid bottles.