MAELDrop #5 | Let’s talk about polyethylene

Some time ago we mentioned the fact that there is not just one type of plastic, but many, each one of them with its own properties that influence their recycling feasibility. Among the several widespread plastics we use daily, today we will focus on polyethylene. Why?  

Firstly, because polyethylene is a very versatile polymer, which can be molded into many different shapes and objects, both for everyday and industrial uses [1]. Some examples are: kitchen objects such as jugs or cutting boards, children’s toys in parks, drainpipes, and many others, in a very long list. The second reason is that polyethylene is completely recyclable which, considering its wide diffusion, makes it an important type of plastic to consider in terms of  circular economy! 

It is for this reason that we have chosen recycled polyethylene as the material to make our MAELSTROM mascot whales! We have already introduced you one of the three sperm whales that will accompany us in the next years of work last September, during the Clean Up in Porto, organized by our partner CIIMAR. More two family members will follow soon! 

The whales were made possible thanks to the support of the Italian consortium Ecopolietilene and will help us to disseminate knowledge on marine litter impacts on costal ecosystems and on sharing good practices regarding innovative plastic removal and recycling technologies. In this way, we will join forces to protect habitat of our sperm whales and of the many other marine species put at risk by the accumulation of marine litter!