California: Tech giant IBM has discovered a methodology to convert toxic old smartphones into medical-grade plastic. By adding a fluoride reactant, a base similar to baking powder and heat, IBM’s researchers produced a new plastic that’s even tougher than polycarbonate in terms of temperature and chemical resistance. It’s safe enough for use in water purification and medical equipment, IBM says. Fiber optics is another potential application.
Jeanette Garcia, one of the IBM researchers said, “While preventing these plastics from entering landfills, we simultaneously recycle the substance into a new type of plastic — safe and strong enough for purifying our water and producing medical equipment. It’s an environmental win on many fronts.”