Plastics are everywhere and it ends up polluting the environment, depriving the economy of a valuable resource. According to a report, Europe produces about 58M tonnes of plastic every year. Since, most of the raw material is fossil fuel-based, if the current production trends continue, by 2050 plastics could account for 20% of oil consumption, 15% of greenhouse gas emissions, and there could be more plastics than fish in the sea.
Europe also produces nearly 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, of which only 30% is recycled, 39% is incinerated, and 31% is discarded in landfills. The EU plastic sector is huge – it employs 1.5 million people and generated a turnover of €340B in 2015. As per reports, an increase in its sustainability can bring new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.
22 students 18 months and a “waste car”
Currently, the European car industry collectively produces 2.1 billion tons of waste per year. Aiming to demonstrate that you can reuse this waste in a new and useful manner, students at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have made a car almost entirely out of waste.
“With this car, we want to show that waste is a valuable material, even in complex applications like a car,” says team member Matthijs van Wijk.