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09/25/2006

Rapidly Degrading Paper Items

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  Driving down highways, you will see a lot of litter. Much of it is fast food packaging or other disposable paper. Education does not seem to be the answer, as we have been told not to litter for years - yet, it still piles up. More meals are being eaten on the road or sidewalk, as our lives become faster. What I believe we need is a paper that degrades quickly when exposed to the sun's UV rays.
  It would seem that the addition of titanium dioxide in its anatase form to the pulp would break down the organic compounds into a powder. The speed of the degradation would probably be controlled by the amount of TiO2 added. To keep the photocatalyst reaction from starting too soon, the items would have to be kept out of direct sunlight.
  It would not have to be a full breakdown of the item, just enough to produce tiny holes, as paper seems to degrade from the edges of the piece to the centre. This basic idea is being used to make self cleaning windows and buildings.
  Uses:
- Take out food packaging
- Bus or event tickets
- Flyers & pamphlets
- Disposable diapers
- ATM receipts
- Cigarette butts & packages
- Women's hygene products
- Condoms
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Sean Turvey
 
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