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IBM Researchers Develop Radical New Recycling Process to Transform Old Plastic

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IBM researchers have created a new technology called VolCat, a catalytic chemical process that can turn PET, a type of plastic commonly used in food packaging and polyester clothing, into a renewable resource. The cost-effective and sustainable innovation is capable of breathing new life into old plastic.

Currently, more than 272 million metric tons of plastic is produced each year around the globe, with one-quarter of that made up of PET. VolCat aims to use a precise combination of chemicals, heat and pressure to reduce this amount of plastic, and ultimately the amount of waste, produced. This could completely transform the way we discard and manufacture plastic in the next five years.

To learn more about this new technology and IBM's full list of 5 in 5 predictions, visit the IBM Research blog and tune into a live presentation from the IBM Think conference on Wednesday, February 13 at 10 a.m. PT.

The IBM business model is built to support two principal goals: helping clients succeed in delivering business value by becoming more innovative, efficient and competitive through the use of business insight and information technology (IT) solutions; and, providing long-term value to shareholders. The business model has been developed over time through strategic investments in capabilities and technologies that have the best long-term growth and profitability prospects based on the value they deliver to clients. The company's strategy is to focus on the high-growth, high-value segments of the IT industry. The company's global capabilities include services, software, hardware, fundamental research and financing. The broad mix of businesses and capabilities are combined to provide business insight and solutions for the company's clients.

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