Worldwide, high plastic consumption leads to huge waste production. Macro and microplastic litter affects habitats everywhere, but especially marine environments. Unfortunately, plastic is particularly difficult to retrieve from the sea, since it tends to break up into smaller pieces due to wind, water movement and solar irradiation. Hence, its end-of-life handling and management has become a major issue. Most of the time recovered plastic waste is landfilled or burnt, since it is composed of an assortment of different polymers and/or has been polluted
by salt or other marine substances. For these reasons, new recycling methods for marine litter, pursuing cleaner production criteria, are urgently required. This article presents a brand-new sustainable material, an eco-friendly foam made of waste microplastics incorporated into a bio-matrix. This novel open-cell material can be used as acoustic and thermal insulation for industrial, civil and maritime applications. Thus, an in-depth characterization is depicted, providing evidence of very good insulation properties and revealing how microplastics can be used to customize final acoustic and thermal performances.
Marco Caniato , Andrea Gasparella Free University of Bozen, Faculty of Science and Technology, Pizza Università, Bolzano, Italy
Luca Cozzarini , Chiara Schmid Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, Via Valerio, Trieste, Italy
Copyright:© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://