Data in plastics: safety and sustainability
Since its invention in 1907, plastic has been widely used in textiles, constructions, transportations, and food packaging. On one hand, plastic has a valuable place in our daily lives. Comparing to other conventional materials, e.g., metal, wood, glass, paper, cotton, etc., plastic is cost-effective and light-weighted, resulting in less energy consumption and less waste production. On the other hand, however, while so many plastic products are one-use disposable plastics and the industrial recycling is far from perfect, most plastics still end up in landfills or in the oceans, and they last forever in the environment. Furthermore, the toxic chemicals released from plastic or the plastic microbeads themselves are getting into our food, water, and bodies and eventually threat to the public health. In this presentation, the pros and cons of plastic will be discussed with the aid of quantitative data. And the modern sensing technologies in collecting these data will also be covered.
Dr. Chun Zhang obtained PhD in physics at HKUST in 1999. He then worked at UC Berkeley for four years, in NAMI for eight years, and at ASTRI for eleven years, continuing his pursuit of optical sensing. He is now the Director of Sensing Devices and Integration of ASTRI, supervising the developments of leading technologies in digital jewellery inspection, portable environmental sensor, and smartphone spectrometer.
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