A method to convert a commonly thrown-away plastic to a resin used in 3D-printing could allow for making better use of plastic waste. A team of Washington State University researchers developed a simple and efficient way to convert polylactic acid (PLA), a bio-based plastic used in products such as filament, plastic silverware and food packaging to a high-quality resin.

“We found a way to immediately turn this into something that’s stronger and better, and we hope that will provide people the incentive to upcycle this stuff instead of just toss it away,” said Yu-Chung Chang, a postdoctoral researcher in the WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and a co-corresponding author on the work. “We made stronger materials just straight out of trash. We believe this could be a great opportunity.” [Read more…]