Some plastic waste is invisible: Shampoo, laundry detergent, and different frequent merchandise typically use tiny capsules made of microplastic as an ingredient. These capsules then wash down the drain and might pollute waterways. A startup spun out of the College of Cambridge needs to exchange these capsules—and different plastics which can be arduous or inconceivable to recycle—with a plant-based materials ...

“Principally, it’s like cooking pasta,” says Fiorenzo Omenetto, a professor at Tufts Faculty of Engineering and director of the Tufts Silklab, the place researchers developed the fabric. “You are taking the [silk] fibers and boil them in water with salt that cleans them, after which there’s a second salt that breaks them down.” When the salt is extracted, you’re left ...