Pieces of paper taped to the outside of the stall door in a public bathroom. What does this little note tell me? Is there a County Fair going on this weekend? Has the bathroom been recently painted? If I flush the toilet will the entire bathroom flood? I think there should be a law stating that you can only put these notes up in case of an emergency.
One of the main problems of polyethelyne is that without special treatment it is not readily biodegradable, and thus accumulates. In Japan getting rid of plastics in an environmentally friendly way was the major problem discussed until the Fukushima disaster in 2011. It was listed as a $90 billion market for solutions. Since 2008 Japan has rapidly increased the recycling of plastics, but still has a large rate of plastic wrapping which goes to waste.
In 2009 it was discovered by a resident of Hawaii upon returning from a ship race that degraded plastics are a major cause for marine life destruction, being mixed in with plankton, comparable in size and weight but in much larger numbers.
In 2010 a Japanese researcher Akinori Ito released the prototype of a machine which creates oil from Polyethylene using a small, self-contained vapor distillation process.
Braskem and Toyota Tsusho Corporation started Joint marketing activities for producing polyethylene from sugar cane. Braskem will build a new facility at their existing industrial unit in Triunfo, RS, Brazil with an annual production capacity of 200,000 short tons (180,000,000 kg), and will produce high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) from bioethanolderived from sugarcane.
Polyethylene can also be made from other feedstocks, including wheat grain and sugar beet. Retrieved from cane sugar, i.e. plant biomass renewable feedstock; Brazil is the first country to develop the product
These developments are using renewable resources rather than fossil fuel, although the issue of plastic source is currently negligible in the wake of plastic waste and in particular polyethylene waste as shown above.