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The boy who invented a way to recycle the unrecyclable

Packing Foam

The boy who invented a way to recycle the unrecyclable

Each year the US creates two billion pounds of Styrofoam, a substance thought unrecyclable until 14-year-old Ashton Cofer and his friends’ came up with an ingenious technique to convert Styrofoam into an incredibly useful resource. He and his team of eighth graders worked out a way to make Styrofoam into ‘active carbon’, the stuff used to purify water in water filters! They won the Scientific American Innovators Award and the Google Science Fair, the biggest online science fair in the world. 

In talks with various companies, the team has filed for a patent and is hoping to start recycling as soon as possible. This project has massive potential to reduce global Styrofoam waste and convert it directly into water filters, as Ashton puts it ‘solving two global problems with one solution’. Not bad!