MOLD'S GOOD SIDE: Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin by accident in London in 1928, when he left plates of bacteria cultures unwashed in his lab for several weeks. When he returned, he found that mold had grown on one of the plates, and the bacteria were not growing around it.
DIFFICULT SOLUTIONS: Recycling is an excellent concept, but we often waste more energy reprocessing our recyclables than we gain. Furthermore, to date no one has found a cost-effective means of recycling used food containers into new food containers. More efficient processes will bring us closer to the goal of not wasting our resources. Although there is a demand for recycled bottle-grade plastic, the high cost of cleaning post-consumer beverage bottles, strict FDA requirements, and outmoded technology have favored the use of virgin plastic instead of recycled in the manufacturing of beverage bottles. Instead, most beverage bottles collected for recycling are reprocessed into non-food products such as fiber and strapping.
The American Industrial Hygiene Association contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.