News Chemistry Chemists turned plastic waste into tiny bars of soap A new technique could one day help turn plastic waste into valuable raw materials Researchers developed a process to turn plastic waste into surfactants, the key ingredients in dozens of products, including soap. Zhen Xu Share this:EmailFacebookTwitterPinterestPocketRedditPrint By Luis Melecio-Zambrano 18 hours ago The time may be coming to wash our hands of plastic trash. Literally. About 60 percent of all plastic ever made ends up in landfills or littering the environment. Only about one-tenth of plastic waste is ever recycled, and much of that ends up being low-quality material reused in things like park benches (SN: 1/27/21).