ABC News plastics story features SMaRT expertise

In this ABC News story on toys made of single use plastics, Prof Veena said any cheap items sold online often had a hidden meaning.

The story explains that cheap plastics coupled with the rise of ecommerce websites could spell the end for traditional children's toy stores and local manufacturing.

"We need to ask ourselves, why did this item come to me so cheap?" Professor Sahajwalla said.

"It costs a lot of money to have these materials — that means somewhere in there, there's got to be questionable practices."

"Maybe there were unethical practices like modern-day slavery or unsafe standard where things were being manufactured."

Another cost, she added, was that the same websites often sold items made with single-use plastic, which had a short lifespan, and ultimately ended up in landfill.

"What we are doing is creating microplastics, it's just a matter of time before something breaks and ends up in landfill," she said.

Professor Sahajwalla said the new "throwaway culture" of consumers meant toys were rarely handed down, and that the sentimental value behind goods had been lost.

Read the full ABC News story

Read about SMaRT's plastic recycing technology