Plastic bottles can be turned into prosthetic limbs which are 40 per cent lighter and thousands of pounds cheaper than existing models, scientists have discovered. Two patients are now walking with artificial legs whose sockets are made from ground-down plastic that might otherwise have ended up in land-fill. Researchers at De Montfort University say the new technique enables a more exact fit around the patient’s stump than carbon or glass fibre models, and reduces the risk of infection because of its breathable design. Approximately 45,000 people in England rely on prosthetic limbs, with the NHS spending around £60 million a year on care for patients with an amputation or congenital limb deficiency. Meanwhile estimates suggest that only seven per cent of the roughly one million plastic water bottles bought every minute worldwide are recycled, with the remainder ending up in landfill or polluting the seas. Dr Karthikeyan Kandan, who has spent most of his career designing materials for bullet-proof vests, said: “Upcycling of recycled plastics and offering affordable prosthesis are two major global issues that we need to tackle.” He added: “There are some really scary statistics ...