CLOSING THE LOOP ON THE PLASTICS DILEMMA:
A Chemical Sciences Roundtable Workshop
May 9-10, 2019
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Thank you to those who attended or viewed the workshop! The presentations will be posted shortly, as well as a recording of the workshop.
Plastics today are used in various industries to produce lightweight, corrosion-resistant, durable materials. Unfortunately, the characteristics that make plastics valuable materials also make them environmentally unfriendly; no plastic that is commonly used today is biodegradable. Furthermore, few plastics are recycled; most are landfilled or discarded into the environment. Given the urgent need to reimagine plastics and waste management practices, this workshop will focus on better connecting the product design with end-of-use stages of the plastics life cycle. Specifically, the workshop will discuss new polymer options and approaches that reduce the impacts of plastics that enter the environment and that improve recycling of plastics, through both mechanical and chemical methods. Ultimately, the overall goal of the workshop is to provide a venue for the chemistry and chemical engineering communities and related fields to identify opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of plastics by enhancing plastics recycling and by reducing the lifetime of plastics that enter the environment.