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The Story Behind Our Infinitely Recyclable Plastic

A multidisciplinary team has been working for several years to develop a game-changing plastic that, unlike traditional plastics, can be recycled indefinitely and is not made from petroleum. In this Q&A, we asked two project leaders about the inspiration for the unique plastic, shortfalls in our current recycling systems, and how this ambitious project is enabled by a diverse combination of scientific expertise.

The Future Looks Bright for Infinitely Recyclable Plastic

Plastics are ubiquitous, but they’re not practical. Less than 10% are recycled, and the other ~8 billion tons are creating a pollution crisis. A Berkeley Lab team is determined to change that. A new analysis shows producing and recycling their game-changing new plastic could be easy and cheap enough to leave old plastics in the dust.

To Design Truly Compostable Plastic, Scientists Take Cues From Nature

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have designed an enzyme-activated compostable plastic that could diminish microplastics pollution. Household tap water or soil composts break the hybrid plastic material down to small molecules, called monomers, in just a few days or weeks.