New US competition to advance energy efficient plastics recycling

The Plastics Innovation Challenge has set a number of goals for the US to achieve by 2030

Big Zero Report 2022

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a new competition aimed at accelerating innovation in energy efficient plastics recycling technologies.

The Plastics Innovation Challenge will draw on both fundamental and applied research capabilities within the national laboratories, universities and industry.

It has set a number of goals for the US to achieve by 2030, including developing novel collection technologies to prevent plastic from entering the oceans and developing technologies to upcycle waste chemical streams into higher-value products which reduce energy intensity.

It also aims to develop new plastics that are recyclable by design and can be scaled for domestic manufacturing and support a domestic plastics upcycling supply chain for US companies to scale and deploy new technologies.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said: “Solving this growing challenge of plastic waste facing our world today, as well tomorrow, will require innovative, ground-breaking technologies.

“Through the Plastics Innovation Challenge, we will harness the Department’s extensive resources and expertise to position the US as a world leader in advanced plastic recycling technologies. We will also pursue the next-generation of plastics manufacturing, which are recyclable by design, reducing waste plastic in our rivers, oceans and landfills.”

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