US awards $13.4m to help combat plastic waste

The seven research and development projects will convert plastic films into more valuable materials and design new plastics that are more recyclable and biodegradable

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Funding totalling $13.4 million (£9.9m) has been announced for next-generation plastic technologies that help reduce energy usage and carbon emissions of single-use plastics in the US.

The seven research and development projects, led by industry and universities, will convert plastic films into more valuable materials and design new plastics that are more recyclable and biodegradable.

Single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, wraps and films, are very energy intensive to produce, with plastic production accounting for more than 3% of total US energy consumption and many of the materials ending up in landfills.

Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “Single-use plastics generate large amounts of carbon pollution when produced, are hard to recycle and dirty our nation’s beaches, parks and neighbourhoods .

“By advancing technologies that repurpose single-use plastics and make the materials biodegradable, we can hit a trifecta of reduced plastic waste, fewer emissions from the plastics industry and an influx of clean manufacturing jobs for American workers.”

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