Plastics are essential for a sustainable future – but much more work is needed – says an international group of scientists who came together at the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Today we launched a new report entitled "Science to enable sustainable plastics" – the output of a three-day workshop that took place at our Burlington House headquarters in November 2019. The meeting was the latest edition of the Chemical Sciences and Society Summit (CS3), which takes place every two years, and brought together learned societies and funders from China, Germany, Japan and the UK.
Plastics' worst environmental impacts are a common sight in the news or on social media, but they also play crucial roles in producing renewable energy and reducing the environmental impact of transport, as well as preserving fresh food and protecting it from contamination.
Plastics have also played a lifesaving role during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – as personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and gloves all contain plastic.
Today’s report says that with plastics likely to play a crucial role in healthcare and in low-carbon technologies in the future, it’s vital that new types of plastic are designed that can fulfil those roles without adverse impact on the environment.