Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently posted an article that included research highlights from Governor’s Chair of Advanced and Nanostructured Materials Rigoberto Advincula on creating a circular economy for plastics. In 2018, the United States only recycled 9 percent of the 36 million tons of plastic created. Part of the problem is that creating new plastic is cheaper than recycling it.
““Here’s the problem: Most of the plastic that has been produced is still around,” said Advincula. “A lot of that goes into landfills, some goes to incineration — where it is burned for energy content — and then the rest ends up in the ocean.”