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Plastics are used in various industries to produce lightweight, corrosion-resistant, durable materials, but many of the characteristics that make them valuable also make them environmentally unfriendly. Although some plastics can be recycled, the vast majority are simply discarded. The rapid proliferation of plastics in the environment has led to an urgent need to reimagine how plastics are created, used, and managed. The workshop Closing the Loop on the Plastics Dilemma, held in Washington, DC, on May 9-10, 2019, provided a venue for discussing opportunities to reduce the adverse environmental effects of plastics. Chemists, chemical engineers, and participants in related fields engaged in a rich discussion of approaches to improve plastics recycling and to promote the connection of product design with the end stages of the plastics life cycle. This brief proceedings summarizes the presentations and discussions that took place during the workshop.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Closing the Loop on the Plastics Dilemma: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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14 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  DOI:

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