The Secretary of Energy Department Rick Perry, announced that they are going to collaborate with the Office of Science and other DOE programs, to develop technologies in recycling plastic and defense the environmental's pollution impacts.

Through the Plastics Innovation Challenge, we will harness the Department's extensive resources and expertise to position the U.S. 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.

...said Secretary Perry.

National Laboratories, universities, and the industry will also participate to the Innovation Challenge, assisting on both fundamental and applied research capabilities.

With the aid of the above-mentioned participants and the use of a coordinated suite of funding opportunities and other programs, the Plastic Innovation Challenge aims to set the following goals until 2030:

  1. Collection: Develop innovative collection ways and technologies to prevent plastic waste entering into the oceans.
  2. Deconstruction: Deconstruct plastic waste into useful chemical streams by using biological and chemical methods.
  3. Upcycling: Develop new technologies to upcycle waste chemical steams into higher-value products, which also aid to reduce energy intensity and boost the recycling in general.
  4. Design for recyclability: Enhance production of new plastics that are recyclable and can be scaled for domestic manufacturability.
  5. Commercialization: Boost plastic upcycling supply chain for U.S. companies to scale and deploy new technologies in global markets.

While plastics add much value to our society, we must find better solutions in dealing with plastic waste, including ways to recapture the critical materials contained in plastics rather than putting them in rivers, oceans, and landfills.

...said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.

Within a few weeks, DOE will publish requests for information, while it will also host several workshops in order to engage with stakeholders about the current barriers to plastic recycling technologies. Concluding, DOE further plans to announce funding opportunities and strategic collaborations to spread and expand the innovative solutions of plastic recycling.