Top sustainable plastic innovations 2022

Our recent Global Challenge campaign aimed to surface the next generation of research addressing the plastic crisis to mobilise collaboration with industry around new solutions. In this article, we showcase the 15 top sustainable plastic innovations 2022 submitted to the campaign that received the highest levels of engagement from industry (factoring in the number of introduction requests from companies, positive feedback, and reads per submission).

The projects that feature were submitted to the campaign from academics, universities and research institutes around the world, and range from recycling petroleum-based materials to producing bio-based alternatives. You can view the full list of submissions to the campaign in our sustainable plastics research and innovation: open directory

 

How to review the projects

A non-confidential summary of each sustainable plastic innovation is hosted on IN-PART’s digital partnering platform for university-industry collaboration, Connect. Set up an account (it’s completely free for companies), login, and follow the links below.

 

How to connect with the teams behind them

If you see a project that aligns with your company’s R&D priorities, you can make a request for more information directly through the article on Connect. The academic team or project lead at the institute will then send you a response directly by email.

 


Top sustainable plastic, polymer and alternative innovations 2022

 

15. Using enzymes to recycle PET more sustainably 

PET is one of the most widely used plastics globally, uniquitous in bottles, food packaging, and numerous industry applications. However, the conventional thermomechanical recycling method currently used generates a material of lesser quality that usually cannot be recycled again. Researchers at McGill University are using enzymes to more effectively break down PET to its molecular building blocks, which can then be repolymerised into high-quality PET, creating a new recycling method that avoids the need for high temperatures and harsh chemicals. 

Read the full project summary to learn more about this top sustainable plastic innovations 2022 feature.

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14. Improving the functionality of biopolymer lignin for more sustainable materials

Researchers at Lakehead University are working to expand the functionality of lignin, the second-most abundant biopolymer on Earth. The primary challenges associated with the end-use of lignin are its heterogeneity, unreactivity, and water insolubility. To address these challenges, researchers have developed different aqueous and non-aqueous based atmospheric and pressurized processes to improve its functionality as an alternative to conventional polymers.

Read the full project summary to learn more about this top sustainable plastic innovations 2022 feature.

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13. Can biopolymers be used to make carbon fibre construction materials? 

Carbon fibre is well-known as a lighter alternative to steel, meaning there is large interest in its use as a construction material. For example, in lighter, more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles that can achieve ambitious emission targets in the EU and US. To provide a more sustainable source of carbon fibre, a team of researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a technology that facilitates sustainable and cost-effective manufacturing of the materials through the use of biorenewable lignin. 

Read the full project summary to learn more about this top sustainable plastic innovations 2022 feature.

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To view the full list of 15 top sustainable plastic innovations 2022, and to receive further insights and updates from IN-PART, subscribe to our mailing list for access.




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Technologies written by Anabel Bennett (15, 14, 13, 12), Daisy Gillott (11, 10), Emily Jones (9, 8), Steph Faulkner (7, 6), Ella Cliff (5), Frances Wilkinson (4, 3, 2, 1), 

Edited by Frances Wilkinson and Alex Stockham. Formatting by Frances Wilkinson

Copyrights reserved unless otherwise agreed – IN-PART Publishing Ltd., 2022: ‘Top sustainable plastic innovations 2022’


 

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