About the Plastics Innovation Challenge

The Plastics Innovations Challenge will focus resources from across the U.S. Department of Energy to create a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations that will dramatically reduce plastic waste in oceans and landfills and position the U.S as global leaders in advanced plastics recycling technologies and in the manufacture of new plastics that are recyclable by design. The Plastics Innovation Challenge will draw on both fundamental and applied research capabilities within National Labs, universities and industry.

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This video provides an overview of DOE’s Plastics Innovation Challenge.
Video courtesy of the Department of Energy

Using a coordinated suite of funding opportunities, critical partnerships, and other programs, the Plastics Innovation Challenge sets the following goals for the United States to reach by 2030:                                                                                                               


Goal 1: Develop collection technologies to prevent plastics from entering waterways or facilitate its removal

Goal 2: Develop biological and chemical methods for deconstructing plastic wastes into useful chemicals

Goal 3: Develop technologies to upcycle waste chemical streams into higher value products, encouraging increased recycling

Goal 4: Develop new plastics that are recyclable by design and can be scaled for domestic manufacturability

Goal 5: Support a domestic plastics upcycling supply chain by helping companies scale and deploy new technologies in domestic and global markets

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The Plastics Innovation Challenge is managed by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), with funding from EERE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and Advanced Manufacturing Office.