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Royal Society Chemistry: Our work with industry to set a sustainable course for millions of everyday products

Petrochemical industry | 06 May 2021 IST | Polymerupdate.com
- Today we are announcing the launch of a sustainability campaign that could impact all our futures.

Very few outside of the chemical industries will be aware of polymers in liquid formulations, or PLFs as they are also known, but almost all of us interact with them on a daily basis.

Found in millions of consumer and industrial products, they are an intrinsic part of our lives – from ingredients in the paints on our walls to the shampoos and detergents in our cupboards. In fact, 36 billion tonnes of these materials, enough to fill 14,500 Olympic sized swimming pools or Wembley stadium 32 times over, are made and sold for $125 billion each year.

Despite their importance, the way that PLFs are made, used and disposed of is putting unnecessary strain on our environment by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, using up the earth’s finite resources and generating physical waste. These issues create risks for all parts of the value chain, from monomer producers to product formulators and waste management companies.

Professor Tom Welton, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “PLFs haven’t had enough attention over the years because they are ingredients rather than products. It is their flexibility and usefulness that makes them so prevalent - and therefore implementing a circular economy for these products presents several technical challenges.

“Currently, these valuable chemicals are produced in huge quantities, used, and then never recovered. We simply must develop new technologies and apply circular economy principles to collect them, reuse them as new products and raw materials, and offer further bio-based and biodegradable alternatives.

“There are technical challenges in creating sustainable alternatives, but overcoming these challenges would offer colossal sustainability benefits, which is why we are forming this task force. With some of the world’s largest players in this sector joining us tackle this issue, we have a fantastic opportunity to make real and lasting change. But these are just first steps – solutions will only come through the concerted action of academia, industry and civil society.”
Note: This story has not been edited by The Polymerupdate Editorial team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

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