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New advances in polymer recycling: Haritz Sardon has published a perspective in Nature

A team of researchers led by scientists from the UPV/EHU and POLYMAT critically analyzes the advantages and challenges of current polymer recycling methods that seek to achieve a sustainable economy for plastics.

This perspective has been published in the prestigious journal Nature, and shows the most advanced methods to promote the recycling of plastics.

The researcher Haritz Sardon, Assistant Professor at the University of the Basque Country and leader of the Catalysis and Sustainable Polymers group at POLYMAT, and the researcher Coralie Jehanno (POLYMAT, Polykey) lead this work carried out in collaboration with scientists of recognized international prestige from the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom), University of Ghent (Belgium), and the University of North Carolina and University of Colorado (United States).

The main objective of this publication is to critically evaluate the latest processes used in the recycling and upcycling of plastics. The development of strategies to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic waste is a great scientific and social challenge, not only to reduce the amount of plastic waste, but also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, Dr. Sardon affirms that “this work, which has taken us 2 years to complete, deals not only with chemical aspects to revalue plastics and reduce the existing problem of plastics, but also includes life cycles that demonstrate that recycling of plastics is essential for the reduction of greenhouse gases”.

Thanks to the work carried out by Dr. Sardon's research group and collaborations with international research groups with extensive experience in circular economy and polymer recycling, the researcher hopes that 'the recycling of plastics can be encouraged and thus a sustainable economy can be achieved of plastics in the medium term'