Are Plants the Solution to our Plastics Problem?


Cassidy Shell
Plastic made with inexpensive feedstock, supported by large investment in infrastructure dominated by oil and gas companies, appears not only to be here to stay, but poised for production growth. At the same time, media and social pressure to do something about plastic waste is increasing. Recycling is one solution, but the underlying question persists: is there a more environmentally attractive replacement? Fossil fuel-based chemicals, largely ethylene and propylene, are used in 99% of plastics production.  Many of the largest... Read More »

If Robots Could Recycle: How Technology Innovation Can Help Solve Plastic Pollution


Cassidy Shell
Global plastics production has increased from 225 million metric tons in 2014 to 335 metric tons in 2016: only about 16% of this is recycled. The other 84% is either dumped into landfill or makes its way into the ecosystem, causing a tremendous amount of pollution. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (by weight). The Great Pacific Garbage patch, 99.9% of which is plastic, covers an area three... Read More »