By Jason Bates

The world’s oceans play a critical role in supporting life on Earth, but they are under threat from human activities. Single-use plastic waste is one of the six major contaminants identified by researchers as a primary threat to our oceans.

Despite society’s best efforts, most plastic materials are too complex to be efficiently recycled with existing technologies. A single piece of plastic waste may contain a variety of polymers, additives, dyes or even other materials such as metals and adhesives.

Researchers across multiple scientific disciplines are working on innovative ways to address this issue, with multiple directorates in the U.S. National Science Foundation powering both basic and applied research efforts. Read below to learn about just a few NSF-supported efforts.  Read more…