Center for Plastics Innovaiton

A hub for transformative chemical conversion strategies and enabling cross-cutting tools


crushed bottles

Thrust 1

Plastics Deconstruction to Value-Added Products

Thrust 2

Upcycling of PPW to Functional Polymers

Thrust 3

Developing Cross-Cutting Tools of PPW Valorization

bright blue bottles


Globally, around 311 million tons of plastic products were manufactured in 2014. That number is estimated to double by 2034. And as our plastics production increases, so do the projected environmental impacts. This accumulation of plastic waste is squeezing our landfills, burdening our oceans, and contaminating our soils and groundwater with dangerous byproducts. Less than 10% of the United States’ (U.S.) polymer plastic waste (PPW) is actually collected for recycling.


Our Vision

The Center for Plastics Innovation (CPI) seizes the unique opportunity to integrate a data- and systems-driven approach with molecular-level understanding, synthesis of novel, multiscale catalytic materials, new processing schemes, and functionalization approaches toward new polymers to reconstruct the current PPW paradigm to positively impact the U.S. and global economy via efficient and environmentally-benign pathways. CPI integrates expertise from multiple domains to position itself uniquely in the world to perform science that would otherwise not be possible.


Earth Day Webinar | GAYO & Friends

Earth Day Webinar | GAYO & Friends

We are excited to announce a special, Earth Day webinar featuring a panel of speakers from the Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO). This webinar looks to expand our perspectives on how plastic is used and disposed of, globally. The panel will cover topics...


University of Pennsylvania
University of Chicago
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Oak Ridge National Laboratory