​Recyclable Sulfur Based Plastics

Plastic bottles

Collaboration and Funding Interest Welcome


Garret Miyake

At A Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a new class of plastics based on abundant sulfur, a significant byproduct from petroleum refining, that can be depolymerized. These plastics represent a potential group of more sustainable materials, helping address the plastic waste challenge the world today faces.

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Reference No.: 2021-043


Plastics are arguably the most important materials to modern society, impacting nearly every facet of daily life. As such, an estimated 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics have been produced.  A large majority of plastics are constructed from petroleum feedstocks and have been designed to be inert, making them attractive for many applications but also persistent in the environment for an estimated time of hundreds of years. 

Although proper recycling is essential for a sustainable plastic economy, the recycling process is difficult due to the existence of mixed plastics that must be physically separated. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of plastic is recycled, with the majority discarded in landfills or the natural environment.

  • Enable efficient recycling of plastics (create circular plastic economy)
  • Plastics are derived from sulfur – an abundant resource and byproduct from petroleum refining
  • Ability to be depolymerized back to the monomer building blocks
  • New class of plastics that have potential as more sustainable materials

Last updated: August 2021

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Recyclable plastic
novel materials
renewable materials