Amazon.com has joined the international BOTTLE consortium to develop the technologies needed to reduce plastic pollution through innovation in materials and recycling. Imagine a new technology that breaks down existing plastic materials to create a new, innovative type of material. This new material could then be broken down more easily when recycled—and even biodegrade in natural environments.
That scenario does not have to be imaginary. In fact, it is the mission of a research initiative under the U.S. Department of Energy, launched in 2020 to bring these new technologies and materials to life. BOTTLE stands for “Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment.” The consortium, led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has brought together cutting edge talent from both the public and private sectors—now including Amazon.
Amazon has joined to speed up its progress in developing chemical upcycling. The research collaboration is a way of handling today’s plastics and ensuring tomorrow’s plastics are recyclable by design. “Finding a way to better recycle single-use plastics while reducing and ultimately eliminating their use is a grand challenge of our time, and we’re committed to pursuing scientific advancement to this end,” said Gregg Beckham, BOTTLE’s CEO and a senior research fellow at the NREL. “With Amazon’s innovation expertise, we’re excited to work together to find solutions that have the potential to have vast, positive impacts.”