Vol. 5 No. 2 (2021)
Feature Articles

Can Non-Recyclable Plastic Waste Be Made Environmentally Sustainable?

Luigi Campanella
Dipartimento Chimica, Sapienza, Università di Roma, Roma, Italy
Pino Suffritti
Dipartimento di Chimica e Farmacia, Università degli studi di Sassari, Sassari, Italy

Published 2021-09-09


  • Plastics waste accumulation and dispersion,
  • circular economy,
  • carbonization of plastics waste

How to Cite

Campanella, L. ., & Suffritti, P. . (2021). Can Non-Recyclable Plastic Waste Be Made Environmentally Sustainable?. Substantia, 5(2), 35–39. https://doi.org/10.36253/Substantia-1287


After death the fraction of living matter which is not biodegraded (shells, bones, corals, carbonaceous deposits) becomes environmentally sustainable. This is not the case for plastics so that these wastes should be either recycled or made environmentally inert and stored in secure repositories as a resource for future generations. Chemistry has offered different solutions to this problem, and each brings about advantages and disadvantages when compared to other options. One further possible route could consist in the enrichment of the plastics waste in carbon content (“carbonization”), in analogy with the production of charcoal from wood, but we hope to stimulate a debate about all the other possible routes among scientists and engineers in the involved fields.  


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