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The College of Arts Sciences

A New Lineup of Environmentally-friendly Plastics

By: Jackie Swift,  Cornell Research
October 17, 2016

Imagine the ideal world of the future. If all goes well, there will be no pollution, society will run on renewable resources, climate change will be under control, and plastics will be . . . everywhere?

Plastics get a bad rap, says Geoffrey W. Coates, chemistry and chemical biology, but like it or not, we are dependent on them. It would be very hard to find replacements for all their myriad uses in modern society. Rather than doing away with them, Coates has devoted his research to finding ways to make plastics environmentally friendly at every stage of their life cycle. Along the way, he and his lab have invented an exciting lineup of plastics that may just change the way the world works.

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Geoffrey W. Coates