There is no material today that is as ubiquitous in everyday life as plastics. Its widespread use in all sectors – from packaging production to construction to the automotive industry to agriculture and medicine – is due to its capability to be shaped and adapted to most diverse purposes. Malleable, durable, light in weight, and cheap, plastic is the perfect material.

However, its mass consumption comes at a certain price – the use of fossil fuels in the production process and the inadequate management of large quantities of plastic waste are among the biggest contemporary environmental challenges.

Global production has exceeded the production of all other materials combined. Over a period of slightly over half a century, the production of plastics grew rapidly: in 1950, the world produced two million metric tons of it, whereas in 2015, the annual output reached as much as 322 million metric tons.