People and Environment

Sustainable polymer advancements amidst Global Circular Economy dynamics

Confronting environmental challenges demands innovative solutions that not only mitigate issues but also propel societal advancement. Enter sustainable polymers – versatile materials poised to shape a greener, more sustainable future.

Polymers permeate nearly every facet of our lives, from packaging to healthcare, profoundly influencing economic, social, and environmental dimensions. In this comprehensive discourse, we delve into their multifaceted contributions to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Contributions to SDGs:

  1. Water Filtration (SDG 6): The deployment of membrane-based systems, employing polymer membranes, represents a critical strategy in combating water scarcity and pollution, effectively purifying water sources. The transition toward eco-friendly alternatives, such as bio-based polymers, underscores a concerted effort toward sustainability in water treatment practices.
  2. Food Security (SDG 2) & Public Health (SDG 3): Sustainable polymers play a pivotal role in extending the shelf life of perishable food items, thereby mitigating waste and ensuring food safety. They are integral to the development of active packaging solutions, which actively combat contaminants and enhance food preservation. Moreover, in the realm of healthcare, these polymers are indispensable for the production of medical devices, implants, and protective equipment, as exemplified during the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The realization of the transformative potential of sustainable polymers necessitates concerted global collaboration. SDG 17 underscores the paramount importance of forging partnerships to mobilize resources and expertise. Initiatives spearheaded by entities such as the European Union and the German Government serve as catalysts for innovation in the realms of bioeconomy and sustainable materials. By leveraging collective expertise and resources on a global scale, we can expedite the development and adoption of sustainable polymer solutions.

Sustainable polymers represent a linchpin in our collective efforts towards environmental stewardship and societal advancement. Embracing the integration of sustainable polymers within the broader framework of SDGs represents a pivotal step toward fostering a more resilient and sustainable global community.




Resource: Tarazona, N. A., Machatschek, R., Balcucho, J., Castro-Mayorga, J. L., Saldarriaga, J. F., & Lendlein, A. (2022). 
Opportunities and challenges for integrating the development of sustainable polymer materials within an international circular
(bio)economy concept. MRS energy & sustainability : a review journal, 9(1), 28–34.