A team of scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have devised a new technique for recycling polyethylene plastic bags and food packaging into propylene or propene gas, a valuable starter material for commercial plastics and commodity chemicals.

Recycling polyethylene plastic into new, recyclable plastics could help reduce carbon emissions linked to plastic pollution and landfill.

Tackling the climate crisis and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 are top priorities for the Biden administration.

To meet this challenge, Berkeley Lab has launched the Carbon Negative Initiative, which will address the basic science required to scale negative emissions technologies, which remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or other sources.

Berkeley Lab scientists are exploring ways to use carbon from industrial processes and convert it into useful products.