The strength, flexibility and light weight of traditional oil-derived plastics make them ideal materials for a large number of applications, including packaging, medical devices, building, transportation, etc. However, the majority of produced plastics are single-use plastics, which, coupled with a throw-away culture, leads to the accumulation of plastic waste and pollution, as well as the loss of a valuable resource. In this review we discuss the advances and possibilities in the biotransformation and biodegradation of oil-based plastics. We review bio-based and biodegradable polymers and highlight the importance of end-of-life management of biodegradables. Finally, we discuss the role of a circular economy in reducing plastic waste pollution.

This study was supported by the:
  • H2020 European Research Council (Award 633962)

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