Strong, lightweight, versatile, low cost and moldable, plastics have become an integral part of our lives. They are used in the production of thousands of different products such as packaging materials, textiles, and household appliances that bring convenience, comfort, and safety to our everyday lives. Additionally they enable technological innovations, especially in the medical, building, automotive and aerospace sectors, leading to new solutions and improvements. Plastics production ramped up from 1.5 million tonnes in 1945 to over 360 million tonnes in 2019. However, the remarkable rise in the use of plastics has coincided with an equally dramatic rise in environmental pollution problems .
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