The roadmap to a sustainable future for polymers


The RSC’s polymers in liquid formulations task force is laying out the innovations needed to deliver biodegradability and circularity

The Royal Society of Chemistry sustainable polymers in liquid formulations (PLFs) task force, was established after our reports showed that an estimated 36 million tonnes of polymers in liquid formulations (PLFs) are made and sold each year – enough to fill Wembley Stadium 32 times over. As a group of thousands of different chemicals, PLFs are used as ingredients for specific functions in millions of household and industrial products – for example, they help paint stick to walls and hydrate your skin in moisturisers.

The sustainability challenges affecting PLFs are vast but not visible: of the 36 million tonnes of PLFs many are produced in sub-gram quantities, registered for production in a variety of ways, and produced as single entities or combination materials so the issues related to PLFs do not easily align to any clearly defined policy avenue like Net Zero.