The U.S. Department of Energy’s Plastics Innovation Challenge will promote production of plastic products that are recyclable by design. | Jer123/Shutterstock

A U.S. Department of Energy initiative seeks to boost plastics recycling, setting a handful of goals to hit by 2030 and highlighting funding opportunities to advance technology.

The federal department last month launched the Plastics Innovation Challenge, which will draw on the department’s “extensive resources and expertise to position the U.S. as a world leader in advanced plastic recycling technologies,” said Rick Perry, then-secretary of the Department of Energy, in a release.

The project will also look to promote production of plastic products that are “recyclable by design, reducing waste plastic in our rivers, oceans and landfills,” added Perry, who left the agency at the beginning of December.

The Plastics Innovation Challenge sets high-level goals to develop technologies related to collection, processing and product design. It also seeks to help commercialize these technologies.

The project will highlight existing funding opportunities and industry partnerships and will facilitate research that draws on experts within the national laboratories, universities and private industry. The Department of Energy also plans to announce additional funding opportunities and partnerships to boost plastics recycling, according to the release.

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