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An ARS scientist examines bioplastics, produced using byproducts of agricultural production. 

Planet vs. Plastics

One of the great challenges to sustainability today is plastics — so much so that the theme of Earth Day in 2024 was “Planet vs. Plastics.” There are many reasons that plastics post a threat —  from their sources in non-renewable petrochemicals to the fact that they can last for long periods in the environment, long after people have finished using them for their intended purposes. They can also produce harmful particles called microplastics that end up in the food system and our bodies. What solutions does ARS offer to this challenge? 

Listen to this Earth Day interview with scientist Bill Orts to hear about some of the promising solutions that we’re developing — including plastics made from renewable agricultural byproducts, and more!