The mission of the NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) is to transform how plastics are made, unmade, and remade through innovative research, engaging education, and diverse partnerships that together foster environmental stewardship. CSP participants aim to design, prepare, and implement polymers derived from renewable resources for a wide range of advanced applications, and to promote future economic development, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability in the emergent area of biobased products.
The NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers pursues basic polymer science research aimed at developing new, practical chemistries, polymers, processes, and technologies that embrace sustainability. We carry out our research stressing the principles of green chemistry to help protect the environment and ensure that future generations will be able to meet their societal needs.
The challenge of sustainability is to meet human needs while preserving the earth’s life support systems, and the implementation of a create without destroying philosophy has reached paramount importance in national and global planning. Sustainable polymers or green materials can be durable and degradable, can be used in applications from adhesives to packaging to building materials, and can be produced efficiently and economically with low environmental impact. Comparatively, nearly all synthetic chemicals and materials are derived from crude oil. To wean ourselves from such petroleocentric economics, technology, and products, we must develop alternatives based on renewable resources as a means toward a sustainable future. While ubiquitous materials such as polyethylene and polystyrene are tremendously useful, non-renewable feedstocks render production of these materials unsustainable.
Sustainable polymers are the materials of tomorrow.