The NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) recognizes that the field of sustainable polymers is a very active, broad, and diverse area of research. Moreover, there are social, industrial, and technical definitions, permutations, and uses of the word sustainable that can cloud the meaning of “sustainable polymer” research.
To that end, the CSP sought to holistically define a sustainable polymer. The purpose of this is to develop a tool that researchers can use to articulate and communicate the aspects of their individual research project that meet this definition. Our goal is to introduce an integrated systems-thinking approach that considers the interconnection of all sustainable polymer criteria and their potential impact across the environment, economy, and society.i