Plastics once destined to become trash can now be recycled into new materials by using a simple catalyst. How simple chemistry can be used to give new life to previously unrecyclable plastics by harnessing the power of dynamic covalent chemistry. This research created a method that activates covalent cross-links in polyurethane (PU) foams to break and reform rapidly during the recycling process, allowing polymers to be melted and reshaped into new products.

Source: Aleandra Durand-Silva and Ronald A. Smaldone.  Recycling the unrecyclable with dynamic covalent chemistry. ACS Central Science Vol. 6 No. 6 Year 2020 pp. 836–838.