Plastics are an indispensable material with numerous benefits and advantages compared to traditional materials, such as glass and paper. However, their widespread use has caused significant environmental pollution and most plastics are currently nonrenewable. Biobased polymers represent an important step for tackling these issues, however, the end-of-life disposal of such materials needs to be critically considered to allow for a transition to a circular economy for plastics. Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is an important example of a biobased polymer, which is also biodegradable. However, industrial composting of PLA affords water and carbon dioxide only and in the natural environment, PLA has a slow biodegradation rate. Therefore, recycling processes are important for PLA, particularly chemical recycling, which affords monomers and useful platform chemicals, maintaining the usefulness and value of the material. This review covers the different methods of PLA chemical recycling, highlighting recent trends and advances in the area.
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