Talk Polymath: Evidence-based Conversations

Talk Polymath Ep. 11 | The Circular Economy Meets the Future of Composting

August 31, 2022 Season 1 Episode 11
Talk Polymath: Evidence-based Conversations
Talk Polymath Ep. 11 | The Circular Economy Meets the Future of Composting
Show Notes

In this episode, we talk with Eric Klingenberg, Materials Science Lead, at the Mars Advanced Research Institute, the research arm of Mars, Inc. Eric discusses how the development of new packaging for Mars products involves thinking beyond recyclability. He and his colleagues at Mars explore a variety of materials and technologies that present opportunities for making use of waste materials while also reducing the amount that ends up in landfills. Learn more about how Eric assembles interdisciplinary experts to help him learn more about composting and plastics deconstruction — including soil chemists, physicists, and engineers — and why he believes informed research and investment will help global companies like Mars drive the circular economy.




Eric H. Klingenberg, Ph.D.


Materials Science Lead, Mars Advanced Research Institute


Eric is part of the Mars Advanced Research Institute (MARI), where he leads the Materials Science Platform. His work includes developing new materials and processes to reduce the environmental impact of plastic packaging, supporting Mars’ commitment to transition to 100% reusable, recyclable, and compostable packaging and decrease its virgin plastic use by 2025. He also serves on several university advisory boards, and is a technical advisor for the Center for Hierarchical Materials Design, a consortium of national labs and universities working to develop and expand data and computation tools to accelerate advanced materials design.


Eric has a B.S in chemistry with a minor in biology from Geneva College, and a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. During his 20+ year career as an industrial researcher and R&D leader, he has worked in multiple fields of study, including new material development, manufacturing scale-up, and process optimization. 


Additional Links: 

Hosted by Polyplexus, Talk Polymath is a monthly podcast series, featuring evidence-based conversations with current and emerging thought leaders in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. From public health to changing models and trends in technology, this podcast engages in topics of current interest across disciplines. For more information visit