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Plastics are essential materials in modern life, but it is no secret that they generate a wide range of environmental problems. In this talk, we discuss how systems engineering tools can help identify scalable recycling/upcycling strategies for handling plastic waste. Specifically, we show how systems engineering can help integrate molecular simulations, computational catalysis, techno-economic analysis, lifecycle assessment, and supply chain optimization to identify processes (and entire infrastructures) that can convert vast, distributed, and complex plastic waste streams (e.g., post-consumer mixtures and multi-layer films) into value-added products. We also discuss how such integrative frameworks can help design plastic materials/products that are inherently more sustainable and can help design incentives/policies that aim to change consumer and industry behavior. Our discussion will aim to emphasize how "systems thinking” is essential for addressing pressing sustainability problems, as such problems in