Since oil is expensive, scientists are working on making plastic from human waste, algae and milk.

One company, Novomer, is getting topically relevant in the global warming arena and making it from carbon dioxide. They a petrochemical material, add carbon dioxide and a catalyst developed by Cornell University professor Geoffrey Coates to grow a polymer. Using this process, Novomer can control the length of the molecular chain for different types of materials.

Peter Shepard, Novomer's executive vice president of polymers, explained the whole thing to Discovery writer Alyssa Danigelis.