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University of Exeter Multidisciplinary Plastics Research Hub

By June 28, 2019January 26th, 2021Education, Member News & Updates

A comprehensive, systematic and coordinated approach to the formation of a novel and creative regional circular plastic economy in the South West of England, where plastic never becomes waste or pollution.

What the project is about:
A circular economy approach to plastics addresses simultaneously the accumulation, impact and costs in the environment whilst maintaining applications for multiple high value purposes, including in medicine, engineering, construction, extending food product life, and making a significant contribution to the global and UK economy and the livelihoods of millions of people. To translate potential to reality requires new circular plastics systems that a) co-ordinate and integrate key system players and activities from feedstock providers, product designers, manufacturers and purchasing organisations, retailers, collection logistics and reprocesses, communities, consumers and households; b) are underpinned by rigorous scientific research; c) promote novel and creative approaches to the circulation and cascading of plastics in society and; d) enable rapid evaluation of options, impacts and outcomes to provide clear strategic guidance and proof points in support of decision-making and action at varying scale.

This proposal will connect excellent institutional research activities within a single highly visible Multidisciplinary Plastics Research Hub –ExeMPlaR led by the University of Exeter. ExeMPLaR will draw together academics from a number of disciplines across the University of Exeter. They will join forces with businesses, NGOs and local authorities – bringing together a wide range of expertise to tackle this challenge together.

Where there is challenge there is also opportunity – as well as benefitting the environment, this project has the potential to bring new innovations and therefore valuable new jobs to the region. It could put the south west on the map as the leader in this field.

Key Messages:
This is not about getting rid of all plastics – these materials play an important role in society
It’s about looking to use them better and reduce waste – particularly where it damages the environment and human health:

We will seek to find:
• Opportunities to design waste out of processes altogether (Circular Economy)
• Alternatives to plastics – such as natural products
• Improving recycling so that the materials are as useful the second and third time around as they are the first
• Improving our waste processes, where waste is created

Click here to register: