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Forum 2: Relative impact of materials: connecting business, policy & research to deliver solutions

CirPlas - CISL July 2020

5 February 2020 - University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) on behalf of the Cambridge Creative Circular Plastics Centre (CirPlas), organised the Second Cambridge CirPlas Forum: Relative impact of materials: connecting business, policy and research to deliver solutions.

The event explored and showcased work being undertaken in the University of Cambridge on the impact of plastics and the potential alternative materials and solutions. The Forum was also an opportunity to connect businesses, policymakers and scientists to discuss the challenge and share their perspectives, proposed approaches, and potential solutions.

The Forum events are an opportunity to bring together key stakeholders, communicate progress from the different work packages, promote a holistic understanding and appreciation of plastic waste challenges, influence business practice and policy in relation to single-use plastics and plastic waste, and foster collaboration and generate new activities within Cambridge.


Speakers and contributors included:

  • Eliot Whittington, Director – Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation (CPIT), Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)
  • Claire Barlow – Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Erwin Reisner (Principal Investigator) – Professor of Energy & Sustainability, Department of Chemistry, Overview of CirPlas and WP2 – manufacturing and recycling processes
  • Professor James Elliott – Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, WP1 – Biocompostable replacements for plastic packaging
  • Dr Jon Cullen – Department of Engineering, WP3 – UK Plastic Flows
  • Dr Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley – Director of Innovation and Impact, British Antarctic Survey - CirPlas-sponsored Venture School "People, Plastics and our Planet”
  • Beverley Cornaby – Senior Programme Manager, CPIT, CISL
  • Dr Anna Barford – Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow, CISL
  • Dr Polina Yaseneva – Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow, CISL
  • Tom Pye, Team Leader– Resources, Waste & Plastics Strategy, Defra


Click here for the full summary, presentation slides, event programme and list of business, government, academia and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in attendance.



CISL is a globally influential Institute developing leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy. It believes the economy can be ‘rewired’, through focused collaboration between business, government and finance institutions, to deliver positive outcomes for people and the environment.

CirPlas acts as a nucleus for a global network of partners and coordinates a range of research projects, workshops and forums to tackle contemporary challenges from the manufacturing of more sustainable materials to driving innovations in plastic recycling.