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Energy Transitions Research at the University of Cambridge

 

The Cambridge Circular Plastics Centre (CirPlas) regularly organises and participates in different events:

  • Forums – Organised by CirPlas to involve people from outside the university
  • Workshops – Organised around one aspect of plastics research with a target audience
  • Events – Organised by various groups who invited CirPlas members to be part of discussions
  • Conferences – A day of presentations by researchers to share and discuss their latest work

 

CirPlas Forums

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Forum 3 - Getting drastic with plastic: New approaches to eliminating plastic waste
The Guildhall, Cambridge

16 April 2020 (Cancelled due to Covid-19) 

This was intended to be a free and interactive event that would involve local families over the school holidays. Activities were designed in partnership with the local council, RECAP. For more information about what families and local residents can do to help reduce plastic waste, please go to the public information page here. 

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Forum 2 - Relative impact of materials: Connecting business, policy and research to deliver solutions
St John’s College, Cambridge

5 February 2020

The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) convened an event to showcase and explore the latest research into plastic at the University of Cambridge. This was the second forum that aimed to connect businesses, policy makers and scientists. Participants shared their perspectives, proposed approaches, and potential solutions to the plastics challenge.

Read the full session agenda and participant list.

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Forum 1 - Welcome to CirPlas: Plastics centre launch and information day
Maxwell Centre, Cambridge

14 February 2019

The forum marked the beginning of 18 months of funding for research into how best to eliminate plastic waste. Presentations explained component parts of the project. Presenters included CirPlas funders, UKRI, research partners at the local council, RECAP, and researchers from across the university. The day was structured around themes that reflected the different types of research.

Read the programme and watch the videos. 

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CirPlas workshops

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People, plastics and our planet: Venture School
Aurora Innovation Centre, British Antarctic Survey

2 - 6 March 2020

The impact of plastics on our planet is a problem that cannot be solved by academics or businesses working in isolation. This venture school brought together early career researchers and entrepreneurs. Teams were formed to develop and test their ideas. The aim was to solve some of the challenges caused by plastics in our environment.

Find out about similar events.
Read about the impact of plastic on polar regions.

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The circular economy: More than a buzzword?
Old Divinity School, St John's College, Cambridge 

5 December 2019

What exactly does circular economy really mean? Khaled Soufani explained the ideas behind a circular economy. He touched on what it means for different people, and what the university is doing to make circularity a reality. The lecture was followed by an exhibition with interactive demonstrations and information.

Circular economy: A simple guide.
Circular Economy Centre resources.

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The Future of Plastics - Policy workshop
St. John’s Divinity School, Cambridge

19 November 2019

Policymakers work in a context where the devolved administrations in the UK have different legislation and approaches. These also differ from other parts of Europe. A geographically segmented approach to solutions may become more of an issue in future, given the global scale of the underlying problem.

Find out more. 
Download workshop report.

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The Social Life of Plastic - International workshop
Needham Research Institute, Cambridge

7-8 November 2019

This international interdisciplinary workshop brought together perspectives on plastic from around the world. Disciplines ranged from ceramics to climate studies, with representation from 16 institutions spanning seven countries. Participants included academics, practitioners and students.

Find out more. 
Download workshop programme. 

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Sourcing Data for UK Plastics Flows - workshop
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

30 October 2019

Presentations included a Sankey diagram (flow chart) on UK plastics in terms of their type, where they come from (domestic production/ imported), and where they go (export/ domestic consumption). Discussions included input from academics, industry and trade bodies. 

Find out more. 
Download plastic flows report. 

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Events 

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Alumni Festival Online

17 - 26 September 2020

Explore ideas, discover new interests and reconnect with Cambridge — wherever you are with presentations by CirPlas researchers:

The festival hosted over 100 sessions that are available online
Alumni Festival resources.

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Tackling Plastic Waste in the East of England - workshop
Marriott Hotel, Peterborough

26 June 2019

Anglian Water Services has committed to eliminate the problem of plastics from the East of England by 2030. This is an ambitious pledge to tackle all plastic waste which isn’t reusable, recyclable or compostable and cannot be achieved without the support of other key stakeholders in the region. The workshop led to establishing the East of England Plastics Coalition (EEPC), with Eunomia as secretariat. 

Join the East of England Plastics coalition.

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Against the plastic tide: Tackling Marine Plastics - Roundtable
Lambeth Palace, London

14 June 2019

This one day session aimed to identify practical next steps to tackle marine plastic pollution. Discussions followed input from Archbishop Winston Halapua, Oxford University Aldabra Clean-Up Project, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Bryony Coulson), Sky Ocean Rescue (#PassOnPlastic) and Joanne Green (Tearfund). The event coincided with the Commonwealth Blue Charter meeting in London (#BlueCharter). Roundtable discussions included high commissioners, academic experts, specialist NGOs and religious leaders. 

Download the programme.

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Tackling pollution: Tara on the Thames 
Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, London

11 June 2019

From the Arctic to the Pacific, the Tara schooner has sailed the world’s oceans to study the ecological crisis they face due to climate change. In 2019, the Tara Expeditions Foundation focused on microplastics pollution in large European rivers. This panel discussion explained activities planned for the Thames, before the team headed out to 20 other European rivers. 

Event summary. 
Microplastics expedition information. 
Tara in pictures.

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World environmental day: Ocean conservation - Reception
Palace of Westminster, London

5 June 2019

The reception marked the relaunch of the Ocean Conservation All-Party Parliamentary Group. This is a collaborative voice for the ocean in Westminster. The group brings together charities, NGOs, marine conservationists, scientists, academics, MPs, ministers and business leaders. This is a participatory space where expertise, ideas and networking converge to help better protect the marine environment. The event unveiled the group’s three-year strategy and presented Surfers Against Sewage’s #GenerationSea campaign.

Read the strategy paper. 

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Conferences

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Plastics Research and Innovation Fund (PRIF) Conference
Online, Hosted by Sheffield University

8 - 9 June 2020

This conference showcased the latest work from across all the plastic research and innovation centres in the UK. Topics ranged from misconceptions about plastics to how to tackle the rise in plastic medical waste since the Covid-19 outbreak. 
Find out more
Download the conference papers

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InnoFrugal UK- cancelled due to Covid-19
Judge Business School, Cambridge

17 May 2020

Now in its third year, this conference planned to bring together different sectors to discuss frugal innovation for enterprises. The aim was to understand how the circular economy and frugal innovation can complement each other. It planned to showcase entrepreneurs from the Cambridge Judge Business School network to give real world examples of their projects, ideas and companies.

Find out more

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