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Interdisciplinary Research Centre

The world's first 'infinite' plastic

Efficiently recycling plastic by conventional means is an enormous challenge. "The interesting thing here is that Mura can find value in plastics that aren't usually economically viable to recycle mechanically." (BBC)

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Special Collection: Social Science and the Social Life of Plastic

Plastic has elevated the role of social science in the innovation space, traditionally occupied by science and enterprise. This article launches the special collection, published monthly. Drs Brigitte Steger, Patrick O’Hare, Teresa Perez draw out the case against a one size fits all universal solutions in global action and within the forthcoming articles.

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Special Collection: The bag and beyond

Can Japan embrace an alterative approaches to plastic?

While alternatives to petroleum based plastics are in their infancy in Japan, a number of manufacturers are investing in these materials. Published on the front cover of The Japan Times, Professor James Elliott, co-leader for S2UPPlant, was interviewed.

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Scots consulted on plastic ban

The public in Scotland have until January 2021 to have their say about banning single use plastic. In an interview on BBC Radio Scotland, Patrick O’Hare explains what his research at a landfill in Uruguay can teach us about our relationship with waste and plastic.

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Will a ban work?

The plastic straw and stirrer ban started in England on 1 October 2020. To find out what difference this will make, The Naked Scientist interviewed Taylor Uekert about how science can help our society to use plastic more sustainably.

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Changing chocolate wrappers

Erwin Reisner commented on new environmentally friendly wrapping reported in the Financial Times. It is a step forward and will put pressure on manufacturers, but making plastic reusable and recyclable is key. 

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Research with impact

Khaled Soufani won the 2020 Sandra Dawson Award for the impact of circular economy research. The Circular Economy Centre worked with local plastics packaging manufacturer, Charpak, to find ways to reduce plastic waste.

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Incentives needed to recycle

‘Plastic is a victim of its own success’ but a report in the Financial Times shows that businesses in Eastern Europe are changing. Erwin Reisner comments on the need to incentivise recycling.

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New project in South Africa

Brigitte Steger won funding for a partnership with Rachel Mash from The Green Anglicans. Teresa Perez is working with the congregation of Eluvukweni Church to reduce plastic waste in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Waste? What is waste?

Patrick O’Hare’s work on waste featured on BBC Radio 4. The interview includes how definitions of waste change and includes evidence from research in Uruguay.

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Latest advice for soft drinks

Beverley Cornaby took the lead on a sustainable packaging report, which says consistent impact metrics need to be agreed across the sector. Metrics involve water usage, carbon emissions, recycling rates and recycled content.

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What research is being used to keep plastic out of the environment?

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Public information


What can consumers do to keep plastic out of the environment?

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Policy information


What can policymakers do to keep plastics out of the environment?

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What can businesses do to keep plastic out of the environment?

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