£1.5m project funded by UKRI and industry will research how to eliminate plastic leakage into the environment.
25 November 2020
Dr Maria Sharmina and colleagues in the Departments of Materials and Sociology have secured the funding for project, "One bin to rule them all".
The project aims to improve compliance with recycling by developing ‘One bin’ to hold all plastic like items and improving recycling infrastructure to create more usable recycled plastics that can be fed back into a circular economy.
Plastics have considerable impact on everyday lives from packaging, healthcare, construction, and consumer goods. However, the on-going dependency and lack of simple, accessible recycling leads to overwhelming plastics leakage with over 95% of plastic packaging ending up in landfill or the environment.
The ‘One bin’ project aims to demonstrate a viable system to eliminate plastic release in the environment by identifying and creating value in plastic packaging waste streams and simplifying recycling for consumers.
To achieve this, the project team will work on three key challenges in the plastics life cycle: improving methods of chemical and mechanical recycling; developing business models to derive value from reused plastic for industry; and understanding consumer practices that lead to enhanced recycling compliance.
The project is funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and brings together a cross-sector consortium of 17 industry partners and local authorities.