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News

28/05/20

Live compost reveal

As part of this year's Cheltenham Science Festival

30/04/20

Co-designing solutions to the plastic-waste problem

A summary report of our community-building workshop

29/04/20

Foundries of the Future

A new publication that explores how cities are critically dependent on local manufacturers

24/04/20

The environmental dangers of employing single-use face masks as part of a COVID-19 exit strategy

Plastics Hub warns against wearing single-use face masks

16/04/20

Think piece on plastics and the pandemic

A consideration of plastic waste under COVID-19

26/02/20

One Pop! Bottle

Announcing our Artist-in-Residence Ruby Wright's new book about plastic recycling

Plastic Waste Innovation Hub

About Us

Projects

Designing-out Plastic Waste

This 18-month project, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), brings together a diverse team of UCL researchers interested in solving the UK's plastic waste problem. Our aim is to develop new ways to design-out waste from plastic packaging and create new business opportunities. We believe that waste is a failure of design: whether that is a failure to design plastics that are reusable, recyclable, or compostable; a failure to design waste-collection methods that encourage a more proactive approach to recycling; a failure to design economically viable mechanical and chemical recycling processes; or a failure to design the market incentives that ensure local authorities can invest in waste-management technology. Each design failure affects and compromises the whole system, leading to the leakage of plastic into the environment, and creating an economic burden on the UK.

Led by Professor Mark Miodownik, the project takes a design approach to the issue of plastic waste by assembling a multidisciplinary team of experts from across UCL, who will create and test new interventions in eliminating plastic waste. The team will also collaborate with a Steering Committee of professionals from across the sector, including those from manufacturing, retailers, policy makers, local government, sustainability charities, and waste management.

To understand more about the genesis of the project, you can listen to Professor Mark Miodownik's three-part radio programme, ‘Plastic Fantastic’, for BBC Radio 4 here.


Our Objectives

  • Develop enzyme-catalysed recycling technologies
  • Design novel solutions
  • Interface with the public through the Hub

Multidisciplinary

  • Public policy
  • Behaviour change
  • Economics
  • Design
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Digital
  • Materials Science

Global outlook

  • Researchers
  • Shoppers
  • Businesses
  • NGOs
  • Teachers
  • Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Schools
  • Students
  • Families

Funding

The fund is managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), delivered via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK, with strategic oversight from Professor Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Contact Us

UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub

Level 2, 90 Tottenham Court Road

London. W1T 4TJ

hello@plasticwastehub.org.uk