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New compostables project now underway!

We are delighted to announce the start of our new research project – Compostable Plastics: Unlocking Existing Barriers to Systems Change. As part of the Hub research and following on from our successful Designing-Out Plastic Waste project (2019-2020), this new 3-year project specifically focuses on compostable plastics in the UK. We aim to uncover the behavioural, policy, design and engineering barriers to effective collection, sorting and processing of these materials industrially. Despite a rise in packaging companies making plastics that can be industrially composted, most of these materials are still ending up in landfill and not degrading. This project aims to look at the systemic and chemical reasons for this in close detail and find solutions. Led by Professor Mark Miodownik (UCL Mechanical Engineering), with Professor Helen Hailes (UCL Chemistry), Professor John Ward (UCL Biochemical Engineering) and Jenny Bird (UCL STEaPP), this project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

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