A new report from The Resource Efficiency Collective, focusing on use of plastics in the UK, was co-authored by Fitzwilliam Fellow Jonathan Cullen from the Department of Engineering.
Plastics are used extensively across the globe as they are cheap and easy to produce. Production, use, disposal and recovery of plastics are also responsible for a number of environment issues, such as high carbon emissions during the lifespan of plastics and pollution of waterways owing to poor disposal.
The report has mapped plastic flows through UK society, collating data from disparate sources on the production, use, disposal and recovery of plastics. From this the latest trends in plastics use and opportunities for reducing the impacts of plastics in the future have been identified. The key messages highlight that the environmental impacts of plastics are greenhouse gas emissions and ocean waste pollution and are aggravated by their disposal. Increasing UK recycling capacity can reduce this. Urgent action is required to reduce the impacts of plastics.
The authors of the report, Jonathan Cullen, Michal Drewniok & André Cabrera Serrenho, are members of the Cambridge Creative Circular Plastics Centre (CirPlas). The Centre acts as a nucleus for a global network of partners and coordinates a range of research projects, workshops and forums to tackle contemporary challenges from the manufacturing of more sustainable materials to driving innovations in plastic recycling.
Find out more in the video below: