Policy11 June 2021

Science, industry, and government must pull together to solve our plastic addiction – On Materials 2018

In 2018, SMI Hub Director Prof Michael Shaver contributed to the ‘On Materials’ publication compiled by Policy@Manchester. The publication brought together essays from leading researchers at The University of Manchester to outline opportunities for materials to contribute to society’s grand challenges including sustainability, energy generation and biomedical science.

In his piece ‘Science, industry, and government must pull together to solve our plastic addiction’, Prof Shaver explored the need to design materials that fit current lifestyles without causing environmental damage. He uncovered quick win to plastics recycling and identified the need to create value from materials that have fulfilled their original purpose.

The key is to efficiently make this waste worth something – to give it a value, regardless of its origin, which means that different solutions are needed for each plastic challenge. The plastic legacy isn’t going to disappear from a whole suite of alternatives, but from a combined approach of innovation in advanced materials alongside innovation in how we recycle and manage our waste.

Excerpt taken from On Materials published in 2018 by Policy@Manchester. Click here to view the full essay.

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Poppy Robinson

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