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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S025537/1
Title: Evolving a circular plastics ecomony
Principal Investigator: Redshaw, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Mayes, Professor WM Deutz, Dr P Barnes, Professor RA
Mishra, Professor N Skoulou, Dr V( Osburg, Dr V
Midgley, Professor G Parsons, Professor DR Wurzel, Professor RKW
Kambhampati, Dr C Farrelly, Dr M Zein, Dr S
Why, Dr F
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Chartered Institution of Wastes Mgt Del Monte (UK) Ltd. Garthwest
Global Biotechnology Transfer Foundation Hull City Council Humber Nature Partnership
ISDRS Marketing Humber Bondholders Morrisons Plc
The Deep Waitrose William Jackson & Son Ltd
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Hull
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2019 Ends: 31 December 2020 Value (£): 939,631
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Catalysis & Applied Catalysis
Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
29 Oct 2018 UKRI Creative Circular Plastic Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Purpose: This project aims to identify the gaps and leaks in a plastics circular economy, and explore and develop new pathways to an enhanced circularity in plastics use by facilitating the co-design and execution of specific innovations across an interdisciplinary range of academics, stakeholders and consumers, from the full plastic value chain.

This project seeks to achieve exciting and transformative advances in the development of circular plastics economy (CPE). We have engaged a broad multidisciplinary consortium of interested researchers and stakeholders, within our Plastics Collaboratory, that aim to transform the plastic economy, with expertise ranging from development of new plastics, to post-use treatment for reprocessing, and our logistics, computer science and environmental and social science researchers. Together the outcomes will lead to improved understanding of the motivations and drivers of plastic flows in the economy and environment. To achieve this broad aim, a set of activities are planned as follows with a set of four interconnected Work Packages:

i) Stakeholder engagement - a series of workshops and outreach events will be held with regional and national companies, industrial sectors and the general public to focus on their key challenges. The main aim will be to understand the drivers and challenges affecting peoples 'plastic' behaviours. These will be timetabled regularly throughout the programme to cover key issues concerning plastic uses, properties, costs, logistics, disposal and recycling.

ii) novel catalytic chemistry to develop biodegradable biopolymers with useful plastic properties, to make new plastic material from non-fossil renewable sources which also do not persist in the environment.

iii) novel catalytic chemistry and treatments for the depolymerisation, gasification and treatment of post use plastics, to create new feedstocks suitable for reuse in the making of new plastic materials. A range of technologies will be investigated which can utilise both oil derived and bioplastics.

iv) a series of workshops to promote discussion between the different disciplines represented, and others that may emerge as relevant, ensuring cross-fertilization and idea generation;

v) Pump priming - drawing on discussions with stakeholders and between disciplines we will pump prime a number of projects. These will include lab-based research and practical engagement - using the University of Hull campus as a test site for new practices, developing new and innovative ideas and solutions that will help us to eliminate future plastic waste. We anticipate these leading to longer-term legacy of the project through steering ISCF calls.

The Humber region is fast becoming one of world's major green estuaries, and we will engage with the growing number of environmentally aware companies that have substantial holdings in the region and relationships with the university, including supermarket chains and large multi-nationals (see Partnership Letters). Business networks will also be used to build up a complete a picture of plastics flows as possible and aid modelling and mapping the shape and potential for future CPE.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hull.ac.uk