26th November

UK: New functional materials as alternatives to short lived plastics used in construction and horticulture

Knowledge Transfer Network to host an event focused on materials as alternatives to plastics at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) on 26th November. This is a KTN event co-organised with MIB in Manchester.

Plastic is an incredibly versatile material that brings many benefits to society. It has a range of unique properties that enable our modern lifestyle. However, recent discoveries, research and media coverage has left no doubt about the increasing volume of plastic waste in our environment and the damage that irresponsibly discarded plastic can do.

Independent studies have estimated that ca.3.7 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced in the UK each year of which ca.60% have been attributed to packaging and 40% to non-packaging plastic waste. Of this 3.7 million tonnes, only 1.35 million tonnes is collected for recycling: 700,000 tonnes collected and processed in the UK, 650,000 tonnes are exported. The remaining 2.45 million tonnes of UK plastic waste either goes to landfill or incineration. It is clear that this needs addressing and several initiatives are already in place.

The plastics industry, businesses, government, consumers and wider society all want the same thing: to reduce plastic waste and leave the environment in a better place for generations to come. Industrial biotechnology and Synthetic Biology approaches will play a critical role across the circular value chain in the development of new technologies and materials to help reduce waste from plastics. This event is also being advertised by the UK Circular Plastics Network, which you can join for free and find out more about by clicking here.

Information on the event on 26th November
This event aims to focus on materials entering into circulation, identifying new functionalised materials that could be used as alternatives to plastics currently in use. New materials may be produced from sustainable sources, be designed for recycling, have increased re-use options or reduce the amount of material used.

The selection of a new material for use in a specific application is key and this event will focus on two end sectors which currently have large volumes of waste plastics – Construction and Horticulture. Bringing Stakeholders from both sectors together with Innovators from Industrial Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology, the workshop aims to identify and propose potential alternatives for materials currently in use.

The event will:

  • Identify application areas within these sectors where new materials could be used
  • Identify properties required from these new materials to perform when in use
  • Identify where known innovation or future developments from the chemicals and industrial  biotechnology sectors could be applied
  • Build collaborative partnerships

Examples of applications that may be discussed include: shrink wrap, ties, pollination bags, greenhouses, amongst others. Besides networking, this event provides you with the opportunity to pitch your company and/or technology to the attendees. If you wish to do so, please indicate at the registration process and we will contact you with further information.

Those interested can register here.

Source: Innovate UK


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