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Plastics in the Environment

Plastics in the Environment is a special interest group that was established in April 2017 and consists of diverse scientific experts from across the University with wide-ranging interests in plastics in the environment and related issues.

Group updates

May 2020: SIG members Judy Lee, Rosalind Malcolm and Kayleigh Wyles took part on a Q&A panel following a showing of the documentary: ‘The Story of Plastic’ (2020, Discovery network).

May 2020: Call for papers - guest editor on a Special Issue on Microplastics.

October 2019: Are global food packaging brands really committed to ditching single-use plastic? Academics at the University of Surrey investigate bold new food packaging pledges made by some of the world’s most prominent brands – and question whether these pledges will translate into measurable actions.

November 2018: A new report by Friends of the Earth has revealed that as much as 19,000 tonnes of microplastic pollution could be entering UK waterways every year from vehicle tyres.

August 2018: Study finds only one third of UK’s plastic food packaging is recyclable. The Local Government Association (LGA) has completed recent analysis which indicates that two-thirds of all plastic food container waste is still being incinerated or thrown into landfill.

June 2018: Science Minister announces £20m Plastics Research and Innovation Fund to be managed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The new fund aims to explore new ideas and innovations that can encourage changes in the UK's plastics manufacturing and consumption patterns.

January 2018: All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the prevention of plastic waste established 'to raise issues relating to the impact of plastic waste on our environment and to provide a cross-party forum to work towards the minimisation of plastic waste’.



Meet the team

Head of group

Richard Murphy profile image

Professor Richard Murphy

Professor of Life Cycle Assessment, Programme Director - CES Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability, University Sustainability Research Theme Champion


Claudio Avignone Rossa profile image

Professor Claudio Avignone Rossa

Professor of Systems Microbiology

Tom Bond profile image

Dr Thomas Bond

Senior Lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr Monica Felipe-Sotelo

Lecturer in Radiation and Analytical Chemistry

Colin Hare profile image

Dr Colin Hare

Visiting Senior Lecturer of Chemical Engineering

Suzie Hingley-Wilson profile image

Dr Suzie Hingley-Wilson

Lecturer in Bacteriology

Joseph Keddie profile image

Professor Joseph Keddie

Professor of Soft Matter Physics

Judy Lee profile image

Dr Judy Lee

Reader, Director of Learning and Teaching for Chemical and Process Engineering

Rosalind Malcolm profile image

Professor Rosalind Malcolm

Professor of Law, Director of Environmental Regulatory Research Group (ERRG)

Noreen O'Meara profile image

Dr Noreen O'Meara

Associate Professor (Reader), Human Rights, European and Environmental Law. Co-director: Surrey Centre for International and Environmental Law (SCIEL).

Dr Ruth Rawcliffe

Research fellow

Peter Roth profile image

Dr Peter Roth

Senior Lecturer in Applied Organic/Polymer Chemistry and School Postgraduate Research Director