News from Plastics in the Environment

Latest news and updates from the Plastics in the Environment special interest group.

The Story of Plastic Q&A Panel

30 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).


Guest Editor on a Special Issue on Microplastics - Call for Papers

29 May 2020


Are global food packaging brands really committed to ditching single-use plastic?

9 October 2019

  • As the world’s relationship with plastic is being radically redefined, 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.
  • The report, presented at the RECOUP Plastics Recycling and Resources Conference 2019, evaluates the extent to which businesses in the food and drink packaging industry – which accounts for approximately 40 per cent of plastics produced – are responding to legal and societal drivers to change their approach to single-use plastics.
  • Surrey academics have analysed the plastic-related public communications from Carlsberg Group, Nestlé, Aldi, Marks and Spencer, Iceland, Quorn, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Müller, Princes, Kraft Heinz and Waitrose.

Read more (PDF)

Car tyres create tonnes of plastic pollution

26 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
  • Microplastics can absorb and concentrate toxic pollutants from seawater, making them poisonous to animals
  • Friends of the Earth is advising a number of measures to combat car tyre pollution and calls for the government to plan for a reduction to zero plastic pollution by 2042

Read more.

Only one third of UK’s plastic food packaging is recyclable, study finds

4 August 2018

  • 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
  • The LGA recommends a ban on the use of low-grade plastic in order to increase recycling
  • Separation of plastic parts at materials recovery facilities should be improved to assist manufacturers in creating high-quality recyclable products.

Read more.

Science Minister announces £20m Plastics Research and Innovation Fund

18 June 2018

  • The new fund aims to explore new ideas and innovations that can encourage changes in the UK's plastics manufacturing and consumption patterns 
  • The Plastics and Research Innovation Fund (PRIF) will be managed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 
  • The PRIF aims to engage scientists and innovators to help achieve a more circular economic and sustainable approach to plastics for the UK.

Read more.

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Prevention of Plastic Waste established

January 2018

  • The focus of the APPG is ‘to monitor the progress of the 25-year Environment Plan in relation to plastic waste; 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’.

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