- Assessment of plastic as an important resource, and as a sustainability challenge
- Discussion of the development of bio-based and biodegradable plastics
- Insight into the current state of UK development of bio-based plastics, and the future opportunities for UK development in this area
- To better understand the roles and benefits of bio-based and biodegradable plastics
- To highlight opportunities for bio-based and biodegradable plastic innovation in the UK
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A paradigm shift from oil based durable plastic to plastics produced from renewable materials and designed to be recyclable or biodegradable, offers the potential to address the issues with plastics while retaining its many benefits.
Bio-based plastics, produced partly or wholly from renewable raw materials e.g. plants, provides an opportunity to move away from oil-based materials. Furthermore, biotechnology can be the basis for clean manufacturing processes and used to produce new materials with properties superior to current plastics.
Plastic production is a strong and productive UK industry. It is the UK’s third largest manufacturing sector in terms of employment, has a turnover of £25.5bn per year and exports products and materials worth over £8bn each year.
The UK is renowned for its academic excellence and the recent investments made in bioscience and building a biotechnology and synthetic biology research community means the UK is well poised to take a leading role in bio-based technology innovation.
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