The Circular Economy Centre (CEC) has just won a UKRI grant as part of a University of Cambridge consortium to look at “Circular Economy Approaches to Eliminate Plastic Waste”. The project brings together departments across Cambridge; the Departments of Chemistry, Zoology, Physics, Engineering, Materials, Chemical Engineering, and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
Aims and objectives
The project aims to look at:
Sustainable feedstocks and materials as cleaner and more recyclable plastic alternatives.
Models for understanding plastic flows through the UK economy, society and environment to improve the recovery of plastics.
Service design methodologies to influence business behaviour.
Innovative recycling approaches to recover the high energy content of waste plastics by producing electricity with microbes and chemical fuels using sunlight.
Plastic has become a malevolent symbol of our wasteful society. It’s also one of the most successful materials ever invented: it’s cheap, durable, flexible, waterproof, versatile, lightweight, protective and hygienic.
Plastic has become a malevolent symbol of our wasteful society. It’s also fundamental to almost every aspect of our lives. How do we shift our ‘take, make, throw-away’ plastic world towards ‘recycle, recover, re-use’? Experts, including Dr Khaled Soufani, Director of the Circular Economy Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, offer their thoughts.
The Cambridge Creative Circular Plastics Centre (CirPlas) is one of eight UK centres set up to find solutions to the problem of plastic waste. Established in 2019, their work was initially funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). We have grown into a global network of projects and people who think creatively about plastics.
In the process of designing ways to measure circularity, Circular Economy Centre researchers identified what businesses are doing, what needs to change, and what the challenges are to becoming more circular. Based on this research, CirPlas has written advice for businesses.