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Science to Enable Sustainable Plastics

Chemistry experts unite to make plastics fit for the future
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In November 2019, representatives from Dr Jenni Garden from the School of Chemistry gathered with researchers, learned societies, and funders from China, Germany, Japan and the UK at the Chemical Sciences and Society Summit (CS3).

Over the course of a three day summit, they developed a plan for how to create a circular economy for plastics, preserving the crucial function they serve in society while introducing much better recyclability and reusability into their design.

The report resulting from that summit is published today. It outlines four major research challenges – areas in urgent need of development.

I was really pleased to be asked to participate in this, as only six academic researchers were invited from each of the four participating countries and I was invited based on my research expertise.

Participating in the CS3 meeting was a fantastic opportunity to interact with thought leaders in sustainable plastics and to learn how different countries are using Chemistry to address this challenge. As part of the UK delegation, I delivered a position talk on oxygenated polymers as sustainable plastics, and brainstormed ideas with leading international experts to develop a set of recommendations for future research. These dynamic discussions have sparked new research ideas for my team and led to the production of a white paper.

Dr Jenni Garden

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020