Sustainability and the environment
Oxford is bringing together a world-leading interdisciplinary team, working with industry and NGOs, to tackle the key issues surrounding the global plastic economy
The usefulness of plastic in every aspect of our lives is sadly matched by the ubiquity of discarded plastic; over 350 million tonnes are produced annually but only a fraction of these plastics are recycled and many are pervasive materials not designed for degradation. Solving the problems with the current manufacture, use and disposal of plastics requires thinking across deeply ingrained disciplinary boundaries as well as strong engagement with the manufacturing and end-use industries. The issues are complex and will require a multidisciplinary approach including materials science, chemistry, manufacturing, economics, environmental sciences and law, amongst others. Through the internally-funded Oxford Martin School programme on the Future of Plastics, Oxford is bringing together a world-leading interdisciplinary team, working with industry and NGOs (e.g. World Economic Forum), to tackle the key issues surrounding the global plastic economy, the technologies needed to tackle them, and the connections and interdependencies between this and other global challenges.