Birmingham Plastics Network: Shaping the Fate and Sustainable Future of Plastics

The University of Birmingham has established a Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 academics working together to shape the fate and sustainable future of plastics

This unique team brings together chemists, environmental scientists, philosophers, linguists, economists, artists, writers, lawyers, and experts in many other fields, to holistically address the global plastics problem.

Plastic has been a transformative material for modern humans - offering properties that, for example, can stop food spoiling as quickly, allow us to go to space, and to create life-saving devices.

While over the last 50 years plastic’s high performance, low cost, lightweight nature and durability has solved many problems, in doing so it has contributed to many serious environmental crises.

Despite being essential components of our lives, we face growing pressures to create a plastic-free world.

The Birmingham Plastics Network aims to create a sustainable future for plastics that enhances the positive contributions they make to our social, economic and environmental well-being without negative impacts across their life cycle.

Instead of creating a plastic-free world, the team is carrying out research to discover ways to create a sustainable-plastic world in which plastics are a valuable asset and not an unaffordable liability.

Birmingham Plastic Network’s unique interdisciplinary approach is focused on developing innovative uses of plastics and deep insights into the science of plastics, while also investigating plastic as it is experienced in economical, environmental, social and ecological systems.

You can learn more out more about our academics on our Birmingham Plastics Network researchers page.

Plastic has been a transformative material for modern humans - offering properties that, for example, can stop food spoiling as quickly, allow us to go to space, and to create life-saving devices. Despite being essential components of our lives, we face growing pressures to create a plastic-free world.

Professor Andrew Dove

Professor Andrew Dove

Professor in Chemistry

Meet our researchers