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EPSRC CDT in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future


A four day workshop for students, early career researchers and entrepreneurs to develop potential solutions to the plastic pollution problem. Organised by the EPSRC Sensor CDT, NERC British Antartic Survey and Value in Enterprise.

How might we reduce and recycle plastics?

Natural and social scientist, engineers and entrepreneurs are getting together for a four day workshop centred around the problem of plastic pollution in the environment.

During this workshop the 25 PhD students, early career researchers and young entrepreneurs are working together exploring the different aspects of plastic waste, where it comes from and where it ends up. Erwin Reisner (Cambridge University Chemistry Department), Huw Griffith (British Antarctic Survey) and Mandy Fletton (UK Water Industry Research) provided insights from academia, environmental science and industry.




Defining problems and pitching solutions

The problems arrising from plastic waste are investigated from different perspectives:

  • micro- vs. macro-plastics,
  • the threat to wildlife arising from plastics,
  • the impact of plastic waste on local communities.


The interdisciplinary teams are coming up with a series of "How might we..." propositions, such as

  • How might we create a cicrular packaging system?
  • How might we source alternative materials, involving local communities?
  • How might we incentivise the public to recycle?
  • How might we prevent microplastics entering water ways?