Plastics remains a global problem. Four trillion bottles have been sold over the past ten years and according to Euromonitor International more than 480 billion of these bottles were sold in 2018.
A new report developed by an international group of scientists shows additional research is needed to improve our understanding of plastics and its impact.
The report identifies four areas of research needed: understand the impacts of plastics throughout its lifecycle; develop new sustainable plastics; closed loop plastics recycling; and understand and control plastics degradation.
“We have come together to say that this is a big problem – but it’s a technically solvable problem,” Professor Charlotte Williams, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford said. “We use plastics because they can do things other materials cannot. We have an opportunity and an obligation to think about how we can re-design plastics to make them fully sustainable and fit for purpose, both for existing applications and for those we will need tomorrow. In the process, we must aim to reduce and even reverse some of the damage plastic pollution has already caused.”