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PPiPL: Valuing the afterlives of materials

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Alison Stowell on behalf of Clare Mumford, John Hardy, Maria Piacentini, James Cronin, Charlotte Hadley, Linda Hendry, Alex Skandalis and Savita Verma.

Plastics are the epitome of a ‘wicked problem’ that has no straightforward path to its resolution; a grand challenge that requires robust actions. The UK Research and Innovation Natural Environment Research Council funded research project Plastic Packaging in People’s Lives: Rethinking the consumer attitude behaviour gap aims to develop solutions to this problem. Taking the food sector as an exemplar, our project is gathering behavioural insights to enable policymakers and industry to rethink and bridge the gap between consumer attitudes to plastic packaging reduction and consumer behaviour. This is being achieved by taking a holistic approach and examining the whole packaging supply chain, from production through consumption through waste disposal to tackle the key pinch points inhibiting the drive towards cleaner, greener growth.

Waste disposal and the afterlife of materials plays a key role in rethinking the consumer attitude behaviour gap. For example, how these materials are disposed, reused and reborn in the same form, or transformed and reincarnated exposes latent values (e.g., household recycling bins or returned to supermarkets, back into new plastic bottles or made into combs, plant pots, furniture etc.).

In this short talk we will explore some of these values including plastic packaging as community; employment; food security; climate change and health. By understanding different values assists to move beyond critique and the demonisation of plastic packaging and opens up dialogues for new solutions and helps foster shared responsibilities.

Event (Conference)

TitlePlastic waste and microplastic conference
LocationStorey Institute, Lancaster University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionLocal event