As part of our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Developments Goals that have been set out by the United Nations, we must tackle the unprecedented levels of plastic waste that is generated by society. To this end, we at Warwick University have set up the Warwick Cross Faculty Plastics Group.
The Warwick Cross Faculty Plastics Group (WCFPG) brings together the people at Warwick who have wide expertise in the education and research of one of the most widely debated materials of the 21st century: polymers. Whereas hailed as wonder materials in the 1920s-1980s, polymers have become a victim of their own success two-fold: (1) Most of the synthetic polymers are made from a petrochemical feedstock, and (2) what to do with polymers at the end of a products life? The UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Planetary Boundaries make one thing clear, if we want our planet and us to survive. We have to make a radical change in how we manufacture, use, and value products that contain polymers.