We need to rethink plastic packaging. One way is to replace single-use packaging with multiple-use packaging. The possibilities of this kind of system change will be explored by the Many Happy Returns team, who will build on the findings of Plastics: Redefining Single Use.
The need for this rethinking is well known – plastic waste is a big problem. And the waste from packaging is a massive part of it. For example, in the UK alone plastic waste from single-use packaging amounts to an estimated 2.3 million tonnes pa.
This £1 million pounds project is funded by UKRI. You can find out more this funding award here.
Want to know more about the history of plastic? Our plastics experts worked with Clear On Plastics, a campaign from WRAP, on a series of videos about the history of single use plastic ↓
Many of the Many Happy Returns team took part in #GRIPS2021, as speakers, chairs and in the audience. This UKRI, KTN and UK Circular Plastics Network conference gathered together sustainability experts to share knowledge about sustainability. Keelan Meade, Tom Webb and Rorie Parsons were all speakers. And Racheal Rothman and Tony Ryan both chaired panels.
Packaging in Focus magazine celebrated the start of the Many Happy Returns project with an article by Sarah Greenwood. In this she explains why we need reusable packaging systems and how the MHR team will work to create them. You can read this for free online from page 9.
As with all our research, the Many Happy Returns team are from varied disciplines. For instance, we have people from the University of Sheffield’s English and Psychology Departments as well as chemists and engineers.
Sarah Greenwood and Grantham Centre director Tony Ryan lead this project with Thomas Webb. All three are part of the Plastics: Redefining Single Use group. Find out more about the team.
Project partners include: Morrisons, Ocado, Co-op, M&S, Nestle, packaging manufacturer Berry Global, design agency Touch, and zero-waste store pioneers Unpackaged and OPRL (On Pack Recycling Label).
Many Happy Returns (MHR) was announced in December 2020. The funding for MHR is part of the Enabling Research competition in the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge (SSPP). SSPP aims to establish the UK as an innovator in developing sustainable plastic packaging, with a view to significantly reduce plastic pollution by 2025.
You can read the UKRI news story about this funding award here.