SOLVE magazine Issue 01 2020 - Page 5

SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: SUBJECT HEADING INTRODUCTION HERE? 24 Britain’s burning question STORY BY AUTHOR NAME HERE Clarion call for a plastics revolution When the first production line was conceived and installed to mass-produce pulley blocks for the Royal Navy in the latter stages of the Napoleonic Wars, it placed Portsmouth at the start of the Industrial Revolution. Today, Portsmouth is leading another revolution – a uniquely modern revolution to change the world's relationship with plastic. REPORT BY BRAD COLLIS The historic island city of Portsmouth on the shores of the Solent is about to become home to a communityembedded research programme to rein in one of the twentieth century’s most pervasive technologies: plastic. Teams of scientists have been assembled by the University of Portsmouth to engender a paradigm shift in the manufacture, use and disposability of this seductively convenient but pervasively polluting oilbased material, which has generated a contamination crisis on land and at sea. Revolution Plastics, as the programme has been dubbed, has set out to create a new plastics economy based on improved recyclability, policy support from all tiers of government, and community engagement to achieve behavioural change in the use of plastics. It is part of the University’s overarching vision to turn Portsmouth into a community-supported ‘sustainability hub’ that will accumulate knowledge, experience and data to become a global model. PHOTO: 123RF ISSUE 1 / 2020 5