SOLVE magazine Issue 03 2021 | Page 13

SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT re-enters the economy . A circular economy based on improved resource efficiency and recyclability changes this . It would also be where our enzyme technology would make a big difference because this breakdown process , compared to heating and melting , doesn ’ t diminish the quality of the base material . It ’ s a good example of the type of technology needed to transition plastics to a circular economy productively .”
The policy research hub should contribute significantly to a proposed global agreement on plastics to be discussed at the UN Environment Assembly in February 2022 . A key objective will be systemic change towards a circular plastics economy .
Without policy intervention , the amount of plastic waste entering the
Citizen science in action
In addition to the Global Plastics Policy Hub , the Flotilla Foundation is also supporting a citizen science initiative launched by the University of Portsmouth .
The University is recruiting up to 300 citizen scientists and equipping them with a phone app , built by partner organisation Jetsam Tech , to undertake a detailed survey of plastic waste across the city of Portsmouth .
“ People take a photo of the plastic and the app automatically uploads this to a live map . The process will also include a capability to classify the type of plastic ,” Professor Steve Fletcher explains .
He says the objective is to undertake a whole-city survey of plastics pollution : “ This will be quite different to existing apps that allow you to track litter and waste as you are walking somewhere . This ad hoc approach doesn ’ t pick up what might be piled up out of sight , around the corner . Our project will assign people to areas to be surveyed comprehensively . We understand this will be the first such citizen science survey of plastics pollution across a whole city .”
Researchers will analyse the survey data to better understand the patterns and movement of plastic waste in Portsmouth . This will create the evidence base for solutions to tackle the waste at source and reduce the amount of plastics entering the sea and the wider environment .
Professor Fletcher says the surveys will be done several times throughout the course of a year . oceans will nearly treble by 2040

95 % of aggregate plastic packaging value – US $ 80 billion to US $ 120 billion a year – is lost to the economy through a short , single-use cycle



Rollout of known solutions for four microplastic sources ( tyres , textiles , personal care products and production pellets ) could reduce annual microplastic leakage to the ocean from three million metric tonnes to 1.2 million metric tonnes by 2040
ISSUE 03 / 2021