RE3 - Addressing the plastics challenge
The University of Manchester secured one of 7 UKRI PRIF grants to develop the capacity for interdisciplinary research to help address the plastics challenge.
SCI is a key partner in this project, which runs from January 2019 to December 2020 and is led by Professor Michael Shaver from The Royce Institute. In the project, Manchester academics from SCI, materials science, and manufacturing engineering collaborate with industry partners and societal stakeholders to develop solutions to the negative effects of the widespread use of plastics in three key areas of provision: packaging in the food system, single-use health applications in the provision of health, and plastics that are part of textiles which shed microfibers that cause problems in water systems and marine ecosystems.
RE3 has interdisciplinary teams working in each of these areas, and SCI researchers contribute to all of these teams. In addition, SCI leads on an overarching initiative called SYSFOCUS: this initiative uses a novel approach to help project teams the responsible development of non-regret solutions to socio-material challenges like the ones associated with the use of plastics. SYSFOCUS combines the techniques of learning histories, change point workshops, sandpits, logic mapping, and causal loop diagrams.