By using our website you accept our cookies policy.Find out more

Expression of Interest: New functional materials as alternatives to short lived plastics used in construction and horticulture

This event aims to focus on materials entering into circulation that could be used as alternatives to plastics currently in use.

Knowledge Transfer Network to host an event focused on materials as alternatives to plastics at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) on 26th November. Please click here to register your interest for the event. This is a KTN event co-organised with MIB in Manchester.


Plastic is an incredibly versatile material that brings many benefits to society. It has a range of unique properties that enable our modern lifestyle. However, recent discoveries, research and media coverage has left no doubt about the increasing volume of plastic waste in our environment and the damage that irresponsibly discarded plastic can do.


Independent studies have estimated that ca.3.7 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced in the UK each year of which ca.60% have been attributed to packaging and 40% to non-packaging plastic waste. Of this 3.7 million tonnes, only 1.35 million tonnes is collected for recycling: 700,000 tonnes collected and processed in the UK, 650,000 tonnes are exported. The remaining 2.45 million tonnes of UK plastic waste either goes to landfill or incineration. It is clear that this needs addressing and several initiatives are already in place.


The plastics industry, businesses, government, consumers and wider society all want the same thing: to reduce plastic waste and leave the environment in a better place for generations to come. Industrial biotechnology and Synthetic Biology approaches will play a critical role across the circular value chain in the development of new technologies and materials to help reduce waste from plastics.


This event aims to focus on materials entering into circulation, identifying new functionalised materials that could be used as alternatives to plastics currently in use. New materials may be produced from sustainable sources, be designed for recycling, have increased re-use options or reduce the amount of material used.


The selection of a new material for use in a specific application is key and this event will focus on two end sectors which currently have large volumes of waste plastics – Construction and Horticulture. Bringing Stakeholders from both sectors together with Innovators from Industrial Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology the workshop aims to identify and propose potential alternatives for materials currently in use.


• Identify application areas within these sectors where new materials could be used
• Identify properties required from these new materials to perform when in use
• Identify where known innovation or future developments from the chemicals and industrial   biotechnology sectors could be applied
• Build collaborative partnerships


Examples of applications that may be discussed are, shrink wrap, ties, pollination bags, greenhouses etc.


Beside networking, this event provides you with the opportunity to pitch your company and/or technology to the attendees. If you wish to do so, please indicate at the registration process and we will contact you with further information.


*Please note that you are registering your interest to attend this event only and that you have not yet been allocated a place at the event. Please do not book any travel until you receive an email direct from KTN confirming your place to attend. 


Follow the link below for the full event agenda and registration.

Related Content

Manufacturing and Materials Funding Round-Up
Find out about the latest funding calls which are relevant to the Manufacturing and Materials sectors. Last updated 11th October 2019.