Fashion design by Ashley Sookhai Bassett. Photo by Tom Buller.

Addressing the global plastics crisis

Catalysing a transition to a sustainable future

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We’re on a mission to tackle the plastics crisis for our local community and the wider world. 

From developing sustainable fashion to combatting microplastics, we’re putting our research into practice, working with local groups, organisations, businesses and individuals to solve the plastic problem.

We’re assembling teams of scientists, business-leaders, campaigners and citizens who share our ambition to transform the way we make, use and dispose of this polluting material. You too can join the Revolution. 
 
Join the revolution and address the global plastics crisis
An introduction to Revolution Plastics from Professor Steve Fletcher, Director of the Sustainability and Environment research theme


Latest news


Addressing the plastic crisis is our mission

We use plastic in almost every area of our lives – as packaging, in electronics, clothing and building materials. Plastic is inexpensive and easy to make. It’s unmatched in its cost-effective durability and resistance to degradation.

But this attractive durability has created a global plastic crisis. Some plastics take more than 400 years to break down, and around 11 million metric tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year. Half of all plastic becomes waste within a year of being made, yet most isn’t recycled. Our planet is suffocating in plastic. We need radical action to halt this trend and limit the damaging consequences of plastic pollution on our health and the environment.

We’ve got to find solutions to the world's plastic problem. That’s where Revolution Plastics comes in.

Our ambition

We’re assembling teams of scientists, business-leaders, campaigners and citizens who share our ambition to transform the way we make, use and dispose of this polluting material.

Revolution Plastics is led by Professor Steve Fletcher and Dr Cressida Bowyer. Our mission is guided by the expertise of our Advisory Council, composed of senior executives from organisations and sectors that play a role in plastics and sustainability. 

Our revolution will ensure the elimination of damaging environmental and health impacts arising from plastics, through:

  • Innovative technology that transforms methods of plastic production, use and disposal. 
  • An inclusive new plastics economy based on circular principles. 
  • Informed citizens so people make better choices about using and disposing of plastic. 
  • New governance approaches that incentivise sustainable plastic production, use and disposal. 
  • Partnerships with industry and policy makers to inspire sustainability initiatives and action

Revolution Plastics builds on the momentum of our globally-acclaimed plastics research in developing a plastic-dissolving enzyme that can digest some of the most polluting plastics.

This research made national and international news, and won Research Project of the Year 2019. Our plastics research is supported by our Centre for Enzyme Innovation, which works with industry partners to advance the circular recycling of plastics.

We've signed up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. We're a member of their Network and the University of Portsmouth is profiled in their Higher Education Network of Universities. We were also invited to join the UN Global Partnership on Marine Litter.


Our multidisciplinary approach to plastics research

All aspects of society, the economy and politics need to adapt to achieve sustainability. Revolution Plastics therefore spans all disciplines.

We’re already making progress. We've looked at how food and drink suppliers develop packaging. Studied how microplastics affect our oceanseconomy and the air we breathe. And we’re aiming to develop a sustainable fashion and textiles social enterprise.

Learn more by reading a selection of our plastics research features.

Current research projects

Researchers

Image of Professor Steve Fletcher

Media ready expert

Professor Steve Fletcher

  • Job Title Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy, and Director of the Sustainability and the Environment Research Theme
  • Email Address Steve.Fletcher@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of the Environment Geography and Geosciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Cressida Bowyer

Media ready expert

Dr Cressida Bowyer

  • Job Title Research Fellow
  • Email Address cressida.bowyer@port.ac.uk
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Professor John McGeehan

Media ready expert

Professor John McGeehan

  • Job Title Professor of Structural Biology
  • Email Address John.McGeehan@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Fay Couceiro

Media ready expert

Dr Fay Couceiro

  • Job Title Senior Research Fellow
  • Email Address Fay.Couceiro@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
  • Faculty Faculty of Technology
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Keiron Roberts

Media ready expert

Dr Keiron Roberts

  • Job Title Research Fellow
  • Email Address Keiron.Roberts@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
  • Faculty Faculty of Technology
Image of Dr Elaine Igoe

Dr Elaine Igoe

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer
  • Email Address Elaine.Igoe@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Art Design and Performance
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Joanne Preston

Media ready expert

Dr Joanne Preston

  • Job Title Reader in Marine Ecology & Evolution
  • Email Address joanne.preston@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Professor Paul Trott

Professor Paul Trott

  • Job Title Head of Strategy Enterprise and Innovation
  • Email Address Paul.Trott@port.ac.uk
  • Department Strategy Enterprise and Innovation
  • Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor

View full list of researchers


Explore related news, blogs and podcasts


View media coverage for Revolution Plastics.

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Collaborate with us

World leading research and practice doesn’t happen in isolation. That’s why we're working with partners in business, government, the not-for-profit sector and academia around the world to understand the impact of plastic on our environment and develop solutions to reduce it. And we’re looking for more partners to join us.

If you share our ambition for a plastic revolution, please join us. We can partner with you on research projects, funding bids and commercial product innovation. You can also commission us to undertake research on your behalf.

Get in touch with us today


Transforming Portsmouth

We’re putting our research into practice.

Together we want to transform Portsmouth into a global showcase for how to achieve a sustainable plastics future.

The city is home to an increasing number of organisations and groups advocating urban sustainability, ocean conservation and plastic waste reduction.

Our links to local organisations include:

We want to work with more local organisations and are planning on hosting events, talks, surveys and other activities so you can get involved in the plastic revolution too. 

If you’re part of a local organisation tackling the plastic problem and you want to collaborate with us, please get in touch.

Aerial view of Portsmouth

Get in touch

If you'd like to find out more about Revolution Plastics, get involved with plastic surveys in Portsmouth, enquire about becoming a partner or tell us about your plastic related initiative, please contact us via the form below.