Heriot Watt University i Skotland har lanceret et nyt netværk med mere end 40 forskere, som skal se nærmere på plastik – herunder hvordan vi håndterer plastik fremover. Men lige så vigtigt, så vil netværket også bidrage til at skabe en mere nuanceret debat, for et forbud mod plastik kan gøre mere skade en gavn.
Som en af forskerne, Professor i kemi David Bucknall, siger:
“Almost everything we touch or interact with on a daily basis is made of or contains a plastic of some description. Banning or reducing their use would have a massive impact on the way we live. For instance, replacing plastics with alternative materials such as glass and metals would cost more to manufacture due to the energy consumed and resources – including water – required to process them.
Furthermore, because plastics are lightweight, transportation of consumer goods in plastic packaging means fewer vehicles are required for transportation of those goods, therefore burning less fuel and greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
So whilst some people may wish for plastics to be reduced or banned altogether, we need to ensure we are replacing them with materials that are better for the planet. In many cases there is no credible alternative to using a plastic, so we need to move towards a ‘circular economy’ for plastics, rather than the largely ‘make-use-dispose’ model we currently adopt. This will require changes and improvements in not only the plastics we are making, but getting better at reusing and recycling them.”