Ocean Plastic Pollution is described as an intractable challenge and a wicked environmental problem. Tackling it requires work beyond understanding of impacts of plastic when has already leaked into the environment and reached the ocean. The Ocean Plastic Solutions Network at Imperial College strategically combines capabilities from the faculties of Natural Sciences, Engineering, Medicine and the Business School to develop approaches to address the root causes, which are mostly land-based.
We work from the upstream of the value chain through to the post-consumer waste stage at the international level. Our expertise ranges from the micro-scale molecular chemistry, materials science and mechanics of materials, to meso-scale production and use-phase design engineering and post-consumer material recovery, through to macro-scale societal-behavioural science, conservation, innovation diffusion and citizen science as well as resource-saving business models, product-service systems and environmental policy analysis.
To ensure that our solutions are future-proof, our work also focuses on investigating market and environmental impacts in local contexts. We recognise the importance of product-service systems and behavioural-societal interventions to assist the transition to a zero-leakage society.
The Imperial College Ocean Plastic Solutions Network strategically combines engineering and environmental science capabilities from all faculties to develop multi-disciplinary transformative research to prevent plastic pollution. Our aim is to reduce the flow of plastic that becomes residual waste before it leaks to the environment and the ocean. Our community generates insights from fundamental science, systems thinking and social science for decision makers in environmental policy, product innovation, outreach for civic society, the media and societal transformation.