Supported by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the aim of UKCPN is to bring together the diverse users of plastic products and realise the best outcomes for eliminating plastic waste through a programme of networking and knowledge-sharing events and related support activities.
The Circular Plastics Network will create a coordinated, integrated and aligned community of stakeholders in order to share best practice, focused on unlocking the most critical, short-term barriers to plastics circularity. It is envisaged that by the end of 2019 UKCPN will count 1,000 companies as its members.
UKCPN will facilitate the following:
- Reducing the volume of plastic waste arising from within the UK
- Raising awareness and sharing best practice to improve the rate of UK plastic recycling
- Sharing best practice to reduce levels of confusion amongst citizens and highlighting user-centred design.
- Showcasing innovation that is focused on reducing the amount of plastic ending up in the environment.
UKCPN will improve the country's relationship with plastic, helping to reduce some of the 2.5 million tonnes of waste plastic which is currently unrecycled in the UK. This two-year programme brings together those with solutions to the problem and facilitates circular supply chain engagement with those solutions. More than 12 events will be undertaken throughout the UK over the next two years, while there will also be a website for the community to interact with one another. As well as this, a directory of companies relevant to this sector will be produced and encompassed in a larger landscape map accessible to all of the UK Circular Plastic members.
The network forms part of the Plastics Research Innovation Fund (PRIF), which is engaging Britain’s best scientists and innovators to help move the country towards more circular economic and sustainable approaches to plastics. PRIF is managed by UKRI and delivered via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK, with strategic oversight from Professor Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).