Environmental Impact of Plastics

Upcoming course dates

Apr 11 2019 - £525.00

Jun 19-19 2019 - £525.00

Sep 4 2019 - £525.00

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Course duration: 1 day

Shawbury Shropshire, UK

Overview

The course will cover important technical, societal and regulatory areas associated with the impact of plastics on the environment. It will concentrate on regulatory and material science aspects of the subject rather than the detail of ecotoxicity / biological impact.

Learning outcomes

  • Obtain a full understanding of the how the recycling of plastics is undertaken, the challenges that it faces and the options that are available for the re-use of the material.
  • Be able to give direction and provide input to environmental policies and strategies involving plastic products.
  • Gain an up-to-date understanding of the role of plastics in the modern society and their environmental impacts.
  • Dispel myths regarding plastics issues in the environment.
  • Understand the most significant environmental aspects to be managed for products and services.

Course Content

Current issues

  • An overview of the key issues including waste plastic in the marine environment, single-use plastic products, black plastics and multi-layer and multi-material products.

History and background of plastics

  • Review of the plastics industry including growth trends and drivers
  • Exploration of the inherent advantages of plastic over traditional materials.
  • Explanation of the different end use markets, types of plastic, uses and manufacturing methods.

Regulations, directives and guidance documents

  • Global perspective of the growth and development of recycling environmental regulation and documentation from the mid-1980’s onwards. Covers key initiatives and measures to re-use waste plastics in general applications and high value products, such as food contact articles.

Current initiatives

  • Explanation of the ways in which industry and researchers are addressing challenging technical problems associated with plastics recycling including:
  • Steps to move the industry toward operating within the principals of a “circular economy”
  • Developments to improve the sorting, decontamination and reprocessing of black and mixed plastic waste.
  • Work being done by government, agencies and industry to improve the quality of the complete recycling infrastructure, expand the market for recycled plastics and enhance their acceptance within the market place.

Re-use opportunities

  • The numerous ways in which end-of-life plastics can be re-used – including their incorporation into other products (e.g. construction products), the manufacture of new products (e.g. thermoplastic elastomers), creation of new plastic products, and other forms of recycling such as energy recovery.

Understanding environmental impact

  • Historical and current context - the extent and degree to which plastics have had an impact on the global environment quantified with relevant data and statistics.
  • Predictions of future impact talking into account various scenarios. The use of selected Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) data that generated for specific plastic products will be included as a way of illustrating the various forms of environmental impact and the options available for minimising these.

Future Developments

  • How present and future measures by government and the plastics industry might influence the development of the plastic recycling industry in future years
  • Potential for alternative materials such as biodegradable plastics and compostable plastics.
  • Increasing interest in bioplastics as a more sustainable alternative to conventional plastics
  • Possible advances in the technologies associated with plastics recycling and the re-use of plastic recyclate.

Drawing up an environmental strategy for plastic materials in your organisation

  • Attendees will be shown how to use the information that they have gained during the course to draw up measures and a strategy for the recycling of their plastic to reduce its impact on the environment.

Who will benefit

This course will benefit

  • Organisations who wish to gain background knowledge and understand options in managing the impact of plastics.
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about the true environmental impact of the use of plastics materials and how to deal with them.
  • Design engineers, buyers, environmental waste managers, facilities managers and management system representatives.

Presenter Info

This course is presented by

Dr Martin Forrest, Principal Consultant, MSc, PhD

Paul Shipton, Consultancy Director, PhD

Andrew Hulme PhD, B.Eng, Principal Consultant

Read more about these presenters by clicking on their expert profiles.