The Oxford Martin School “Future of Plastics” research programme brings together experts across various disciplines, including law, with the aim jointly to address the technical, environmental, economic, and legal issues that surround the transition to a sustainable circular plastics economy.
Plastics cause pollution at almost every stage of (linear) production and consumption. Re-designing plastics lifecycles to become more circular has the potential to solve many of these problems. There are major challenges in terms of existing industrial incumbency, technical and materials ‘gaps’ and a need for wholescale international regulatory reform. This requires thinking across deeply ingrained and divided disciplinary boundaries as well as disciplinary expertise and strong engagement with the manufacturing and end-use industries.
The law component of the “Future of Plastics” programme will outline existing gaps, pressure points, and other obstacles in the regulatory landscape at the global, regional, and national (predominantly, UK) level. More importantly, it aims to propose policy and regulatory solutions to these obstacles, so as to best support the transition to a sustainable, circular plastics economy.