Too much plastic in your life?

The six Rs of the new plastic economy can help:

  1. Refuse non-essential packaging.
  2. Reuse plastic containers.
  3. Reduce plastic use.
  4. Redesign products for reuse, recycling or compostability.
  5. Recycle to keep material in use as long as possible.
  6. Only use new plastics from renewable resources.
Dr Florian Graichen, Science Leader for Biopolymers and chemicals at Scion talks about how New Zealand could tackle plastic waste through circular economy approaches

Plastics are necessary but need to be used responsibly says Florian. “We need to keep the carbon that makes up plastic in the materials cycle and – when new plastic is needed – use biobased materials instead of petroleum products.

“The areas ‘recycle’ and ‘renew’ are where New Zealand science and innovation can come into play.

“New Zealand has a especially strong advantage when it comes to ‘renew’ with our biobased resources like radiata pine.”

Florian delivered a version of this talk to the Royal Society Te Apārangi Parliamentary Speaker’s Science Forum on 26 June 2019.