Bioplastics in the environment: lifetimes and toxicology (2020–2023)
Globally, governments are implementing policies to drive a move to a circular economy. In the process, new materials are being introduced whose potential impacts need to be understood before they are widely used. This project pioneers investigations into the rate and extent of biodegradation of biodegradable plastics in aquatic and soil environments and the associated ecotoxicology of this process. In particular, it aims to quantify the extent to which the surfaces of these materials accumulate environmental pollutants via adsorption and other mechanisms. The outcomes will include conceptual models of biodegradation across environments, including lifetimes and likely impacts, critical information for framing a sustainable plastics industry.