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Waste not, want not

This event will explore how plastic waste may become a valuable resource and the answer to an environmental problem.

You need only look at any UK street to see problems caused by the accumulation of waste plastics – they clog drains, pose a deadly threat to wildlife and generally cause a blot on the landscape. In the past 50 years, the plastics industry has seen tremendous growth, and plastic products are now an integral part of our lifestyle. But with lifespans that can stretch into decades (and sometimes beyond), some of the very attributes that make plastics so useful – their strength and durability – mean that their disposal is a mounting problem. Sustainable development demands environmentally and economically sound solutions to the disposal of waste, but plastics account for only a small proportion of material recovery, and their disposal is associated with a number of problems. Lucky for us then, that experts in sustainable materials processing are exploring novel ways to recycle waste plastics. While iron and steel making currently make use of carbon from non-renewable coal resources, various carbon-based polymers can also be used, and waste plastics provide an excellent equivalent source. Join Veena, recent winner of the British Council 2004 Fresh Innovators Award in Australia, as she explains how she is exploiting this fact, and how plastic waste may well become a valuable resource in electric arc furnace steel making, providing a myriad of environmental benefits and cost savings, as well as effective disposal of the waste plastics.

Veena Sahajwalla is the Director of Sustainable Materials Processing Research in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, where her research focuses on sustainability of materials processing.


Professor Veena Sahajwalla | talks | www


Date and Time:

3 May 2005 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street
020 7409 2992

More at The Royal Institution of Great Britain...



£8 standard, £5 concessions

Available from:

www.rigb.org or by telephoning 020 7409 2992.

Additional Information:

Nearest tube station is Green Park

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