One Bin to Rule Them All

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Materials

Abstract

One Bin to Rule Them All is an innovative, interdisciplinary research project focused on developing a streamlined standard for plastics recycling which can be rolled out across UK homes, businesses and urban infrastructures. Working with stakeholders from across the plastics supply chain, including manufacturers, retailers and consumers, the project prioritises the value in plastic waste materials to ensure more effective and efficient pathways for recycling. Thus, reducing overall plastic waste and ensuring that future plastics are produced from higher recycled content.

David Attenborough's Blue Planet II has highlighted the urgent global need to address plastic waste, pushing the issue into the forefront of the public mind. Whilst retailers and manufacturers are focused on improving the recycled content of their packaging, there is simply a lack of quality recyclable material available in the UK. Inadequate recycling infrastructure causes 60% of single use packaging to be exported, much of which is then incinerated. Not only is this a waste of valuable recyclable materials but there are significant environmental impacts involved in moving such waste across the globe and then burning it.

One Bin will develop and integrate modern recycling technologies and processes in order to eliminate plastic release into the environment. This will be achieved through three interdisciplinary and interrelated work packages:

Work package 1, led by material science, will create a hierarchy of plastic packaging to determine the optimal route for capturing and retaining value in plastic waste through re-use, mechanical recycling or chemical recycling.
Work package 2, led by management science and economics, will design and then trial innovations for One Bin business models along the plastic packaging supply chain, identifying new business opportunities and pathways to design out waste.
Work package 3, led by social science, will examine consumer engagement with One Bin and potential barriers to adoption through a consumer trial of the One Bin system, pre and post trial consumer interviews and a focus group with key stakeholders.

By recognising and releasing the value in plastic waste, and standardising the current UK plastic waste management system, One Bin will overcome the current complexities surrounding plastic recycling and contribute to the UK Plastic Pact goals.

The potential benefits from the project are significant, including:
a) Reducing plastic release into the environment through enabling the creation of a truly circular plastics economy and a long-term elimination of plastic release.
b) Creating an easy-to-use, standardised waste system for consumers that can be rolled out across the UK and incorporated into households, work places and leisure settings.
c) Releasing and achieving economic value by identifying the most efficient recycling pathways and business models for different types of plastic.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title One Bin To Rule Them All 
Description Video showcasing system change in plastic waste management 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Featured in COP26. 600 impressions. Cited in a number of government and NGO policy interventions. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v__PyGAhaA
 
Title Radiate.Fish 
Description Collaboration with German artists Radiate.Fish on inclusion of plastic recycling in their kinaesthetic artwork projects. Established live video stream of plastic biodegrading. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact New collaboration with German artists. Artists now recycling their artwork and discussing safety and importance of plastic recycling as part of their work. 
URL https://radiate.fish
 
Description DEFRA & HMRC Consultation - Biodegradation and Quantifying Recycled Content
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Changes in understanding to current ASTM and BSI standards, including understanding of ecotoxicological risks. Inclusion of technology as an option to report on plastic packaging tax.
 
Description Evidence to Parliamentary EFRA select committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Changes to language in Plastic Packaging Tax. Changes in direction for EPR. New understanding of biodegradable/compostable packaging.
 
Description Sustainable Mastercards / Circular Mastercards
Amount £330,000 (GBP)
Organisation Mastercard UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 12/2023
 
Description Axion Polymers 
Organisation Axion
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution PDRA has also been conducting semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry
Collaborator Contribution Took part in semi-structured interviews and attended Discussion Day workshop. Attended kick-off meeting for the Sustainable Hospital project
Impact Axion Polymers have signed an NDA and are a confirmed project partners who wish to continue to explore the One Bin project with us including applications for further funding
Start Year 2019
 
Description BASF 
Organisation BASF
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution PDRA has also been conducting semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry
Collaborator Contribution Took part in semi-structured interviews and attended Discussion Day workshop
Impact BASF
Start Year 2019
 
Description BP 
Organisation BP (British Petroleum)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Invited to participate in One Bin project meetings and workshops. PDRA has conducted semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry
Collaborator Contribution Took part in semi-structured interviews and attended Discussion Day workshop
Impact BP are a confirmed project partner who wish to continue to explore the One Bin project with us including applications for further funding
Start Year 2019
 
Description Braskem 
Organisation Braskem
Country Brazil 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Invited to participate in One Bin project meetings and workshops. PDRA has conducted semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry
Collaborator Contribution Took part in semi-structured interviews and attended Discussion Day workshop
Impact Braskem are confirmed project partners who wish to continue to explore the One Bin project with us but declined to continue in the One Bin SSPP project.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Centre for Process Innovation 
Organisation Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Invited to participate in One Bin project meetings and workshops. PDRA has conducted semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry. Collaboration has now evolved to include proposed National Packaging Innovation Centre.
Collaborator Contribution Took part in semi-structured interviews and attended Discussion Day workshop. Established collaborative relationship between Re3 project, One Bin To Rule Them All, and Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub.
Impact CPI are confirmed project partners who wish to continue to explore the One Bin project with us including applications for further funding. New relationship supports links between Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub and CPI's proposed National Packaging Innovation Centre.
Start Year 2019
 
Description CoOp 
Organisation The Co-operative Group Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Invited to attend several RE3 workshops and meetings. PDRA has also been conducting semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry
Collaborator Contribution Took part in semi-structured interviews and attended several workshops in work package 1 and 2 of the RE3 Project, including a Discussion Day workshop for the One Bin project. Connected the Invisible Plastics project to suppliers of fresh spring water. Providing packaging materials, industrial expertise and knowledge surrounding current materials used in packaging and their shortcomings for the Degradables project. Attended stakeholder engagement meeting for the Sustainable Hospitals project. Also a member of the RE3 Advisory Board.
Impact The Co Op have signed an NDA and are a confirmed project partners who wish to continue to explore the One Bin project with us including applications for further funding
Start Year 2019
 
Description DSposal 
Organisation DSposal
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution PDRA has also been conducting semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry
Collaborator Contribution Took part in semi-structured interviews and attended Discussion Day workshop. Also working with SustHosp Project to explore NHS data sets possibly available further to EPSRC meeting.
Impact DSposal have signed an NDA and are a confirmed project partners who wish to continue to explore the One Bin project with us including applications for further funding
Start Year 2019
 
Description Faerch 
Organisation Faerch
Country Denmark 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution PDRA has also been conducting semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry
Collaborator Contribution Took part in semi-structured interviews and attended Discussion Day workshop for the One Bin Project.
Impact Faerch have signed an NDA and are a confirmed project partners who wish to continue to explore the One Bin project with us including applications for further funding
Start Year 2019
 
Description Greater Manchester Combined Authority 
Organisation Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Circular Fashion project team have been liaising with Greater Manchester Combined Authority to understand the policy context and corporate appetite for establishing a circular economy around fashion in the region. One Bin PDRA has also been conducting semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry
Collaborator Contribution Took part in several workshops in work package 1 and 2 of the RE3 Project. Attended stakeholder engagement meetings for the Circular Fashion project. Confirmed project partner on the One Bin project.
Impact On-going partnership
Start Year 2019
 
Description Plastics Europe 
Organisation PlasticsEurope
Country Belgium 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Invited to contribute to several workshops and meetings. Gave presentations on their strength and concerns in the plastics recycling industry.
Collaborator Contribution Attended stakeholder engagement meetings for the Sustainable Hospitals project. Member of the RE3 Advisory Board.
Impact On-going partnership
Start Year 2019
 
Description SUEZ 
Organisation SUEZ worldwide
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Invited to participate in One Bin project meetings and workshops. PDRA has conducted semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry
Collaborator Contribution Took part in semi-structured interviews and attended Discussion Day workshop
Impact SUEZ are confirmed project partners who wish to continue to explore the One Bin project and are partners on our follow-on funding project through ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Programme.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Tesco 
Organisation Tesco Plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Invited to contribute to several workshops and meetings. Gave presentations on their strength and concerns in the plastics recycling industry. PDRA has also been conducting semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry.
Collaborator Contribution Providing packaging materials, industrial expertise and knowledge surrounding current materials used in packaging and their shortcomings for the Degradables project. Member of the RE3 Advisory Board. New project collaborating on quantifying recycled content in plastic packaging.
Impact On-going partnership
Start Year 2019
 
Description Unilever 
Organisation Unilever
Department Unilever Research and Development
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Discussion of oligomeric DOX products as viscosity modifiers / stabilisers in home and beauty applications. Provision of potential monomer and polymer pathways to develop degradable alternatives.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of target product profiles, discussion of potential outcomes.
Impact Outputs and outcomes currently embargoed due to commercial sensitivity of project.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Unilever 
Organisation Unilever
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Invited to contribute to several workshops and meetings. Gave presentations on their strength and concerns in the plastics recycling industry. PDRA has also been conducting semi-structured interview to identify their major concerns and issues with the plastic recycling industry.
Collaborator Contribution Took part in several workshops during work packages 1 and 2 of the RE3 Project. Gave semi-structured interviews and attended Discussion Day workshop for the One Bin project. Providing packaging materials, industrial expertise and knowledge surrounding current materials used in packaging and their shortcomings for the Degradables project
Impact Unilever collaborate on a number of projects including (a) One Bin To Rule Them All, (b) PCR Characterisation, (c) Sustainable Formulations and (d) Big Data in Mechanical Recycling
Start Year 2019
 
Description WRAP 
Organisation Waste and Resources Action Programme
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Invited to attend several WP1 & 2 workshops and meetings. Invited to Chair RE3 Advisory Board and have oversight of RE3 projects
Collaborator Contribution Chairs RE3 Advisory Board, whose goal it is to ensure the overarching project is progressing in the right direction. Both the overall project team and individual sub-projects report to the Advisory Board
Impact On-going Partnership
Start Year 2019
 
Company Name RECON2 LIMITED 
Description ReCon^2 was established to enable quantification of recycled content in plastic packaging, supporting both reporting on the plastic packaging tax and an associated trust mark certificate. 
Year Established 2022 
Impact Consortium of early adopters including major multinational brands, grocery stores, recyclers and packaging producers.
 
Company Name RECON2 LIMITED 
Description ReCon^2 was established to enable quantification of recycled content in plastic packaging, supporting both reporting on the plastic packaging tax and an associated trust mark certificate. 
Year Established 2022 
Impact Consortium of early adopters including major multinational brands, grocery stores, recyclers and packaging producers.