Fashion design by Ashley Sookhai Bassett. Photo by Tom Buller.

Addressing the global plastics crisis

Catalysing a transition to a sustainable future

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We’re on a mission to tackle the plastics crisis for our local community and the wider world. 

From developing sustainable fashion to combatting microplastics, we’re putting our research into practice, working with local groups, organisations, businesses and individuals to solve the plastic problem.

We’re assembling teams of scientists, business-leaders, campaigners and citizens who share our ambition to transform the way we make, use and dispose of this polluting material. You too can join the Revolution. 
Join the revolution and address the global plastics crisis
An introduction to Revolution Plastics from Professor Steve Fletcher, Director of the Sustainability and Environment research theme

Plastic Heroes

There are people all over the planet doing more than their bit to beat one of the world’s biggest challenges. Inspiring waves of change through meaningful action, creating opportunities for everyone to be better, and transforming the way we all approach this pollutant. They are our Plastic Heroes. But we know there are more out there.

We want to showcase all those who are fighting back. So, tell us who they are, and we’ll share their name, their work, their story. Celebrating your #PlasticHeroes on our socials, and creating full case studies for those that really stand out. To make them feel like the heroes they are. And set an example for the world.

Clare Seek founder of Plastic Free Portsmouth and the Repair Café

Clare Seek

Clare founded Plastic Free Portsmouth and the Repair Café and was successful in achieving a Plastic Free Community status for the city. > Read more

A member of staff at Package Free Larder in Southsea

Package Free Larder

This is Portsmouth’s first plastic-free supermarket, providing groceries that don’t cost the earth.

Female researcher using microscope during plastics enzyme research

Our Enzyme Innovation team

The team at our Centre for Enzyme Innovation (CEI) is developing enzymes that can break down plastic waste.

Louis Capitanchik Co-founder of Jetsam Tech

Louis Capitanchik

Louis co-founded Jetsam, an app that enables users to contribute photos and data about plastic litter. > Read more

Serena Cunsolo PhD student studying microplastics

Serena Cunsolo

Serena is a PhD student studying the environmental impact of plastic pollution. Read more about her research into plastics in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

An Anglepoise staff member holding a desk lamp


Portsmouth-based company Anglepoise have gone to great lengths to minimise the amount of plastic used in the supply chain of their iconic lamps.

Dr Elaine Igoe

Dr Elaine Igoe

Elaine and her colleagues lead sustainable fashion and textiles projects at the University, working to reduce fashion’s plastic footprint. > Read more

Who are your #PlasticHeroes?

Tell us about them on social media and follow Revolution Plastics on Twitter for updates.

Follow @UoPPlastics on Twitter

Explore related news, blogs and podcasts

Addressing the plastic crisis is our mission

We use plastic in almost every area of our lives – as packaging, in electronics, clothing and building materials. Plastic is inexpensive and easy to make. It’s unmatched in its cost-effective durability and resistance to degradation.

But this attractive durability has created a global plastic crisis. Some plastics take more than 400 years to break down, and around 11 million metric tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year. Half of all plastic becomes waste within a year of being made, yet most isn’t recycled. Our planet is suffocating in plastic. We need radical action to halt this trend and limit the damaging consequences of plastic pollution on our health and the environment.

We’ve got to find solutions to the world's plastic problem. That’s where Revolution Plastics comes in.

Our ambition

We’re assembling teams of scientists, business-leaders, campaigners and citizens who share our ambition to transform the way we make, use and dispose of this polluting material.

Our revolution will ensure the elimination of damaging environmental and health impacts arising from plastics, through:

  • Innovative technology that transforms methods of plastic production, use and disposal. 
  • An inclusive new plastics economy based on circular principles. 
  • Informed citizens so people make better choices about using and disposing of plastic. 
  • New governance approaches that incentivise sustainable plastic production, use and disposal. 
  • Partnerships with industry and policy makers to inspire sustainability initiatives and action

Revolution Plastics is led by Professor Steve Fletcher and Dr Cressida Bowyer. Our mission is guided by the expertise of our Advisory Council, composed of senior executives from organisations and sectors that play a role in plastics and sustainability. 

In 2019, we were awarded £5.8 million from the Research England Expanding Excellence Fund. We’ve also invested a significant amount of funding to speed up our progress towards finding a solution to the plastic crisis.

Our multidisciplinary approach to plastics research

All aspects of society, the economy and politics need to adapt to achieve sustainability. Revolution Plastics therefore spans all disciplines.

We’re working across our faculties and collaborating with researchers around the globe — leading projects in areas such as environmental technology, molecular biophysics, advanced materials and environmental monitoring.

We’re already making progress. We've looked at how food and drink suppliers develop packaging. Studied how microplastics affect our oceanseconomy and the air we breathe. And we’re aiming to develop a sustainable fashion and textiles social enterprise. Learn more about our plastics research:

Revolution Plastics builds on the momentum of our globally-acclaimed plastics research in developing a plastic-dissolving enzyme that can digest some of the most polluting plastics.

This research made national and international news, and won Research Project of the Year 2019. Our plastics research is supported by our Centre for Enzyme Innovation, which works with industry partners to advance the circular recycling of plastics.

We've signed up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. We're a member of their Network and the University of Portsmouth is profiled in their Higher Education Network of Universities. We were also invited to join the UN Global Partnership on Marine Litter.


Image of Professor Steve Fletcher

Professor Steve Fletcher

  • Job Title Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy, and Director of the Sustainability and the Environment Research Theme
  • Email Address
  • Department School of the Environment Geography and Geosciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Cressida Bowyer

Dr Cressida Bowyer

Image of Professor John McGeehan

Media ready expert

Professor John McGeehan

  • Job Title Professor of Structural Biology
  • Email Address
  • Department School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Fay Couceiro

Media ready expert

Dr Fay Couceiro

  • Job Title Senior Research Fellow
  • Email Address
  • Department School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
  • Faculty Faculty of Technology
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Keiron Roberts

Media ready expert

Dr Keiron Roberts

  • Job Title Research Fellow
  • Email Address
  • Department School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
  • Faculty Faculty of Technology
Image of Dr Elaine Igoe

Dr Elaine Igoe

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer
  • Email Address
  • Department School of Art Design and Performance
  • Faculty Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
Image of Dr Joanne Preston

Media ready expert

Dr Joanne Preston

  • Job Title Reader in Marine Ecology & Evolution
  • Email Address
  • Department School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Professor Paul Trott

Professor Paul Trott

  • Job Title Head of Strategy Enterprise and Innovation
  • Email Address
  • Department Strategy Enterprise and Innovation
  • Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor

View full list of researchers

Group of people in a meeting smiling

Collaborate with us

World leading research and practice doesn’t happen in isolation. That’s why we're working with partners in business, government, the not-for-profit sector and academia around the world to understand the impact of plastic on our environment and develop solutions to reduce it. And we’re looking for more partners to join us.

If you share our ambition for a plastic revolution, please join us. We can partner with you on research projects, funding bids and commercial product innovation. You can also commission us to undertake research on your behalf.

Get in touch with us today

Transforming Portsmouth

We’re putting our research into practice.

Together we want to transform Portsmouth into a global showcase for how to achieve a sustainable plastics future.

The city is home to an increasing number of organisations and groups advocating urban sustainability, ocean conservation and plastic waste reduction.

Our links to local organisations include:

We want to work with more local organisations and are planning on hosting events, talks, surveys and other activities so you can get involved in the plastic revolution too. 

If you’re part of a local organisation tackling the plastic problem and you want to collaborate with us, please get in touch.

Aerial view of Portsmouth

Get in touch

If you'd like to find out more about Revolution Plastics, get involved with plastic surveys in Portsmouth, enquire about becoming a partner or tell us about your plastic related initiative, please contact us via the form below.

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