Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) in England, UK, has been awarded a £1.6m ($2m) grant from Research England for the establishment of a new centre for plastics innovation research.  

The university’s ‘Research Centre: Plastics Innovation and Curation’ will delve into the degradation and behaviour of plastics in various environments. 

The research aims to produce findings that will be significant for the manufacturing industry on a global scale, as well as museum collections. 

It will also combine the expertise of AUB’s Museum of Design in Plastics (MoDiP) with the design, manufacturing, and testing capabilities of the Creative Technologies Research Group at AUB’s Innovation Studio.  

The new centre will be led by AUB Research and Development director Dr Christian McLening.  

McLening said: “The centre’s purpose is two-fold. On one hand, we’re curating and preserving a collection of plastics that make up our own rich product history. With the increased focus on alternative materials, there’s a danger that we’ll lose iconic plastic products from our everyday lives.  

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“On the other hand, we’re exploring the environmental future of plastics and the role it plays in sustainability – when’s the best time to use plastics to ensure we’re developing better products and using plastic wisely.” 

AUB principal and vice-chancellor Paul Gough added: “This is a huge prize for the university and for all our environmental futures.  

“The research emanating from this large grant will be of immediate relevance to global design and manufacturing industries as well as museums, of which MoDiP at AUB is a national institution.”