GRIPS Global Research & Innovation 2021







In the absence of equitable support for the development and deployment of mass ocean plastic cleaning technology, the world is left with taxation as a means to discourage manufacturers to package their products in plastic. The problem here is that while the UK is introducing a packaging tax based on forcing plastic companies recycling more recovered product, the rest of the world may be slow to react, or worse, may never take the bait - unless there are environmental lobby groups to apply political pressure. We don't believe the rising levels of toxins in fish will deter the public from eating seafood - though this may impinge on national health services in due course - most governments only think to the next election.





POSTERS - IOM3 Polymer Group Award – for innovations in plastics sustainability

Submit posters for the Global Research & Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) Conference, taking place 16th – 18h March 2021.

If you choose to do so, posters are requested to be a single PowerPoint slide which summarises your innovation and its impacts on future use and disposal of plastics. Entrants will also be asked to submit a 250 word statement about the work.

Your poster will be guaranteed to be displayed at the event as part of the exhibition for delegates to view (and for you to signpost people to during the event).

Your poster will also be reviewed by an expert panel with the best 6 being invited to present during the conference at 09:30-10.30 on 18th March in a session hosted by IOM3 Polymer Society, and a winner selected for the IOM3 Polymer Group Award – for innovations in plastics sustainability. This final award will be presented on the closing day, the winner will receive £100 plus a virtual registration to PVC 2021 (value £800+ VAT).




Global Research and Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) is a conference, exhibition and showcase held on 16th – 18th March 2021 online. GRIPS is a virtual event for all those involved in the sustainability of polymers, plastics and elastomers.


In relation to the 7Seven Point Plastic Plan proposed in March of 2021 by the Cleaner Ocean Foundation's policy advisers, research into alternative methods of packaging and filming is essential for the Seven Articles to work effectively. Hence, the Foundation wholeheartedly supports such intervention by the Knowledge Transfer and UK Circular Plastics Network. The hope is that supermarkets may have the means to transform their thinking, along with drinks companies and appliance manufacturers.


The only negative that we have identified is that funding is available for all kinds of research (yippee), but nothing to support innovative thinkers who come up with ideas for systems that hold the potential to supplant our existing reliance on fossil fuel derived chemicals (booyah). Where quite often creative thinking drives technology.


The GRIPS conference claims to hold the potential to bring together companies and individuals to highlight the best of the UK and selected international activities which will lead to plastics being less likely to reach landfill, end up incinerated, or become fugitive in the environment.

Research and innovation from both the academic and industrial community will be showcased. The event will provide a platform to help develop commercial success of these developments and build links within the polymer/plastics supply chain to strengthen the offer to UK and wider international actors in application sectors such as plastic packaging/FMCG, construction, agriculture, textiles, healthcare, etc.


With over 1500 (registered) delegates, 40 exhibitors and 160 speakers, attendees will be able to learn about some of the world’s best initiatives and developments, striving to make plastics less likely to reach landfills, end up incinerated, or become fugitive in the environment. 


This event is hosted by the UK Circular Plastics Network, organised by KTN and supported by Innovate UK, EPSRC and UKRI.






GRIPS - boasted keynote talks from Professor Richard Thompson, Professor John McGeehan, Professor Duncan Wingham, Helen Bird of WRAP and KTN’s CEO, Dr Alicia Greated, who will share the latest thinking, research and technologies in plastics sustainability. Professor Ed Kosior of Nextek will be dialling in from Australia and Marc A. Hillmyer McKnight of the University of Minnesota, will be speaking from the US. There is also an international reception hosted by the UK’s Department of International Trade with speakers joining from Nigeria and India.

The three-day event, which brought together over 1,000 delegates from across all industries, also featured 50 innovation and research-driven exhibitors on a virtual show floor. A sample of exhibitors included the British Plastics Federation, Potter Clarkson LLP, Centre for Enzyme Innovation at the University of Portsmouth, Petit Pli, and Interface Polymers. Attendees will be able to learn about some of the world’s best initiatives and developments, striving to make plastics less likely to reach landfills, end up incinerated, or become fugitive in the environment.

Dr Sally Beken, Polymer Knowledge Transfer Manager at KTN, sis quoted as saying,

“GRIPS 2021 will be the first of a new global event that will take place every two years to celebrate all the great work in plastics sustainability and to drive it forwards. We’ll be showcasing lots of exciting technology at this first show, and we already have hundreds of delegates signed up from the plastic packaging, FMCG, construction, agriculture, textiles, and healthcare industries, to name but a few – so there’s going to be lots of really positive networking opportunities too. I can’t tell you how excited we are, this is going to go a long way in our collective mission to reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill, being incinerated or ending up polluting the environment in some other way.”




Nick Cliffe - Innovate UK


Programme Highlights

• An academic speaker programme of research in plastics, including behaviour change and business modelling; a business led programme of innovations in plastic sustainability

• A pitching event – highlighting a portfolio of UK funded projects and International projects

• An investment panel, where potential investable ideas will be presented

• An international reception hosted by the UK's Department of International Trade

• Keynote talks from Professor Richard Thompson, Professor John McGeehan, Professor Duncan Wingham, Helen Bird of WRAP and KTN’s CEO, Dr Alicia Greated

• Sessions include: funding opportunities and funded projects; microfibres; textiles and fashion; sustainability in the health, chemical and agriculture sectors; plastics and net zero; Women in Plastics; the role of AI in plastics and much more







PROGRAMME - 16 March 202

Opening Plenary & Keynote Addresses - 10:00-12:00
Keynote talks and panel discussion

Global investment & initiatives to support improve sustainability of plastics - 12:30-13:30
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

Focus on the Textiles and Fashion sector - 12:30-13:30
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

(PRIF) UK funded Innovations to improve polymer circularity - 12:30-13:30
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

Smart Sustainable Plastics Packaging - 12:30-13:30

Pitches - start up initiatives to reduce plastic waste - 12:30-13:30

Pitches - new innovations in plastic circularity - 13:45-14:45
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

PRIF: designing sustainable plastic solutions - 13:45-14:45
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

Biopolymers and sustainability - 13:45-14:45
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

Focus on Microfibres - 13:45-14:45
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

Overview of innovations in plastic sustainability from UBUNTOO - 13:45-14:45

Films and Flexibles - 15:00-16:00
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

SOV and WRAP funded projects - 15:00-16:00


Compostables and Biodegradation - 15:00-16:00


Packaging for the future: implications of recycled materials on food contact - 15:00-16:00

Fireside Chat: Investing for sustainability in plastics - 15:00-16:00

International Reception - 16:15-17:30
Networking and Collaborating





17 March 2021

Day 2 Opening and Keynote Address - 09:30-10:00
Opening & Keynote Address

Sustainable polymer matrix composites - 10:15-11:15
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

Novel materials innovation - 10:15-11:15
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

Persistent polymers from bottle to ocean - 10:15-11:15

Sustainability of Medical plastics - 11:30-12:30

Capturing fugitive plastics - 11:30-12:30

Focus on plastics in the Construction & Built Environment - 11:30-12:30

Regulations and trends - 13:00-14:00
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

Packaging for the future: implications of novel materials on food contact - 13:00-14:00

A focus on: Tyre elastomers - 13:00-14:00

Material Flow - 14:15-15:15
Presentations & Speaker Q&A

Plastics in Agriculture - 14:15-15:15

Sustainable Manufacturing - 14:15-15:15

Women Sustainability in the Plastic Industry - 15:30-16:30

Phantom Plastics - 15:30-16:30







18 March 2021

Poster Sessions Finalists - 09:30-10:00

Design of plastics - 10:15-11:15

Chemical Recycling Today - 10:15-11:15

Innovative business models - 10:15-11:15

Citizen engagement - 11:30-12:30

Reuse and Refill - 11:30-12:30

Chemical recycling tomorrow - 11:30-12:30

Smart Technologies - tracking, marking and AI - 13:00-14:00

Behavioral insights - 13:00-14:00

Enzymatic Recycling - 13:00-14:00

Panel debate - What innovations make biggest impacts to plastics sustainability? - 14:15-15:15
Speaker Panel & Q&A

Poster Prize Award & Conference Close - 15:15-15:30







Dr Alicia Greated - KTN
Prof. Duncan Wingham - NERC
Josephine Moe Christoffersen - Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Prof. Richard Thompson - University of Plymouth
Libby Peake - Green Alliance
Henry Bassey - GreenHUB Africa
David Hughes - IOM3 Polymer Society
Prof. John McGeehan - University of Portsmouth
Prof. Edward Kosier - Nextek
Prof. Michael Shaver - University of Manchester
Paul Davidson - UK Research & Innovate
Peter Schelstraete - Ubuntoo
Chris DeArmitt - Phantom Plastics LLC
Dr Sally Beken - KTN
Dr David Greenfield - SOENECS
Grace Nolan - British Plastics & Rubber Magazine
Dr Robert Quarshie - KTN
Dr Nathalie Muller - Inspectron
Hanson Cheng - The Tyre Collective
Paul Mines - Biome Technologies plc
Marc Hillmyer - University of Minnesota
Dr Kayleigh McEwan - Haydale Composite Solutions
Dr Adam Read - Recycling and Recovery UK
Ajay Kapadia - KTN
Dr Richard Cooper - KTN
John Bound - KTN
Stephen Morris - KTN
Darren Ragheb - CPI
Dhruv Boruah - CommonVC
Mike Baxter - Berry RPC
Richard Bruce - Sheffield University
Barry Friesen - CleanFarms
Cyndi Rhoades - Worn Again Technologies
David Moon - WRAP
Katherine Adams - ASBP
Lynne Potter - MACE Group
Christina King - Tribosonics
Jacob Goodman - Rivian
Matt Paskin - Whitecroft Lighting
Dr Neil Witten - Innovate UK
Alice Horton - National Oceanography Centre
Kevin Hallas - KTN
Veronica Sanchez-Romaguera - KTN
Emma Fadlon - KTN
Dr Sibele Piedade Cestari - Queen's University Belfast
Nick Cliffe - Innovate UK
Richard McKinlay - Axion
Claire Shrewsbury - WRAP
Anne Toomey - RCA
Matthew White - Spark Create
Adam Fairweather - Smile Plastics
Rosalie McMillan - Smile Plastics
Melissa Klembara - US Department of Energy
David Rogers - WRAP
Deborah Sacks - DIT
Dr Faye Smith - DIT
Dr Nee Joo Teh - KTN
Graham Willson - BTMA
Sarah Karmal - Photocentric
Natasha Hutchings - Queens University Belfast
Martin Kay - Aquapak Polymers Ltd
Arun Shrestha - Innovation4recruitment ltd
Dominic Hopwood - Bitrez Ltd
Lorna Anguilano - Brunel University
Dr Dmytro Stratiychuk-Dear - DuPont Teijin Films
Prof. Denise Mitrano - ETH Zurich
Carrie George - Everledger
Mark Billham - PPRC, Queens University
Christian Fallon - Roadfill Ltd
Peter King - University of Bath
Jonathan Cullen - University of Cambridge
Qiaofeng Zheng - University of Cambridge
Rebecca Colley-Jones - University of Northampton
Dr Pat Rahman - TeeGene Biotech & TARA Biologics
Mark Miodownik - UCL
Peter Hopkinson - University of Exeter
Arthur Garforth - University of Manchester
Laura Copsey - WRAP
Tim Young - National Composites Centre
Jonathan Swanston - Jiva Materials Ltd
Prof. Mehdi Tavakoli - KTN
Helen Bird - WRAP
Stuart Hill - AD-ENG
Ellen Petts - Greenstream Flooring
Sara Banning - Innovate UK
Prof. Seonaidh McDonald - Innovate UK
Matthew Reeves - KTN
Sophie Mather - The Microfibre Consortium
Margaret Bates - OPRL
Kirsty Wood - Hexpol TPE
Graham Bonwick - AgriFood X
Mr Neil Court-Johnston - Zotefoams Plc
Glenn Halliday - Low Sulphur Fuels Ltd
Richard Blackburn - University of Leeds
Mike Turner - Food Standards Agency
Mr Vincent Greenwood - Food Standards Agency
Arabella Turek - Petit Pli
Gavin Lewis - Innovate UK
Dr Roland Getor - University of Hull
Dr Peter Clark - KTN
David Newman - End of Life
Rachel Rothman - The University of Sheffield
Adela Putinelu - BPF
Tamara Galloway - University of Exeter
Dr Mohammed Yasin - Hydrogel Healthcare Limited
Katherine White - Plastribution
Dr Anthea Blackburn - Econic Technologies
Malcolm Forsyth - Composites UK
Natalie King - Everledger
Helen Jordan - British Plastics Federation
Prof Tony Ryan - University of Sheffield
Paul Gilligan - Magical Mushroom Co
Tom Rose - Impact Solutions
Emma Bradley - FERA
Allison Stowell - Lancaster University
Anna Pitt - SESI Food and Household Refills LLP
Zaneta Muranko - Imperial College London
Gregg Beckham - National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA
Dr. Melissa Sterry - Bioratorium
Adam Root - Matter Industries
Sheena Hindocha - KTN
Christian Lach - BASF
Geoff Brighty - RenewELP
Rory Miles - University of Portsmouth
Dr Jose Jimenez - Imperial College London
Katherine Imbert - BSI Group
Tim Chandler - Food Standards Agency

























Aileen Woodley | Events Manager, KTN








* Adidas

* Algalita research foundation

* Aliance to end Plastic Waste AEPW

* Baltimore Mr Trash river cleaning barge

* BAN - Basel Convention Action Network

* Boyan Slat's ocean booms

* CLAIM H2020 EU marine plastic project

* Earth Day - Fact sheet ocean plastic

* Fionn Ferreira's ferrofluid extraction of microplastics

* FlashLight Press Michelle Lord & Julia Blatt

* Greenpeace

* GRIPS - Global Research & Innovation in Plastics Sustainability

* 5 Gyres Institute

* Interceptor tethered river cleaning barges

* Junk Raft - plastic awareness voyage

* Kids Against Plastic Tat KAPTAT

* Kulo Luna graphic novel

* Miss Ocean - Plastic Awareness Events

* 4Ocean recycled plastic bracelets

* Nike - Sneakers from recycled materials, ocean spills

* Ocean Voyages Institute

* Ocean Waste Plastic

* Parley AIR

* Plastic Free Eastbourne

* Plastic Oceans Canada

* Plastic Oceans Chile

* Plastic Oceans Mexico

* Plastic Oceans Org

* Plastic Oceans UK

* Recycling Technologies

* Rozalia Project

* Seabin

* Sea Litter Critters

* SeaVax autonomous drones

* Surfers Against Sewage

* Surrey University PIRATE & Triton

* World Oceans Day

* WRAP - Waste & Resources Action Programme






CAMPAIGN FOR ZERO WASTE - Supermarkets and oil companies have a lot to answer for. Politicians must explain why they let the retailers and fossil fuel industry get away with a practice they know to be harmful to marine life. Companies are largely driven by money and greed, their shareholders often kept in the dark. All the while millions of seabirds are dying, polar bears are playing with plastic and even shellfish have become inedible in some locations. This is morally unsound!


The River Thames is one of the filthiest rivers in the world in terms of microplastics and fibers. Yet nobody from the UK Government has made contact with the Foundation in over four years - even to test the water - nor Bluebird Marine in the two preceding years 2015-16. It speaks for itself that they must be happy as pigs in ---t!




GRIPS are not alone in the fight against ocean plastic. These emerging technologies could all play a part in containing the mountain of plastic that is accumulating on the oceans floors, by recovering floating debris before it sinks. New ideas are welcomed.
























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