Novel materials

Recognising environmental and financial opportunities
Novel materials
New materials and manufacturing techniques, like carbon fibre, bioplastics and 3D printing, clearly have the potential to deliver cleaner and greener replacements for materials or processes we use today. But without thinking through what happens to products based on these technologies when they enter the waste stream, there is also the risk they will undermine efforts to minimise environmental impacts and fail to make the most of the financial opportunities from greater resource productivity.

With the support of the EPSRC, Innovate UK and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, we convened discussions between researchers and businesses about how and where these new materials and technologies can be used.

Our report, Getting it right from the start: developing a circular economy for novel materials, showed that, with the right strategy and incentives, the ability for novel materials  to be reused, recovered and recycled can be designed in at the outset.

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