Knowledge and Insight - The circular economy

Closing the lid on global packaging waste

Packaging serves a range of purposes. When designed well, it protects goods across increasingly long supply chains and can extend the life of food and beverage products, helping to minimise wastage, while also offering protection against contamination.

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What is a circular economy?

The traditional 'take-make-dispose' economic model of production and consumption is inherently problematic. It is heavily dependent on the use of finite resources to satisfy increasing demand for products, leading to production methods and consumer habits that exacerbate problems of resource waste and environmental pollution.

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Saving the planet from plastic

The environmental damage that plastic waste causes has become a global problem. Steps to address the issue are now being taken worldwide, with a reduction in non-biodegradable plastics a key goal. But how close is science to offering us viable solutions? 

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How to save the world: the war on plastics

On 3 May, the Royal Institution played host to an informative and diverse discussion on the topic of plastic pollution at a how to: Academy event moderated by The New York Times and sponsored by Rathbones.

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Landfill full of plastic - Rathbone Greenbank Investments

Closing the loop on plastic waste

In 2017, US researchers1 estimated that 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste has been generated globally since the 1950s, of which almost 80% has accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. Significant volumes of this waste enter marine environments, much of it fragmented into microplastic particles that are difficult to retrieve and can be ingested by fish, birds and other marine life. Combined with the potential for larger pieces of plastic waste to entangle animals, the risks for marine ecosystems are clear.

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