School of Chemical Engineering

Plastics are everywhere! They’re handy and cheap, which is why their use has increased 20-fold in the last 50 years.

But for all their convenience, we know there are significant economic and environmental drawbacks to plastic.

It’s estimated around 6,300 Mt of plastic waste has been generated since plastics were introduced, of which around 9% was recycled, 12% incinerated, while 79% accumulated in landfills or the natural environment.

If nothing changes, it’s possible by 2050 our oceans could contain more plastics than fish (by weight).

We clearly need to do something to solve this problem, but should we be aiming for a global stop to the use of plastics? Or are we better off focusing on finding innovative ways to redesign and reinvent plastics based on circular economy principles?

Join Dr Bronwyn Laycock as we explore this important global issue at this BrisScience event.

Event details

When: 11 September 2017 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Where: The Edge, State Library of Queensland, South Bank
Registrations: Tickets are free. Click here to save your seat.

Meet the presenter

Bronwyn Laycock
Dr Bronwyn Laycock is a Senior Lecturer with the University of Queensland’s School of Chemical Engineering and the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation. Her specialisation is polymer science with a focus on materials for the new plastics economy.

Dr Laycock has a diverse background in translational research. As a former Senior Research Scientist (CSIRO Division of Molecular Science), she was awarded the Joint CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement 2009 for her work on the extended wear contact lenses, which are now recognised as CSIRO’s fourth top invention. She has also been awarded a Joint Chairman’s Award for research/commercialization (CRC for Polymers) and an Excellence in Innovation Award (CRC Association) and holds 15 patents in areas ranging from high temperature aircraft composites to bacterially derived biopolymers.