More than 40 foreign partners from the bioplastics industry were invited to the first of three social engineering labs to answer the bioplastics supply chain challenge by a team of Coventry University researchers.
Via a series of social innovation laboratories, the Social Innovation Management for BIOplastics project (SIMBIO) brings together a diverse community of stakeholders from around the bioplastics supply chain to recognise and solve the fiscal, social, and political complexities of applying packaging strategies for bio-based biodegradable plastics.
Professor Benny Tjahjono, Dr Macarena Beltran, Dr Jordon Lazell, and Dr David Bek from the Centre for Business in Society, and Dr Anna Bogush from the Centre for Agroecology, Water, and Resilience, are leading the initiative, which is sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
There is a growing movement toward using bio-based substitutes as people become more mindful of the harmful environmental consequences of conventional polyethylene plastic packaging.
While bio-based materials are single-use, they are manufactured from renewable resources such as plants and provide a more environmentally friendly packaging option than conventional single-use plastic, which is made from fossil fuels.
Although technical advancements such as biodegradable plastics provide promise for the future, numerous obstacles must be overcome in the supply chain before they can be successfully implemented.
The first case brought together bioplastics supply chain partners from Brazil, Canada, Poland, Indonesia, and the United Kingdom.
The lessons learnt from this experience will be extended to the next two social innovation labs, which will take place in May and July 2021, with the aim of designing action strategies for overcoming the complexities of introducing bio-based packaging.
Please contact Professor Benny Tjahjono for more information about the social engineering laboratories solving problems in the bio-based plastics supply chain.