Mission Hub: Preventing plastic pollution with engineering biology

I am part of a new Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Mission Hub which aims to tackle the urgent environmental challenge of plastic pollution and create new ways for the sustainable deconstruction of synthetic plastics as the UK transitions towards a circular plastics economy. 

The hub will be led by Professor Andrew Pickford (University of Portsmouth), with support from scientists from seven leading UK institutions, including UCL co-investigators: Professor Helen Hailes (UCL Chemistry), Dr Jack Jeffries (UCL Biochemical Engineering), Professor Mark Miodownik (UCL Mechanical Engineering), Professor Paola Lettieri (UCL Chemical Engineering), Dr Andrea Paulillo (UCL Chemical Engineering), Dr Brooks Paige (UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence), Professor Christine Orengo (UCL Biosciences).   

Over the next five years, the Mission Hub will develop impactful engineering biology platforms that will enhance the performance of enzymes and microbes for the deconstruction of a wide range of plastics.  

Building on previous research from the Plastic Waste Hub at UCL, the project will also develop innovative and environmentally friendly ways to create high-value products from waste.