How is tech responding to the plastics crisis?

Plastic and plastic waste is a front page issue and no other environmental issue has captured the public imagination like it. Governments are taking action and companies face intense pressure to look at how to reduce their plastic consumption. The tech sector is no different and this conference looked at what firms were doing to address the plastics crisis, how innovation can keep plastic in use for longer and replacements. 

Read the full write up.

Plastics | How should tech respond?

Key themes and learnings:

  • Business needs to: take heed of the need to change; make efforts to remove the most obvious single use plastics; look at more sustainable product design, and; measure and communicate progress against targets.
  • The ‘Blue Planet effect’ has resulted in increased customer, stakeholder and investor awareness and concern on plastic consumption. It makes business sense to act now.
  • Plastics are not inherently bad. Overuse, poor collections and lack of recycling infrastructure are why plastics are problematic.
  • UK and EU regulations on plastics have increased significantly and are likely to get more stringent and wide-ranging. Initially the focus has been on single use, but other plastics will face scrutiny. E-waste and concern over the material use in electronics will become a growing trend.
  • Presenters and speakers said ‘system’ and ‘ecosystem level’ changes are needed to overhaul how we approach plastics, looking at manufacture, use and disposal to recovery and reuse.
  • For businesses innovating in new materials, seeking finance, regulations, and overcoming protectionism from incumbents are barriers.
  • Gamification and rewards engage consumers, employees and partners in ways they are used to now and help to clarify the ‘why’ in changing their attitude to plastic.

techUK is committed to helping members understand their resource use and become more efficient. To learn more get in touch with us on the details below.


  • Craig Melson

    Craig Melson

    Programme Manager | Digital Devices, Consumer Electronics, Export Controls and Environment and Compliance
    T 020 7331 2172
  • Susanne Baker

    Susanne Baker

    Associate Director | Climate, Environment and Sustainability
    T 020 7331 2028

Share this


Government publishes landmark #EnvironmentBill, read the key take outs for the tech sector, here:
Earlier this year @techUK brought together 100 digital innovators and @NHSX to explore how we can make the UK the b…
Today the #techUKJES programme has launched a new report: Digitally enabled public safety. It highlights some of th…
#techUK and @UKOpenBanking are please to host our Open Banking Summit on 28 November in London. Join senior decis…
Just three weeks to go until #Supercharging the Digital Economy 2019! techUK members can get 1 free ticket, so ma…
Become a Member

Become a techUK Member

By becoming a techUK member we will help you grow through:

Click here to learn more...