Plastic is a fantastic material with many uses in society. From a climate and environmental perspective, it is important that the production, use and waste management of plastics is improved since e.g. the waste management of fossil-based plastics is a source of greenhouse gas emissions and plastic litter is a major environmental problem. There is currently a significant lack of information and knowledge about how much plastic is contained in Norway and how it is used. This leads to difficulties when making good decisions about how plastic waste should be handled and how so called circular economic business models, which retain the plastic as a valuable material in the economy, can be developed. The PLASTICENE project will assemble new knowledge, data and tools for a sustainable use of plastic in Norway. Another main component of the project is to describe a comprehensive governance structure that can solve the plastic problem, at a local, national, and global level. The project is a collaboration between SINTEF, WWF Verdens naturfond, Deloitte AS and House of Knowledge. To ensure that results and tools developed in the PLASTICENE project are implemented, the project will establish close connections with stakeholders throughout the plastic value chain in Norway.
In 2021, the PLASTICENE project has focused on gaining an overview of available data, identifying data gaps and collecting data in a format that can be used in the database that the project wants to build. The first concept for the database should be ready in June 2022. Furthermore, work is being carried out on methodology for material flow analysis for plastics. The project has also carried out an expert workshop to look at drivers for plastic use in Norway. During 2021, we also took the first steps towards a deeper integration of stakeholders, by doing a detailed stakeholder mapping process. This has allowed us a detailed overview of the relevant plastic actors in Norway, so that we can involve them deeper throughout the rest of the project period. We started the first rounds of workshops as well, with a focus on those that work on plastic research in Norway as well.
PLASTICENE will develop new knowledge and research capacity towards addressing sustainable plastic use in Norway. Plastic waste and emissions of plastic to nature represents a major societal challenges and increased knowledge of the plastic resource flow is essential for developing tools for increased resource utilisation, circularity and regulatory support of plastic use. PLASTICENE will study plastic material flow and composition in Norway and thereby contribute to the knowledge needed for e.g. designing circular plastic business models and finding the most effective pathways for policy for mitigation of plastic pollution.
The project will have the multidisciplinary approach needed to properly address materials flow analysis and characterization, circular business model development, implementation of policy strategies and stakeholder interaction. To ensure the achievement of the expected impact of PLASTICENE, the project will establish close connections to stakeholders throughout the plastic value chain in Norway.