UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Investigating the publics behaviour in relation to plastic waste

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Principal InvestigatorProfessor Susan Michie

Professor Mark Miodownik
Dr Fabiana Lorencatto

Project start and end dates September 2019-September 2022
Project website


Project aims

The aim of the studentship is to address the problems of plastic waste by advancing our understanding of the public's behaviour in relation to consuming and recycling plastic with the view to reduce consumption and increase recycling.

Project details

Behaviour lies at the heart of reducing plastic waste and will be key in reducing waste and environmental pollution of the oceans. For the UK to achieve its recycling targets as outlined in the UK Plastics Pact wholesale behaviour change is likely to be needed in relation to plastic e.g. reducing consumption of single-use plastic items (such as food packaging and water bottles) and recycling them.  

This studentship will:
1.    investigate the public’s motivation, capability and opportunities for key behaviours in reducing plastic waste,
2.    identify enablers and barriers within the complex system within which such behaviours sit and,
3.    develop interventions based on this evidence and on appropriate theory aimed at changing one or more of such behaviours.