Recycling, and how we deal with waste, is of vital significance in the contemporary world. China recently imposed a new ban on the import of rubbish, which has global ramifications, and will likely impact on recycling in the UK. We have provided five dissertation topics that look at the probable effects of China’s rubbish import ban in the UK, and that also examine potential solutions to the issue through the examination of more localised waste and recycling options.

1) The impact of China rubbish import ban on London’s outer boroughs

The aim of this research topic is to determine the varying impacts that plastic waste will have on low-income London boroughs. Outer London boroughs tend to have lower socioeconomic standards of living, causing a strain of resources for the local councils. This research will offer insight into any widening of social determinants equity gaps as a result of this rubbish ban.
Rochman CM, Cook AM and Koelmans AA, 2016. Plastic debris and policy: using current scientific understanding to invoke positive change. Environmental toxicology and chemistry, 35(7), 1617-1626. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/etc.3408/full

2) Cost-benefit analyses of local recycling options for lower grade plastics

The aim of this research topic is to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of local recycling options for lower grade plastics. Given the risk of increased local disposal costs and decreased exported waste prices, it will be necessary for the UK economy to shift gears towards green jobs and developing its recycling infrastructure.
Wong JWC, Tyagi RD and Pandey A, 2016. Current developments in biotechnology and bioengineering: solid waste management. Elsevier, 534 pp. Available at: https://books.google.ca/books?id=X3R_CwAAQBAJ&dq=book+plastic+waste+community+resource&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s

3) Determining stop-gap solutions to mitigate the impact of China’s rubbish import ban

With a specific focus on lower grade plastics, the aim of this research is to research appropriate policies and interventions that would offer stop-gap solutions to mitigate the impact of China’s rubbish import ban on the UK. While the UK government has begun to take measures to reduce plastic waste, it will be necessary to develop immediate solutions that remove waste collection burdens from local councils.
Goldsmith W, Jeberg S, Alex J, Johnsen W, Gurau B and Lindquist E, 2017. Net zero waste: issues, technologies, trends and commercially viable solutions. In: Goodsite M and Juhola S (eds) Green Defense Technology. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security. Springer, Dordrecht. Available at: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-017-7600-4_11#citeas

4) Borough-level solutions for producing less waste and standardising recycling

The aim of this research topic is to determine appropriate, sustainable and cost-effective solutions for producing less waste and standardising recycling at the borough level. Noting that the China rubbish import ban will have a more immediate negative impact on local UK councils, this research will seek to recommend capacity-building solutions for supporting local populations in reducing waste pollution and improving green practices.
Rhyner CR, Schwartz LJ, Wenger RB and Kohrell MG, 2017. Waste management and resource recovery. CRC Press, 544 pp. Available at: https://www.crcpress.com/Waste-Management-and-Resource-Recovery/Rhyner-Schwartz-Wenger-Kohrell/p/book/9780873715720
Saulters OS, Krishnan B, Harris MB, Bashour H, Bellows L, Ringquist EJ and Henshel D, 2017. Waste-to-hope: measuring sustainability benefits of product philanthropy partnership. JEP, 8(10), 1219-1242. Available at: http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=79398

5) The impact of China’s rubbish import ban on UK household practices: opportunities for behavioural shifts

The aim of this research topic is to determine the manners by which China’s rubbish import ban will impact upon the daily life of the local UK population. Furthermore, the research topic will seek to understand reasons behind the high levels of plastic waste and identify solutions for a positive shift in this behaviour.
Chow CF, So WMW, Cheung TY and Yeung SKD, 2017. Plastic waste problem and education for plastic waste management. In: Kong S, Wong T, Yang M, Chow C and Tse K (eds) Emerging practices in scholarship of learning and teaching in a digital era. Springer, Singapore. Available at: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-10-3344-5_8

08/01/2018