Highlights 2020

Highlights 2020


STEPS Programme director interviewed by Mistra

2020-11-12. In an interview by Mistra,  the Swedish foundation from strategic environmental research, professor Rajni Hatti-Kaul talks about comittment, awareness and academia .

Read the whole interview on Mistra’s website.

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STEPS Phase 2 has started!

2020-09-17. STEPS has now officially started phase two of the research programme! The second phase runs from 1 September 2020 to 31st December 2024.
– We are delighted to go on to a second phase, especially now when there is real need for intensifying research and development to facilitate transition to a more sustainable plastic system. We are also happy to welcome many new and old partners to our programme, says Professor Rajni Hatti-Kaul, Programme Director, and researcher at Biotechnology at Lund University. Read further on the highlights section.

Photograph: Kennet Ruona

Malmö designer shows the way: This is how plastic can be used in the future

2020-09-07. Increased recycling, more bio-based plastic and fewer types. These are some of the pathways required for our plastic consumption to be more sustainable, according to STEPS researchers policy brief. Designer Kajsa Willner has taken on the task of interpreting these pathways in the exhibition Materiality & Aggregation at Form/Design Center in Malmö. Read about STEPS collaboration with designer Kajsa Willner in the this article in Sydsvenskan. 

Read also about the collaboration on Lund University’s homepage.

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New plastic tax underway?

2020-08-11. A tax aimed to reduce the disposable use of mugs, cutlery and lunch boxes made of plastic: it is proposed in a new inquiry that has been handed over to the Swedish government. But how effective is it to use taxes as a tool to change people’s consumption habits? Listen to STEPS researcher Fredric Bauer in the radio interview in P1.

Read also researchers’ comments on plastic tax proposition on Lund University’s homepage


New authority is needed to achieve a circular economy in Sweden

2020-07-17. The restart after the corona crisis is an opportunity to create a more sustainable society. The Swedish government should establish a new authority with responsibility for resource efficiency and circularity, writes program directors for several Mistra programs in a debate article in DN today. Read the full article in Dagens Nyheter.


Utsläpp från industrin blir plast

2020-06-25. Bara ett luftslott? Nej, det går faktiskt att göra plast av luft  – eller snarare av koldioxid. Plasten i dina skor eller möbler kan i framtiden kanske tillverkas med hjälp av en avgasreningsteknik som nu utvecklas vid Lunds universitet. Läs hela artikeln på Lunds universitets hemsida.


Strategising Plastic Governance: a policy brief

2020-06-25. STEPS researchers has recently published a policy brief focusing on upstream aspects of plastic production directly related to downstream aspects, such as marine pollution and waste accumulation. Read and download the brief here.

Karl Edsjö_Director Environmental & EU Affairs_Electrolux

Sustainability work at Electrolux: an interview with Karl Edsjö

2020-06-25. Karl Edsjö is responsible for resource and recycling policy at Electrolux. He has worked as a liaison between STEPS and Electrolux since the research programme started in 2016. Electrolux is a world leading global appliance company, and produces refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, cookers, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners and small domestic appliances.
The main reason we are part of STEPS is that we as a company want to be at the forefront with our sustainability work. Taking active part in STEPS work can help us achieve that and to be prepared for the future. Read more here.

Bill Newson, researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Replacing fossil fuels with new materials requires knowledge on protein behaviour: an interview with Bill Newson

2020-06-25. Bill Newson is is a researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and part of STEPS’ work package two. It aims to produce “drop-in” as well as novel polyesters that will be characterized and evaluated for applications such as fibres, coatings, packaging and films. Bill Newson and his colleagues work primarily with natural proteins such as wheat gluten. Their ambition is to contribute to knowledge on protein behavior, and ultimately to develop new materials to replace fossil oil-based plastics. Read more here.


Södra’s work with renewable forest material 

2020-04-16 Mats Wallin is a Senior Specialist in Science Relations at Södra Skogsägarna. In this interview, he shares his views on plastics, a circular economy, and the challenges of working with hybrid materials. He also highlights how Södra works with sustainability, and how they use their production side streamsRead more here.

Meher Sanku, resarcher at the department of Chemical Engineering at Lund University.

Meher Sanku turns air into plastics

2020-04-16 Meher Sanku, researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Lund University, has just defended her PhD thesis. Her work focuses on how to capture and utilise carbon dioxide – to create new building blocks for plastics. She is a researcher in STEPS work package one, which focuses on production of polyester building blocks from renewable feedstocks, including surplus biomass streams and carbon dioxide. Read more here.

Mahmoud Sayed, researcher at Lund University.

From sugar to plastic building blocks: interview with Mahmoud Sayed

2020-04-16 Mahmoud Sayed came from Egypt in 2014 to do his PhD at the Division of Biotechnology at Lund University. He is active in STEPS work package one which has focus on the sustainable production of polymer building blocks from renewable feedstocks including surplus biomass streams and carbon dioxide using biological and chemical processes separately or as integrated processes. Read more here.

Mistra plast

STEPS contributes to new Mistra book about plastics

2020-04-16 Several researchers from STEPS have contributed to a new book about plastics commissioned by Mistra. The aim of the book is to increase knowledge about plastics, and highlight positive and negative impacts of the material on our environment and society. Read more here.


Materiality and Aggregation – STEPS plastic exhibition

2020-03-06. Welcome to the launch of the exhibition ‘Materiality & Aggregation’ – a collaboration between designer Kajsa Willner, the research programme Sustainable Plastics and Transition Pathways, STEPS, and Form/Design Center. It departs from STEPS’ research on ways forward to a sustainable plastic society, and is an interpretation of five plastic pathways. Read more here.

Ellen Palm

Due to the connection between plastics and climate change, we do not want to produce more plastics

2020-03-06. Ellen Palm is a PhD candidate at Environmental and Energy Systems Studies at Lund University, and active in work package three. It aims to assess potential transition pathways to develop research-based advice on policy and industrial strategies for sustainability in the longer term. Ellen Palm’s research focuses on issues of sustainability pathways connected to plastic. Read more here.