Episode 6: Circular Economy: Discouraging the throwaway culture

Are you guilty of buying something new instead of getting it repaired or upgrading your phone and leaving your old one in the draw?

Did you know the UK produces 200million tonnes of waste each year and that one quarter of that goes to landfill?

In this episode, Professor Gavin Bunting, explains what a Circular Economy is and why it is important that we start discouraging the current throwaway culture and start becoming users not consumers.

Then, Photochemist, Associate Professor Matthew Davies talks about his work in the next generation of solar energy technology and making sustainable renewable energy.

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Associate Professor Gavin Bunting

Dr Bunting is responsible for the Employability and Regional Engagement strategies for the College of Engineering. His work is mainly in the areas of sustainability, circular economy, government policy, internationalisation of higher education and transnational education.

Associate Professor Matthew Davies

Dr Matthew Davies is an Associate Professor and head of the Applied Photochemistry Group in the SPECIFIC IKC, Materials Research Centre, College of Engineering at Swansea University. Matthew is an EPSRC Innovation Fellow, Fellow­­­ of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and Council Member of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division of the RSC. 

His research is focused upon the photochemistry of materials that are useful for low-cost photovoltaic applications, with the ultimate aim of improving stability, light harvesting efficiency and performance. This mainly focusses on perovskite solar cells but also includes research into dye-sensitised solar cells­­­­ and organic photovoltaics. Particularly interested in the characterisation of re-manufactured devices (“photochemistry/photophysics of the re-use of materials”) and developing materials and processes to enable re-use and re-manufacture within a circular economy to develop for the next generation of solar PV materials. Also has research on developing renewable energy solutions for rural Africa in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.