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Can we reduce the use of single use plastics in food production?

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Single use and short life-span plastics have received a lot of media attention in the last 12 months. Ultimately plastics we dispose of can end up in soils, water courses and oceans. The amount of plastics used in packaging our food has been a focus of media attention to date but in reality plastic is used throughout the food production process. In the growth of fresh produce it has a wide range of uses including in plastic tunnels, fleeces and netting. In many cases these plastics are single use or have a lifespan limited to a few years. The use of these plastics produces large amounts of waste which the fresh produce industry is very keen to reduce. This project will investigate how plastics are used in the production of fresh produce and what alternatives are available. The project will consider how the use of alternatives impacts on productivity, product quality, pests and disease and whether they are cost-effective.

What is the CTP?
This funded project forms part of the Waitrose Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) between the Waitrose Partnership, their international food production and supply companies, Lancaster University, the University of Reading, University of Warwick and Rothamsted Research. The CTP will deliver studentships on the themes of sustainable crop production, sustainable soil and water and biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture. This project is based at Lancaster University.

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Environmental Science, Geography or Agriculture.

Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£14,777 2018/2019 tax-free) for 4 years for UK/EU students subject to eligibility criteria. Unfortunately, studentships are not available to non-UK/EU applicants.


For further details please contact Dr Carly Stevens: [email protected] or for application queries contact Roz Wareing, [email protected] . Visit the Waitrose CTP Website

How to apply
Follow the instructions on How to apply of the Waitrose CTP website

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