Plastics innovations win prizes for environment

A fishing net with illuminated exit rings for immature fish won first prize at this year's Design innovation plastics awards while other human and environment friendly concepts also received accolades.

Dan Watson, of the Royal College of Art took the top prize and cheque for £1000 for a design of fishing nets that allowed juvenile fish to escape trawl nets, taking into account that as well as providing large mesh, haddock and whiting tend to try to escape upwards and cod, downwards, and young fish tend to seek out light. Runner up was Bradley Coulson for a bead bracelet aid to giving up smoking, followed by James Shutt of Northumbria University with a stackable composter. Three highly commendeds went to Jaipreet Bahra of Aston University for a d3o based shin guard, that looked ready for commercialization, as did an ingenious device conceived by Helena From of London South Bank University for controlling water flow, which used a ball carried up a spiral to shut off flow after a predetermined time, automatically resetting itself when the ball rolled back down the spiral under gravity. She intended it to be used as a shower economizer. Matthew Ince of the University of Huddersfield was also highly commended for a very usable pincer to make it easier for building workers to pick up and carry concrete blocks.
The Awards are in the 25th year and the headline sponsor is Bayer Material Science, whose head or corporate communications, Steve Painter explained how, "Science for a better life" was very much part of the company's present philosophy and presented the awards.
The event was also sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Horners, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, which provided the venue, DuPont, the Materials KTN, Cogent, Hi-Technology Group and HellermanTyton.

Tom Shelley

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