DIF on AIR The bio-conundrum: biobased materials in a circular future

  • Speakers:
  • Elizabeth Corbin, Brian Shaw
  • Details About the session
  • Speakers Info about who's talking

Are bio-based materials a silver bullet to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and curb carbon emissions?

Biomaterials can play an essential role in the transition to a circular economy. Indeed today, many companies have begun investing in bio-based supply chains to produce the materials we use and interact with on a daily basis, from fuel and fibre, to chemicals and plastics. Yet, at the same time, biomass can require large volumes of land and nutrients to produce, competing with the same resources we’ll need to feed 9.8 billion people. Meaning an increase in the use of biomass for industrial feedstock has the potential to exacerbate our already stretched planetary systems.

This session will explore the potential for a widespread shift to bio-based production, including risks and possible solution pathways across multiple sectors.


Elizabeth Corbin

Elizabeth Corbin

Research Director, Metabolic

Liz is Metabolic’s Research Director, leading the activities of our think tank, Metabolic Institute.

Prior to joining Metabolic, Liz spent her time between University College London and the Royal College of Art where she both researched and taught. Liz holds a BA in Design and an MA in Material Culture and Design. Her professional background encompasses commercial practice, academic research, teaching, and strategic consultancy for cities, institutions, businesses, and third sector organisations.

Brian Shaw

Brian Shaw

Agri-food systems consultant, Metabolic

Growing up in small town Ireland, Brian developed an appreciation both for nature and understanding processes of change from a young age. Brian has co-founded two food startups, and worked with various local food and agriculture cooperatives and transition initiatives. Brian joined Metabolic in 2018, where he works on the development and deployment of science based targets in the agri-food system, and the diffusion of interventions at different scales for a transition towards increased system resilience and sustainability.

Get involved!

Have your say by commenting below.

Don’t want to register/login? Click in the name box and select 'I’d rather post as a guest'.