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Plastics in Peril Conference

From: Monday 16.03.20
at 9:00am
To: Wednesday 18.03.20
at 6:00pm

The Charles Babbage Lecture Theatre

New Museums Site

Downing Street




£150 students and unwaged

£180 early bird rate available until 17 January 2020


There has been a lot of publicity recently about the problem of persistent plastics in the environment, but in museums we have the opposite problem.  Some plastic artefacts are highly unstable and plastics in collections are a conservation time bomb.

Event description: 

This conference for conservation professionals will discuss real-life approaches to plastics conservation in museums, particularly mass produced items in scientific, industrial and social history collections. Focused on practical solutions, speakers from leading U.K and international institutions will share their experiences of conserving and caring for plastic heritage. On the third day there is an optional tour programme to three local museums with technology and aviation collections.

The programme will cover:

Day 1 Collections Management, Identification and Storage including papers on preservation strategies for plastics in multi-disciplinary collections; tools for identifying plastic in your collection and dealing with self-destructive plastic.

Day 2 Analysis, Treatment Techniques and Treatment Options including decision making in plastic conservation; and approaches to the cleaning and preservation of plastic, from the plastic bag in contemporary art to the soles of football boots.

Day 3 Tour Programme (optional). Three local museums with plastic heritage - Cambridge Museum of Technology, The Centre for Computing History and IWM Duxford – invite you to visit their museums where they will share the real-life challenges they face in their collections today. Booking required. All tours included in the conference fee. 

To see the full programme and details on how to book your place, please visit our website or contact us at

Please note booking closes 9 March 2019.