Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Dr Martin Burgess


Research Groups

Dr Martin Burgess

Research Associate in Circular Economy, Digitalisation and Net-Zero Transitions


Martin works on CircEUlar, a European project across 10 Universities in 6 different countries, led by Dr Volker Krey at IIASA in Vienna. This will forecast total GHG emissions across Europe to 2050 based on flows of materials across buildings, industry and mobility. Martin is currently working on whether the impact of digital technologies can significantly influence the quality of recycling of plastics, steel and aluminium to reduce downcycling of these materials, consequently reducing the need to mine virgin metal and its sizeable associated emissions.

Prior to this he worked for the University of Manchester on plastics recycling in the UK: specifically, on the changes required to systems to improve the rate of packaging recycling. The project worked from a premise that the rate would only improve if the public threw all plastics into one bin, implying that systems must sort the resulting mix. The project is best known by its moniker "One Bin to Rule Them All".

After switching careers, Martin completed his PhD ("The Implementation of Personal Carbon Accounts in the UK") in Aberystwyth in 2019. He was an accountant and Finance Director in business for decades before deciding to do something more constructive!