A Ph.D. candidate in the United Kingdom wants to know if the overuse of plastics during police investigations is downright criminal. (Cue the sunglasses and Roger Daltry scream from CSI: Miami at this point.)
This isn't just a parody of crime scene investigation TV shows. Becci Henderson, a crime scene technician in the United Kingdom for more than 20 years who is now working on her doctorate at the University of Portsmouth in England, says that in two months of cataloging plastic use at crime scenes for her study, investigators used an average of 55 grams of plastics at each site.
"At just one job I generated more than 2 kilograms of waste, which all went in the bin and a lot of it was unused," she said in a news release from the university. "We often can't recycle or reuse the plastic so we need to look at reducing it at source."
Obviously there are elements of plastics that have to be used at crime scenes to protect evidence, but there may be ways to tweak evidence kits to reduce the amount of plastics used, Henderson said.
"For example, swabs are too long," she said. "They were originally manufactured for medical use and could be redesigned for forensic work."