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Mon, Dec

Opportunity

Experts working with microplastic pollution in the ocean will conduct a public workshop on May 17 in Stockholm, examining innovative ways to reduce marine litter and its impact.

The workshop, "Microplastics Pollution: Ocean micro and macro litter pollution - problems and solutions," will be held 9 am to 12:45 pm at KTH Royal Institute of Technology's Kista campus, Electrum Laboratory. The workshop is balanced to target students, municipal and regional decision-makers, wastewater treatment managers, researchers, research managers as well as a general audience, to make people aware of the state-of-the-art practices and developments in addressing this menace to public health and the environment.

Experts from the Horizon 2020 European Union project CLAIM (Cleaning marine Litter by developing and Applying Innovative Methods, No. 774586) will present to participants the hazards of micro and macro litters and latest research for handling marine pollution. The workshop will also introduce advanced electron microscopy techniques for characterizing microplastics applied by experts of the Center for Electron Microscopy of Materials at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Only about 10% of plastics worldwide get recycled. The majority of plastics pollute our environment every day, says Joydeep Dutta, Professor in Functional Materials at KTH. "Microplastics are a particularly dangerous issue in plastic waste. It's difficult to monitor the huge impacts on the ecosystems and human health, owing to their small sizes."

The presence and accumulation of plastic debris in the environment have seen a substantial increase with global plastic production growing twenty-fold in the last 50 years. Microplastics are proven to be harmful to more than 180 marine species so far including plankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals.

Despite being widely recognized as a major environmental problem, there is a lack of robust methods that offer essential and integrated solutions. What's needed is forethought and technological innovation, Dutta says.

Tackling plastic pollution at its source is the most effective way to reduce marine litter according to the Institute for European Environmental Policy, which underscores the need for proactive solutions that take aim at microplastic distribution and mitigation.

"The media has been reporting on the hazards of plastic pollution recently, and it's being debated extensively around the world," said Dutta. "This workshop intends to put into perspective scientific understanding that would be beneficial for researchers to planners who are concerned about micro and macro plastic litter."

The workshop is open, free of charge to all. For program and list of speakers, head over to the website.

Location: 164 40 Kista (Stockholm, Sweden)

Address: Electrum, Kistagången 16

Opening Hours: 09:00-12:45