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2022 Fall | Global Change VII: Functions, Pollution Issues and Sustainability

FALL 2022 | Global Change VII: Plastics – Functions, Pollution Issues and Sustainability 

  • Sept. 22. Plastics: where do they come from and what are they for.  Kevin Noonan, Assoc. Prof., Dept of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
  • Sept 29.  Invisible Microplastics in Water, Air and Household Dust.  Rob Hale, Prof., Dept. of Aquatic Health Sciences, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.
  • Oct. 6. Sustainable Future Plastics through Material and Systems Innovation. Jennifer Russell, Asst. Prof., Dept of Sustainable Biomaterials, VT. 
  • Oct. 13.  Generation of microplastics, how macroplastic breaks into microplastic, and how small they get.  Maryam Shakiba, Asst. Prof., Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering, VT.  
  • Oct. 27.  Global and local policies to reduce plastic pollution. Leah Mupas Sequi, Principal Associate, Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Abstracts for sessions led by GCC Faculty Affiliates:

Sustainable Future Plastics through Material and Systems Innovation 

Led by Jennifer Russell. 

Despite playing a critical role in the advancement of human technology and society, plastics have become increasingly vilified due to their excessive misuse and mishandling and their harmful impacts upon human and environmental health. This session explores how systems-thinking research, including the advancement of bioplastics, depolymerization technology, and circular economy, is enabling a recalibration of the appropriate role of, and opportunity for plastics as part of a sustainable future.