As you know, every 8th of June the United Nations promotes the celebration of the World Oceans Day, a date to remember the importance of our oceans. Their biodiversity, the source of protein for a billion people that they represent as well as their power to clean the atmosphere and provide us with 50% of the oxygen are only a few reasons to raise awareness on their relevance for all beings. In case you missed it, we released an informative post about the date with some data and statistics from the UNEP; you can read it here.
An important fact that many organizations are bringing to light is the plastic litter on the oceans, with 11 metric tons of plastic already in the seas. That is why this year’s moto at the World Oceans Day was From Pollution to Solution. With this strategy in mind, some events are taking place this year with interesting discussions about possible solutions and the future of plastics. LABPLAS was represented in some of them.
6th European Bioplastic Research Network (EBRN)
On June 22nd, LABPLAS was presented at the 6th European Bioplastic Research Network (EBRN) Event held by BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE. There, some EU policy officers from the field of bio-based and biodegradable plastics discussed possible recommendations for the EU policies and the event was streamed via the BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE YouTube channel. It is really inspiring to see how different institutions and organizations are addressing this problem together to find the best solution. If you want to see a little more of what we are doing in LABPLAS, we recommend you to check this summary about what we have been up to over the last months
United Nations Ocean Conference
Being aware of the problems that the oceans are facing, the United Nations set in motion a program called The Ocean Decade 2021-2030 to address them in a more pecific way with several stakeholders and events. After the celebration of the World Oceans Day at the beginning of June 2022 and as a part of the Ocean Decade, the UNOC (United Nations Ocean Conference) took place this year 2022 in Lisbon (Portugal) between June 27th and July 1st. One of our partners, Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR), presented what we are doing in LABPLAS to contribute to the health and future of the oceans.
Symposium on Microplastics Analytical and Reference Standards
In the end of June, on the 30th, Todd Gouin from TG Environmental research, attended and presented at a symposium in Seattle: Symposium on Microplastics Analytical and Reference Standards – Opportunities to Advance Microplastic Science. The event’s goal was to serve as a mechanism to raise awareness of the various microplastics sampling, preparation, and analysis activities that are occurring in the US and across the globe and its name was. Todd gave a presentation in the symposium called Addressing the importance of microplastic particles for long-range transport of chemical contaminants; Perspective in relation to prioritizing research and regulatory actions, and he talked about the work that the consortium carries out at LABPLAS project.
The SIBECOL-AIL congress took place from the 3rd to the 8th in Aveiro (Portugal). It is the Iberian Ecological Society and AIL is the acronym for Iberian Association of Limnology; and they organised two events: the XXI National Congress of Ecology and the XXI Conference of the AIL. This year’s topic was Ecology bettering our sustainable future through scientific knowledge.
Luís Andre Lima Da Gama, from Universidade de Vigo presented two posters during the congress under these titles: “Commercial plastic bags degradation, mediated by Eisenia Andrei: from acclimatization to toxicity” and “Spent Coffee Grounds as an Alternative to Standard Soil in Ecotoxicological tests: comparing Silver Nitrate toxicity to Eisenia Andrei”.
This Congress was an in-person event to foster networking and share knowledge between ecologists from Spain, Portugal and other countries.
Other activities: Mass media interviews
Also, regarding our communication activities, the University of Vigo appeared in two mass media channels during June.
The first one was regarding the World Environment Day which was celebrated last June 5th. A national Spanish radio station called COPE interviewed our project coordinator Ricardo Beiras to talk about microplastics in the marine environment. If you want to listen to the complete interview, you can find it in Galician here.
Also talking about the hazard of microplastics, Ricardo Beiras was interviewed again on June 6th at the program Ciencia de ida e volta from UVigo TV, the TV from the University of Vigo. He talked about how the term microplastic was coined, how this problem is being addressed and what we do at LABPLAS to contribute. The whole interview has been uploaded to the UVIGO website and you can listen to it in Galician clicking on this link.
From the month of July, we have a great piece of news to share: from now on, LABPLAS project, along with other EU funded projects, is part of the European Bioeconomy Network (EUBioNet). It is an alliance built to promote, communicate and support Bioeconomy. This partnership allows all projects to network, organise joint activities and maximise the visibility of everything related to Bioeconomy. This alliance started working in May 2018 and counts on 107 partners, but keeps on growing, and we are sure LABPLAS will benefit a lot from it.