Wednesday 16 June 2021, starting at 13:00 – 15:00 CEST (12:00 – 14:00 BST)
Plastic pollution is a worldwide issue of increasing concern. Each year, more and more plastic ends up in the natural environment, raising concerns of risk to the environment, animal and human health.
While biodegradable plastics could be part of the solution, they also present certain challenges. Many biodegradable plastic products actually biodegrade only in certain specific environments, or only in industrial composting facilities, rather than in the open environment more generally.
Webinar: Friday 21st May 2021, starting at 15:00 hours CEST (14:00 hours Ireland and UK)
Public awareness and concern over
plastics pollution, especially in open environments such as oceans, rivers and
land, are at an all-time high. At the
same time, the public is often uncertain and confused about what to do with
plastic items after use. The increasing
availability of products made from biodegradable plastics is likely to add to
The EU aims to transform the way
plastics and plastics products are designed, used and recycled. There are
actions planned on several fronts – improving plastic recycling, curbing waste
and littering, encouraging innovation and promoting global action. However, for these plans to work, we need effective
waste management infrastructures, coupled with strong engagement and
cooperation with the public and society in general.
The first SAPEA webinar on Biodegradable Plastics attracted a large international audience of almost 170 on 4th February. The webinar brought together panellists from the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, SAPEA and the European Commission, to respond to the question, ‘Tackling plastic pollution: are biodegradable plastics the answer?’
The webinar was chaired by Professor Ole Petersen,
Vice-President of Academia Europaea and Director of the AE Cardiff Hub. He outlined the role and purpose of the
European Scientific Advice Mechanism, and its two principal elements, the Group
of Chief Scientific Advisors and the SAPEA consortium.
A major new Evidence Review Report entitled ‘Biodegradability of Plastics in the Open Environment’ has been published today by SAPEA. Academia Europaea led the coordination of the Evidence Review Report, with responsibility for management and delivery of the work given to the AE Cardiff Hub.
Nicole Grobert, Professor of nanomaterials at the University of Oxford and Member of Academia Europaea, has been elected Chair of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.
The role of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA) is to provide independent scientific advice to the European Commission across a diverse range of topics to inform policymaking and to provide recommendations to improve the interaction between policymaking and scientific advice.