The University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute Director, Professor Dan Parsons, has been selected to chair a scoping group for research into tacking the mounting global issue of plastic pollution in the environment.
Around 7,000 million tonnes of plastic waste has been generated since plastics were invented and mass produced in the 1930’s, with over 80% of this accumulated in landfills or the natural environment.
An estimated 15 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the oceans each year, with significant environmental cost. Plastics are being consumed by marine organisms that mistake the waste for food, with dire consequences.
Previous research led by Dr Cath Waller at Hull, along with colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey have shown how the levels of microplastic particles accumulating in the Southern Ocean, around Antarctica, are much worse than expected.
Professor Parsons will chair the group for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
The group of selected individuals, will develop a science case for a potential large strategic research programme on tackling this plastic pollution in the environment.